The Allianz chief executive talks exciting plans for the new year

Allianz has pledged to grow its commercial insurance operations in 2024, adding that it is not a company that will rest on its laurels.

Top 50 23 cover image

Subscribers: Click here to read the Top 50 Insurers 2023 digital edition

Not subscribed? Become a subscriber and access our premium content

Discover more insurer-related content here or explore previous versions of the Top 50 Insurers report here 

Speaking after the insurer was ranked third in the Insurance Times’ Top 50 Insurers report, Colm Holmes, chief executive at Allianz Holdings, said the insurer has exciting plans for the next 12 months.

“For us, one of the biggest and most exciting things that kicked off in 2023 that will continue to grow is Allianz Commercial,” he explains.

“Bringing together our mid-corp and large-corp businesses in the way that we have expands the breadth of our offering and will make us easier to trade with.

“Our broker segmentation programme was launched in November 2022 and so is celebrating one year and the feedback has been fantastic – there will be more of that bespoke partnership approach to come.”

Holmes adds: “Brokers should also see the fruits of our new strategy regards our branch network – local expertise but with the support and access to national and international colleagues.

”We’ve long had excellent local presence and we’re committed to trading in those markets and bringing the best of Allianz to them.

“Moving into an Olympic year in 2024, we’re also really looking forward to celebrating and networking with our brokers in different ways – look out for the next phase of our #MoveNow campaign.”

Communicating better

Looking to what the insurer was seeking from its broker partners, Holmes explains that communication will remain key.

“In terms of what we want from brokers, it’s a case of building and maintaining the excellent relationships we have – we want to continue to receive feedback, be that on service levels or topics for our broker training programme Allianz Partners Academy. We do listen and we do respond,” he says.

Allianz came in at third in 2023’s Top 50 Insurers report, behind Axa and aviva. Holmes says the business is pleased with this result, but remained determined to do better.

“Obviously we’re happy to be on the podium, but Allianz isn’t a company to rest on its laurels and of course we’d like to see ourselves on the top spot,” he continues.

“We’re really proud of our UK presence and while I’m speaking on behalf of Allianz Holdings, my colleagues in our other UK businesses also do a great job providing insurance and investment products and services across the country.

”We have a customer rating of 98% good or excellent for LV=GI on Feefo so those and other metrics tell me we’re doing the right thing for our customers across the board.”

In the report, Insurance Times reported that Allianz delivered a 4% increase in GWP, although this was accompanied by rise in its combined ratio to 104%. However, Holmes says the company is taking action.

“Operating profit was impacted by inflation, which is something we’ve been tackling through sustainable pricing,” he explains.

“Our diverse portfolio is one of our strengths and something that we are maximising through underwriting appetite, organic growth and, in the first half of 2023, through rate strength.

”If you look at the overall picture for the first half of 2023, the results deliver a 96.6% COR despite very difficult market conditions. I was pleased with our commercial and pet results, but we need to do more in personal lines.”

Looking to 2024, Holmes says the focus on commercial insurance will continue.

“For Allianz, it’s a case of leveraging Allianz Commercial to maximise all of the benefits it can bring. For personal lines, we need to continue to be disciplined in rating but also ensure we provide affordable solutions to our customers.

“I will be hoping the market settles down as inflation comes under control and we can focus on delivering innovative and affordable solutions to our customers for their insurance needs.”