By SANDY CLARKE
Aspiring to be Malaysia’s most trusted insurer, AmGeneral Insurance Bhd (AmGeneral) is best known for being at the forefront of motor insurance.
The organisation also provides a wide range of services that are geared towards making sure their corporate clients are covered for any number of risks that might arise.
As part of efforts to secure AmGeneral’s place as Malaysia’s most trusted insurer, head of broking and partnership, Stuart Chua, and head of products, pricing and underwriting, Christopher Robert Tandy, are striving to ensure alignment between AmGeneral, its brokers, and clients, in order to provide the best service possible in general insurance.
A big change to come in general insurance is the liberalisation of certain product classes. This means that rather than fixed tariffs, insurers will be able to set their own pricing, entering into free competition with one another to offer greater value for customers.
For AmGeneral, the team will be in a position to develop new products and offer its customers the best value for money across a range of vital insurance policies that will help put customers’ minds at ease, knowing that they are covered for a wide range of potential risks.
Building relationships is the key
Chua who heads broking and partnership in AmGeneral is working to ensure that brokers and corporate clients are aware of AmGeneral’s insurance offerings.
With almost 20 years of experience in the industry and having spent 15 years dealing with insurance brokers, Chua intends to bring the strong relationship and the trust that he has built within the insurance broking market to AmGeneral.
He said, “It’s all about providing what AmGeneral can offer to the brokers, especially in the non-motor sector, as brokers’ customers are mostly major corporations and small to medium-sized enterprises.”
Whether that’s covering the property aspects of the customer such as Fire or Industrial All Risk, customers’ cargo shipment from overseas, engineering risks such as Machinery Breakdown Insurance, or construction of a commercial building, AmGeneral intends to provide the right cover.
Insurance brokers are professionals and are appointed by customers to ensure that their risks are placed with an insurer who is trustworthy and reliable.
As such, with AmGeneral’s ambition of being the most trusted insurer in Malaysia, this fits well. Brokers represent their customers and will only place their customers’ insurance policies with an insurer that they can trust.
This is where AmGeneral will build the broking business through partnerships and deliver the best in terms of products and services to the brokers.
Customer relations is also a key focus for AmGeneral, and a big part of that involves addressing the needs of customers.
Chua explains, “If you look at what a typical corporate client faces, it’s everything. You have to cover your assets, your business, and you have to cover your people. And so we want to work closely with our corporate clients or intermediaries to look for solutions to cover their insurance requirements in view of risks faced due to the nature of their business.”
With the company’s shift of focus to non-motor, Chua has set an ambitious goal of making sure that almost half of the products provided by AmGeneral are non-motor products. For this, he is ensuring that the right people come together, in order to build the right capabilities and provide customers with what they need.
Chua added, “One of the reasons I joined AmGeneral is because they are relatively small in non-motor insurance, and so it becomes an exciting challenge for me to shift the perspective on what we can offer, especially for our brokers and corporate clients.”
Growth and development as a focus
To help bolster AmGeneral’s reputation, Tandy who heads product, pricing and underwriting, believes that placing a focus on and developing the team at AmGeneral will serve to strengthen relationships between the organisation, its brokers, intermediaries and their clients.
His passion for ensuring personal professional development within his team and how AmGeneral present themselves to the market, he insists, will not only benefit his team members, but instil confidence in the licensed brokers and intermediaries that AmGeneral work with, and provide customers with the knowledge they need to ensure they have the best practices, methods and policies to meet their needs.
He explains, “Staff are the lifeblood of every organisation and investing in staff to build and develop new skills while trying new things in our organisation is a key enabler for us.”
Tandy explains, “For non-motor insurance, we have started to see some changes and we are seeing growth in our non-motor segments now. This is a collective effort across the entire AmGeneral business. For product, pricing and underwriting, we are building new pricing, new underwriting guides, and new ways to communicate and deliver this to our business partners and customers.
“Our business partners are at the heart of AmGeneral as they are the ones who help our customers understand our products and services. Hence, our aim is to ensure that we serve our business partners well with clear, accurate and precise tools that make it easier for them and our customers to do business together.”
Addressing concerns surrounding challenges such as financial viability in liberalisation in other countries, Tandy is keen to stress that AmGeneral will look to implement changes that align to the needs of Malaysians.
AmGeneral aspires to be Malaysia’s most trusted insurer and according to Tandy, they can only do this if the company builds and delivers good insurance solutions at competitive prices and ensures delivery on the services are effective at the customer’s time of need.
He says, “We are very cognisant; we are not attempting to make Malaysia the same as another country. We seek learning and guidance and then we apply this in the context of the Malaysian market.
“Conversely, we are also able to share learning and insights developed in Malaysia now with other IAG (Insurance Australia Group) businesses in other countries, which to me, shows how far AmGeneral has already come along the road in preparation for liberalisation. Having said that, we will never stop trying to improve, develop and grow to help our business partners and customers.”
As Aristotle, the influential Greek philosopher once said: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
“Staff are the lifeblood of every organisation and investing in staff to build and develop new skills and thinking to try new things in our organisation is a key enabler for us.” —Christopher Robert Tandy