Agencies the future force

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The Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) was formed in July 1998 and is the peak body for Australian and New Zealand underwriting agencies.

UAC General Manager William Legge believes the agency sector is the way of the future for the insurance industry. Having previously working for direct insurers throughout Australia and Southeast Asia, Legge then spent 15 years with underwriting agencies such as MB Prestige and Stardex Group. He now heads the UAC strategic plan to increase member services and position agencies as a vital force in the industry.

“The burden of government requirements and regulation on large insurance companies can rob them of flexibility, which the market increasingly demands. Agencies demonstrate mobility and a willingness to seek beneficial outcomes for all parties. Their real strength is their quick ability to adapt when they see opportunity” Legge says.

Size isn’t everything. UAC members range from large to small agencies and their success stems from their attitude. Agencies are nimble, focused on problem-solving and can talk brokers through a raft of different options to satisfy their insurance needs.“Brokers often want alternatives to traditional market products and UAC agencies are ideally placed to provide them”.

UAC’s membership is expanding across Australia and New Zealand and its range of events has also grown, with new underwriting expos being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The numbers of brokers attending the seminars and expos is ever increasing which is positive for the future of such events.

Legge said he feels that, with UAC being a relatively new brand in New Zealand, the exposure gained by the underwriting agency market with the New Zealand expos and seminars can only benefit insurance brokers, their clients and of course underwriting agencies themselves by expanding the market availability being presented to the insurance broking fraternity.

“I believe brokers are starting to see the value in attending our expos, where they come and view of the offerings of many of our agencies in one place and location. It reinforces the personal approach which agencies can offer, they can talk insurance solutions face to face over a drink”.

Current hot topics within the agency sector include harnessing technology to achieve the right mix of IT and human resources. “Agencies are rapid adopters of technology across many fields which helps them hit the road running” Legge points out. The UAC is also working closely with regulatory authorities to get the right blend of governance oversight which is beneficial to all industry participants. Star Insurance Specialists is a proud member of the Underwriting Agencies Council.

Brokers often want alternatives to traditional market products and UAC agencies are ideally placed to provide them.

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