Motor and pet in Allianz plans for agency’s expansion
Allianz has insisted that it has achieved reasonable returns on its purchase of Home & Legacy and that its plans to expand the underwriting agency’s product lines are ahead of schedule.
Nick Hall, general manager of Allianz Commercial, said this week that it was set to roll out new products within months, including motor and pet offerings.
Hall said the insurer had been putting in new IT systems and that it had been waiting for this to be completed before expanding the product range. The work was “well ahead of schedule”.
He also stressed that there needed to be a bedding-in time before the purchase of Home & Legacy could begin to realise its full potential.
The insurer acquired high net worth specialist Home & Legacy last year for what was thought to be nearly £60m.
At the time critics said it had paid over the odds for the agency, which some said was worth closer to £25m.
Allianz has always insisted it had not over-valued the business, pointing to the potential for growth opportunities and the enhancement to its distribution capabilities.
But to date it has yet to significantly expand the agency’s product range, which was seen as a key part of the growth strategy for the business.
Hall said: “We have had reasonable returns so far from Home & Legacy. There was always going to be a bedding-in time and we knew we needed to replace the technology.
“We factored that [into the price] when we bought it.”
He said the Allianz was working with Acturis to develop the new IT system which would allow the development of web-based products. “It will be a matter of months before we add new products. We are well ahead of schedule.
“We are developing motor products and talking to insurers about expanding the motor panel.”
Hall said Allianz was also looking at distributing pet insurance through Home & Legacy, and more specialist areas such as pleasure craft. The appointment of former Marsh private client boss Barry O’Neil as managing director would give Home & Legacy a “change of emphasis”.
Hall also said that the new technology platform would provide a “springboard” for future growth.
Better service levels pledgedThe head of the personal lines division at Allianz has said brokers placing business with the insurer would see a tangible improvement in service levels by the end of the year.
The head of the personal lines division at Allianz has said brokers placing business with the insurer would see a tangible improvement in service levels by the end of the year.
Nick Hall said: â€œWe have done a lot of training to enhance the skill set and knowledge [of staff].â€
Hall said work had been done to redefine business processes to make it easier for brokers to do personal lines business with the insurer.
With more transactions via EDI, staff needed to be able to handle the exceptional cases rather than standard transactions, he said.
But Hall insisted that the changes would not mean Allianz would forgo underwriting discipline.