An Agile approach to Casualty Insurance
Why does someone need Casualty Insurance?
Casualty Insurance, or Public and Products Liability Insurance, is crucial for businesses and individuals as it provides protection against Personal Injury, Property Damage and Advertising Liability arising out of or in connection with the business or products for which the business or individual may be legally liable to pay as compensation as a result of an occurrence.
What are some changes are you seeing in Casualty insurance?
One of the developing trends in the casualty space, and insurance in general, is the need to adapt to the ever changing workforce of Australia. Recently we have seen a lot of businesses/individuals exploring or partaking in the "Gig Economy" workforce within Australia. This is allowing them to adapt to a more flexible business method/working environment as opposed to being locked down to one particular contract of work. This allows them to adapt and change working environments far easier given recent pandemic exposures which has seen the traditional business model suffer. At Agile, we are exploring how we can adapt our Casualty offering to allow for flexible insurance solutions for the Gig Economy and Remote Workers. We have developed an insurance product, Remote Workers, which will provide cover for Cyber, Casualty, Portable Tools and Accident & Health Insurance for White Collar businesses and individuals who work remotely or from home.
The capacity of Casualty Insurance providers has recently become a significant issue in the Australian Insurance market. We have seen many Coverholder's/Underwriting Agencies have their capacity reduced significantly or withdrawn entirely. Many Lloyd's syndicates in the past 2 years have withdrawn from the International Casualty market due to loss experiences, poor underwriting performance and lack of return on investment. This has had a significant impact on the casualty market both from a pricing perspective, we are well into a firm market (not hard) for casualty, and also the risk selection and cover being offered for Casualty. Insurer's & Coverholder's are now being very selective in the types of risks they are wanting to cover.
Claims trends are always an area that will have an influence on the insurance market. With Casualty being a long tail class, these trends tend not to develop for a number of years. Recently we have seen many Insurer's, Underwriters and Coverholder’s have an almost knee jerk reaction to these trends and withdraw from the industry/sector/occupation where those trends are developing. At Agile, we work very closely with our security to monitor what trends are starting to develop (or have developed) and rather than have a reactive approach to these trends, we are taking a more proactive approach in our underwriting philosophy to look at the exposures accordingly. This does not mean that we can write every risk that comes across our desk, but where we can assist we will work very closely with our broking partners to provide a casualty solution for their customers.
Area's to watch with claims trends for Casualty for the foreseeable future could be:
- COVID-19: Whilst this is an area which is still developing for Casualty Insurance, it would be prudent to be mindful of claims/loss for negligence for exposures to COVID-19, particularly with retail, hospitality, aged care, religion/faith, medical, cleaning and childcare businesses/venues. Claims from COVID-19 are likely to be class-action based claims and we have seen several class-action lawsuits already.
- Attritional losses like water damage claims are developing especially in Blue Collar and Property Owners risks.
- Worker to worker and workers compensation subrogation claims have always been an area to watch and continues to be so.
- Construction & structural issues like cladding & building defects are at the forefront for many insurer's with most no longer providing cover for Cladding. This is a direct result of losses associated with the Grenfell Tower incident in London in June 2017.
What does Agile enable for this type of insurance? Can you tell me one story when Casualty insurance has proved invaluable for a client?
The ability for us to tailor products specific to a clients needs has proved invaluable to our customers and broking partners. Since the launch of our Casualty product in February 2020, there has been countless times where we have assisted our customers and broking partners with bespoke policies, and exclusive facilities/schemes. This personalised service is what is so invaluable for our customers and broking partners.
What stories do you hear when people are moving to or choosing Agile. When has someone called you because they didn't have Casualty insurance? What happened?
At Agile we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke casualty insurance offering for our broking partners and their clients. We work closely with our broking partners in designing an insurance offering for their clients casualty needs and we can do this by offering covers and extensions specific for an insured's industry like Errors & Omissions & Product Recall extensions, Contractual Liability Extensions as well as having a comprehensive policy wording as standard.
Many of our broking partners choose to work with Agile for their client's casualty needs because of our industry knowledge and experience and the personal service they received from our underwriting team in assisting them with making sure that they source the best cover at an affordable price for their clients.
What are three things do you believe people should consider with Casualty insurance?
Casualty Insurance is a complex and quite often very litigious insurance product. Ensuring that your client has the correct Casualty insurance in place providing cover for their business activities, contractual obligations & ongoing needs is essential when deciding what casualty insurance your client may require.
Claims management is also an integral part of the insurance purchase. Agile have an in-house claims management team that will work closely with the Insured, the Broker and our Underwriters in the management of a claim. With many years experience in claims management, you can rest assured that Agile will support you and your client through the entire claim process.
Affordability: Price is quite often the first thing that is the deciding factor in an insurance purchase, however, it should never be THE sole deciding factor. Quite often the price is driven by the cover provided so it is essential that when looking at the cheapest offer you also ensure that the cover is also provided.
What is your background and experience in Casualty insurance?
The Casualty Underwriting Team at Agile has over 40 years combined industry experience.
How does Agile make Casualty insurance easier?
Agile makes Casualty Insurance easier because of the many years experience and expert knowledge we have.
We have designed "Commodity Style" casualty products, like Property Owners Liability, Scaffolders Liability, Trades Liability and many more, which allows our broking partners to transact these placements quick and easy, as well as ensuring the covers are specific to the client needs and are competitively priced. By doing so, this allows brokers to concentrate on the more complex risks which require an individual tailored underwriting solution that Agile can provide.