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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Hollard takes over from AIG on Steadfast Direct

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Hollard will replace AIG on the Steadfast Direct personal lines panel from the middle of next month, following arrangements announced to brokers today.

The change extends Steadfast’s existing relationship with Hollard into the personal lines area. It currently accesses commercial insurance products through Hollard subsidiary HCi.

“I am confident this will be a smooth transition,” Steadfast EGM Asia, New Zealand and Direct Allan Reynolds said today in a note to brokers.

“We will work closely with all parties to ensure there is minimal disruption and continue to deliver the highest levels of service to our broker network.”

AIG says it has entered into an agreement whereby Hollard will assume responsibility for the technology and personnel required to distribute via the platform, effective from the end of December 15.

“After careful consideration and in-depth review, AIG has decided to cease the distribution agreement that offers mass market auto, home and landlord insurance products on the Steadfast Direct Platform,” the insurer says in a message to brokers.

The decision doesn’t affect AIG’s private client group offering or agreements with Mansions and Nautilus Marine underwriting agencies, and the insurer says it remains committed to the Australian market.

“Focusing on our core commercial product areas remains a priority, as well as our commitment to the Steadfast Client Trading platform across all the products we support,” it says.

IAL, which is part of Sydney-based IAG, remains the other personal lines underwriter on Steadfast Direct, which was launched in 2015 to allow brokers to offer clients retail insurance products.

AIG came on board two years ago and was contracted for five years, but insuranceNEWS.com.au understands that Steadfast has recently been critical of AIG, saying service standards around claims were not up to standard.

A question and answer sheet sent to brokers by Steadfast says AIG decided to cease writing personal lines business on the platform, “based on what they believe is in the best interests of their business”.

Hollard CEO Richard Enthoven says the insurer is excited to be offering personal insurance through Steadfast brokers.

"This complements our existing commercial product offering and enables us to appeal to a broader market," Mr Enthoven said.

Steadfast says Hollard won’t be matching AIG’s terms when the change takes effect as the firm has its own rating structure and underwriting guidelines, but in line with the “original proposition for Steadfast Direct, Hollard will aim to offer competitive terms”.

“They are a well-established personal lines insurer with strong experience in the management of personal lines claims,” Steadfast says.