Chris is the Head of Property & Casualty, Australia and New Zealand for Chubb and joined the insurance industry in 2002. We sat down with Chris to hear his views on the current insurance industry landscape and Chubb’s recent gold and silver medal wins from Insurance Business Australia’s ‘2022 Brokers on Insurers’.
Tell us about your career - how long have you been with Chubb for?
I joined the insurance industry in 2002, building my career across a number of underwriting and relationship management roles in Australia. Since joining Chubb 9 years ago, I have helped to build out our Casualty portfolio in roles across Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. I’ve been in my current role since early 2021 and am responsible for leading our Property & Casualty (including Financial Lines) teams, in addition to our Small Commercial, Middle Market and Major Accounts divisions.
In general, how would you characterise the Australian insurance industry over the past couple years and up to today? Where do you see things going in the near future?
The past few years in the industry have been eventful to say the least. Most commercial lines of business have seen significant changes in terms of exposure, loss trends, economic conditions, and broader regulatory and compliance requirements. Uniquely, these changes have taken place at the same time risk transfer strategies have had to become more sophisticated in order to truly reflect the exposure clients are facing. All insurance customers today – from the corporate risk manager down to the individual – are expecting a higher level of service from both their broker and insurance partners.
The marketplace dynamics will continue to be impacted by adverse loss trends in many lines of business as well as the broader inflationary and economic environment.
In the immediate future, the industry is looking closely at two pressing challenges. The first is inflation and the impact this may have on loss trends. The second is climate change and the future of weather events, both in frequency and severity.
These challenges are not without their opportunities however, and as an industry we are uniquely placed to use them as a catalyst to accelerate our broader digital capabilities across the spectrum of the insurance value chain – from customer experience to risk engineering and claims management solutions.
What are some of the challenges Chubb has recently faced? How did you deal with them?
With the recent weather events across NSW and QLD, Chubb’s Claims team faced a significant influx of new claims from both our commercial and consumer property customers. Given our international operations, we were able to supplement our local claims assessors by flying in overseas based team members so we could scale up quickly, start to help our customers and pay claims quickly. I’m really proud that in some cases, we were able to pay claims within hours of the initial notification, truly helping customers get back on their feet in their time of need.
Labour shortages have impacted many industries and businesses in the past two years and insurance is no exception to this. Chubb has continued to develop our people with increased focus on training and development including the introduction of a graduate program, which has seen 11 talented individuals from diverse backgrounds join our company early this year. We also have a very strong culture of promoting from within, creating fantastic opportunities for our people to progress in their careers.
Chubb won Gold and Silver medals in various categories in the recent '2022 Brokers on Insurers' - can you tell us why you think Chubb performed so well in these areas?
a) Gold Award for Product Range
Chubb prides itself on our underwriting discipline and listening to our customers’ needs and our broad appetite means we are uniquely placed to enhance both existing product capabilities while also innovating to craft solutions for our clients that are relevant to their industry and scale. Some of our flagship products include multiline package offerings in Life Sciences, Clean Technology and PremierTech, which is targeted at technology businesses.
Importantly, we also know that product excellence must also be matched with service excellence and we continue to invest in our sales and distribution teams, staying close to our broker partners and customers via our network of offices throughout Australia and New Zealand, while also investing in technology that adds value to the ease of doing business with us.
b) Gold for Brand Recognition and Reputation
We have continued to increase our investment in building awareness of the Chubb brand via our sponsorship of the Australian Open tennis grand slam and broad advertising campaigns across various channels. The feedback we have received from the Australian Open sponsorship has been phenomenal and the quality of the sponsorship aligns with our position as the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurer.
This higher profile activity is also complemented by regular national and local broker campaigns, such as the current ‘Selling in Uncertain Times’ campaign, as well as insights articles, thought leadership and a suite of tools to support our brokers.
c) Silver for Product Innovation
In line with our gold award for product range noted above, with an ever-changing economic and risk landscape, it’s important that our products remain relevant and respond when our clients are in need.
d) Silver for Turnaround Times – Claims
The Chubb claims service is critically important to our business. We pride ourselves on our technical excellence and providing the highest service to our customers. We have a very strong claims culture which I’m pleased to say has been recognised across a number of industry awards and surveys.
What distinguishes Chubb from it's competitors?
At Chubb, we say: “We assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline”.
We are a company that successfully balances the rigour of our craft – underwriting, claims management and all the enabling functions that support the business - with the active empathy required to understand and deliver against what our clients need.
Tell us about the culture and values at Chubb - what do these mean to you?
Chubb’s culture is defined by who we are, the behaviours we expect of each other, and what we reward and recognise. Fuelled by a ‘can-do’ attitude, we practice our craft with precision and passion, hold ourselves to exacting standards, and respect and value differences. We stand behind the promises we make.
These values come to life not only in our day-jobs, but also in how we look at the bigger picture and the role of insurance within society.
I recently saw a video from our Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg where he closed it with this line: “We have a shared vision, to build something great, to serve society and to leave the world a little better place, because we’ve been here.”
This quote resonates with me and I think many of my colleagues at Chubb.