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Hollard targets broker SME market with new brand

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Hollard today unveils a new commercial insurance brand to drive its ambitious SME growth targets.

And the insurer, which launched in Australia 20 years ago, has also revealed it has passed its $1 billion gross written premium (GWP) target more than a year ahead of schedule.

CEO Richard Enthoven says the company is now the seventh-largest general insurer in the country and can no longer be considered a challenger brand.

He told insuranceNEWS.com.au the hardening market has provided an incentive to push into the SME space with the new Hollard Commercial Insurance (HCi).

The brand will combine with Hollard Select Brokers and Calibre, which was acquired in 2017, to form a single business. The Calibre brand will be retired.

Richard Heilig, who was already CEO of Hollard’s commercial business, has been appointed CEO of HCi.

Mr Enthoven says Hollard’s commercial operations write $120 million in GWP and he sees this rising to $200 million over three years. All Hollard’s SME insurance is sold through intermediaries and there are no plans to change that.

“HCi brings together into one dedicated, focused team all of our commercial offerings,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “We have a dedicated, specialist business with $120 million in premium and it will play an important part in the next phase of Hollard’s growth.

“We probably have a bigger market share in the SME market than in personal lines. It is a smaller market, but we will have a very meaningful presence. We will be positioned well to grow market share as that market hardens.”

Mr Enthoven says the Hollard brand has so far had limited exposure to brokers.

“This is about the emergence of the Hollard brand as a meaningful player in the broker market. We know we can take on established insurers and achieve strong market share growth in the small business insurance arena.

“A good example would be HCi’s participation on the Steadfast Client Trading Platform business insurance product, where we have achieved more than 20% share of policies written over [last calendar year].”

Hollard says HCi’s products are delivered via low-referral electronic platforms to maximise efficiencies in insurance placement for intermediaries.

Its claims team has been awarded a five-star rating by the LMI claims comparison service and was nominated for a Mansfield Award.

Mr Enthoven says hitting the $1 billion premium target will not satisfy Hollard’s growth appetite.

“Up until now we’ve been growing out of the spotlight, and I think many people are a bit surprised when they discover the extent of our operations.

“Over the past four years, our compound annual growth rate has been about 35%, well ahead of our nearest challengers and the larger incumbents.

“We don’t envisage standing still – we will continue to take market share.”