Ivory Insurance granted general insurance licence
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has licensed Brisbane-based Ivory Insurance to operate as a general insurer.
Ivory will provide capacity and expertise for local underwriting agencies in the areas of professional indemnity (PI), IT liability and general liability insurance for small to medium sized businesses.
CEO Scott Lawrence says Ivory is an innovative new Australian-owned insurer focused on overcoming the issues of unaffordable and unavailable insurance, and has a long-standing relationship with its panel of reinsurance companies that hold a minimum A- rating from AM Best.
"We wanted to be able to provide affordable insurance with a focus on Australia and SME clients, to provide our customers with security and long-term partnerships,” Mr Lawrence tells insuranceNEWS.com.au.
"Being Australian owned, we know the legislation very well and we also know that we are only going to get hit by Australian events, nothing else, so it is a focus on providing customers with insurance they would not otherwise get.”
Mr Lawrence has experience at Guild, Ansvar, Zurich and Tokio Marine, while Ivory CFO Michael Tuffy was formerly Integrity Life COO and Suncorp Life CRO.
The local PI market has been impacted by large offshore claims, and Ivory is confident it can "help businesses by providing security and affordable premiums” with an Australia-only offer.
On the board are Chairman Gregor Pfitzer, formerly Assetinsure CEO, Actuary Elaine Collins, Solicitor Paul O'Shea, and Ivory shareholders Michael Wood and Paul Weightman.
Mr Wood is CEO at Woodina Underwriting Agency and APRA has also licensed Wood Insurance Holdings as a non-operating holding company. Ivory’s first underwriting agency book is with Woodina.
“It’s a nice platform to project from,” Mr Lawrence said.
Ivory wants to support other underwriting agencies with a claim management model it says is built on more efficient funding of legal services.
“We aim to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with our underwriting agency partners. Utilising long-standing London reinsurance contacts, Ivory offers its underwriting agency partners, and their customers, strong, long-term underwriting support, and protection.
"Our capacity allows our partners to grow their businesses through an insurance model designed to improve customer experience and retention and, at the same time, reward our partners through a fair and equitable commission structure.”
The claims model focuses on vigorous defence of unmeritorious claims which Ivory says leads to favourable outcomes for insureds, whose strong reputations and claim records are fundamental to the claims model.
“Building on a strong underwriting agency foundation, Ivory has the ability to offer its partners strong and reliable capacity and an award-winning claims approach,” the insurer said.