Wrapping up 2021

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This time last year I was writing to you hoping that 2021 would be a better year than 2020, but as Auckland comes out of months of lockdown & the rest of the country has dealt with changing alert levels I’m sure you’re all pleased to see the back end of this year too.

It’s certainly been another challenging one in many respects but for the Star team it’s also been a most successful one. Once again our business has grown throughout the year as we capture more of the market across our key product lines. With international borders remaining closed those fortunate enough to have extra income have continued spending it on motorhomes, luxury cars and motorbikes.

We’ve also noticed the continuing appreciation in the value of many motoring items as they become harder to obtain or more desirable. Can we take this opportunity to remind you how important it is to review the sum insured of vehicles with your client at each renewal.

Increased inflation and higher international shipping costs have seen claims costs increase over the year, although some of this has been off-set by lockdowns meaning less vehicle use. Having our own team of in-house assessors and managing our salvage internally we are better placed than many others to keep our claims costs down & in turn keep our premiums competitive but I believe the market can expect some premium increases over the next year.

A major area of focus for Star has always been the relationships we build with our brokers, advisers, dealers and customers throughout New Zealand. Our team like to have fun in the office and also get out around the country to visit your offices and attend motoring events. This year started off well in that regard but then of course it all came to a halt in August!

Being a medium sized business with a family culture the Star team have embraced the working from home situation. We recognise it’s important to keep our people safe but also be able to continue to provide top service regardless of what Alert level the country is in. Our investment in IT infrastructure means each member of our team has the same computer and phone set-up at home as what they have in the office making it a seamless transition between locations. As we progress into 2022 this will allow us to continue to offer flexible working locations for our staff while maintaining our high service standards. 

An important part of being a company team is the social interaction with fellow staff members and this of course is difficult with staff at 37 home locations around NZ! We’ve made the best of it by having regular on-line Bingo games, a weekly quiz and Friday afternoon drinks over Zoom. We were also really lucky to get our annual staff weekend retreat accomplished back in May.

For our sales team the lockdown has meant time off the road & far less money spent on chocolate! I personally have not seen an aeroplane or hotel room for months and I miss popping into your offices around NZ every few weeks. Ross, Annalee & myself are all double (or triple) jabbed & look forward to being out and about again next year – there will be plenty to catch up on & new Hub magazines to deliver!

As Christmas approaches we recognise this is an important time of year for people to share and interact with each other, so it’s encouraging that the restrictions on movement around the country are easing. As always the Star team will be available throughout the holiday period – we don’t know where we’ll be (maybe the bach or a local beach) but if the last 2 years have shown us anything it’s that location doesn’t matter. Our phones and emails are still on for that sudden hold cover or renewal confirmation.

Finally a big thank you to all who place business with Star Insurance Specialists and put your trust in our products & service as being best for your client. We hope you all stay safe over the Christmas period and that Santa’s kind to you.

John Edie & the whole Star team.

 

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