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Suncorp sees ‘real opportunity’ in Vero after strong first half 

Suncorp aims to grow its business in the intermediated space via its Vero brand, which distributes commercial products exclusively through brokers and authorised agents.

“Commercial is a real opportunity for us,” CEO Steve Johnston said on Monday in a half-year earnings webcast, referring to the growth potential he sees in Vero.

“If you think about our market share in consumer, they are ... hard to get material growth ... but in commercial, there is a huge opportunity. I think you can see the evidence of that starting to come through in this [half-year] result.”

Suncorp’s Commercial and Personal Injury division – which includes Vero – achieved a 13.9% rise in first-half gross written premium (GWP) to $1.9 billion, with growth across all four portfolios: commercial tailored lines, workers’ compensation, compulsory third party, and SME and direct customer platforms.

Platform business GWP grew 7.9% to $259 million and commercial tailored lines GWP rose 18% to $812 million.

Suncorp says the rise in platform business GWP was driven by growth in intermediated SME due to implementation of the Intermediated Small and Medium Enterprises (iSME) program last financial year, along with strong rates and new business performance in commercial motor.

“Across platforms, average rate and exposure increased 9% and retention rates averaged 72%.”

A Suncorp spokesperson says the insurer has been investing in technology systems, and late last year the business delivered the early phases of the iSME.

“The platform was created to improve the broker experience, as well as enhance pricing and risk selection. Additionally, this technology investment enables us to maximise our participation across various broker platforms and products we choose to play in,” the spokesperson told

Suncorp’s share of the commercial market is about 8%, based on its definition of the domestic markets.

Commercial and Personal Injury CEO Michael Miller, who has been running the division since its creation last September, says it is well placed to make further gains in the intermediated space.

“We did exit a number of products three, four years ago to get the portfolio in a very good position ... and we’ve also replumbed and put a lot of work into the distribution and the underwriting areas,” he said. “We are looking at further products as well ... and I think we’re in a good spot today to build [on what we have].”