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In April 2014 Sergon embarked on a journey in partnership with the Underwriter to undertake an inspection program of Underwriter’s residential Strata Portfolio in far north Queensland.
The project ‘ North Queensland Strata Building Resilience Project’, was part of a broader approach by the Underwriter— which focuses on insurance industry leadership, and creating safer, more resilient communities.
The project commenced in mid April 2014 and was focused on improving building resilience to severe weather so that customers can receive sustainable premium reductions.
This particular project was an industry first in the Strata space, where an insurer looked to make a significant financial investment in order to give back to the residential strata community, who have faced significant premium increases over the last 5 years. The Insurer fully funded the project, working with government to ensure a successful outcome for their clients, whilst at the same time presenting them as a market leader in their pro-activity to portfolio management in this space. Sergon’s first step was to work with Insurer to understand and define what to assess as the subject matter was quite broad and technical in respect to the outcomes required. We started with a blank piece of paper and together with underwriting project team were able to define and build a series of questions that looked to the heart of risks associated with such as portfolio and the application of associated underwriting guidelines.
Just as important as providing the building information was the direct impact this project had on the brand integrity and reputation of the Insurer, and in turn Sergon’s reputation in association with the project to deliver the outcomes for the property owner, the potential cyclone victim.
Efficiency was key in every sense of the word, with the portfolio covering 4 major areas (Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville and Mackay). It was integral to ensure that we could capture all information in both a consistent and timely manner. With pressure to kick off ASAP following the award of the project we were able within a 3 week period to engage Software Supplier (data collection application), build our templates, design our processes, employ tablet technology and train a small team of Sergon consultants to collect the data and kick off the project.
The initial stages saw us complete pilot programs in Cairns, Mackay and Townsville before finalising the data collection set and ensuring all was in order to progress to the greater piece of work. A core team of three building consultants were chosen based on both skill set and location, training complete and scheduling commenced.
Sergon had fantastic support from Centralised Services Center in assisting with our scheduling program. This was a challenging and time intensive process. The team worked tirelessly with multiple site contacts (residents, tenants, managing agents, brokers etc) to ensure all went according to plan.
The results were very successful for Sergon, Insurer and the community. The Underwriter passed on a saving of approx $1.3M in premium to its clients and retain their market share. In addition the Insurer were able to provide recommendations in respect of any remediation, maintenance or risk mitigation that could be addressed to improve a property’s resilience and risk rating, enabling the property to potentially be re-rated with a view of reducing premiums. This was a high profile project with significant media attention, recognising the Insurer initiative in this space and Sergon’s work, both in the media publications and at high level of Underwriters management meetings.