Chief executive believes half-year growth in 2022 secures firm’s status as ‘the number one P&C insurer in the UK’

Allianz Holdings is keen to “build very strong relationships” with brokers, as well as be market-leading when it comes to providing digital trading journeys and support for intermediary partners, according to Colm Holmes, chief executive of Allianz Holdings.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times following the publication of the insurer’s 2022 half-year financial results on 5 August 2022, Holmes confirmed that there are a “number of initiatives” Allianz Holdings is working on to “build much closer links with all our broker partners, from the international ones right down to the local village small broker”.

For Holmes, this ability “to build very strong relationships with our broker partners and work with them for the benefit of our mutual customers” is “very much part of how I like to do business”.

“In my experience, when I’ve [built strong relationships with brokers], we get the best products, the best propositions and the best level of pricing and I think it works well – importantly for the customers – so that’s something I really want to pursue as a core part of our strategy,” he explained.

“There’s a number of initiatives that we’re working on around how can we support brokers? How can we build closer links to them, how can we reward them for their loyalty to Allianz?”

One such initiative targeting brokers is Allianz Holdings’ “significant” investment into “digitising and building platform links with brokers, to speed up the ability for them to write business with Allianz”, Holmes added.

This project, which includes “improving the level of technology” and bettering the insurer’s “use of data [and] analytics”, aims to help brokers “manage their costs and ensure that they have a much smoother interaction with Allianz”.

Holmes confirmed: “I want us to lead in that space.”

A further way Allianz Holdings plans to support brokers this year is through the continuation of its Allianz Net Zero Accelerator (ANZA) programme, which launched back in December 2021.

The scheme aims to assist independent brokers to measure and reduce their carbon footprint.

It does this by offering selected brokers tailored one-to-one support to help them create a plan to lower their carbon footprint and set reduction targets. The insurer then offsets any emissions which have been measured through this process.

“We’re working with brokers [on] how they can manage their carbon footprint,” Holmes said.

Colm Holmes, Aviva

Colm Holmes

Strategic growth

Despite Allianz Holdings’ operating profit falling by 42% in the first six months of 2022, Holmes is keen to “grow the business” in conjunction with brokers.

He told Insurance Times: “We’re much clearer on our appetite for [the] risks we want to take.

“We’re working very closely with our broker partners in terms of where we want to grow the business and where we can work with them to deliver that growth.”

His caveat here, however, is that the insurer must “manage growth because all growth has to be profitable”.

He continued: “It’s important that we manage [growth], especially as we go through what is a high inflationary [environment].”

In terms of where Allianz Holdings wants to grow, Holmes ringfenced electric vehicles and solar energy as key areas of opportunity.

This follows on from the insurer enhancing its fleet propositions with electric vehicle cover as standard back in September 2021, as well as the launch of its car insurance subscription product within LV= General Insurance’s Flow brand in August 2020 – Flow was launched “on the aggregators last year” and has so far “performed extremely well and ahead of our expectations”, Holmes added.

Speaking on the end-to-end infrastructure around electric vehicles, Holmes said: “We’re very excited about the growth prospects in that business.”

There has also been “good, strong growth” in the insurer’s pet insurance business, Petplan.

Aiming to be ‘number one’

Holmes believes that Allianz Holdings’ half-year financials for this year cement the insurer’s position as “the number one property and casualty (P&C) insurer in the UK”.

“Across our UK businesses, we’ve grown by 13% year-on-year,” he said.

“[At] half-year, premiums were nearly [at] £2.9bn across Allianz Holdings, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty and Allianz Partners.

“[This] maintains our position as, I think, the number one P&C insurer in the UK. I’m very pleased with the level of growth we’ve seen in the first half-year.”