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Wealthpoints adds expanded general insurance offering

Wealthpoint has set up an arrangement with Steadfast business insurance brokers in an effort to expand its general insurance business and offer more products to its advisers and clients.

Friday, March 26th 2021, 2:22PM

The dealer group, formed from the former AMP advisers association, launched Wealthpoint General Insurance, a standalone brokerage for its 50 member businesses to transact through.

Wealthpoint chief executive, Simon Manning, said Wealthpoint General Insurance had been formed primarily to support member businesses to expand their general insurance offering to clients.

He said Wealthpoint was keen to expand the range of suppliers members could deal with, particularly for commercial, property and liability
business lines.

Successful long-term relationships with AMP General and Vero Insurance were still in place and new supplier arrangements with specialist insurers such as Delta and Star Insurance were introduced for Wealthpoint members in the past year.

But, Manning said Wealthpoint was conscious that access to some of the larger insurers, including those operating under IAG brands, was only possible if structured through a standalone brokerage.

"General insurance has always been a pretty big part of our members' businesses and it's been something we have been thinking about for a long time," Manning said.

"There are a few unknowns about how much it will be used as it is only an option for our businesses who want to expand their GI operations or look to bring in more expertise."

Manning said uptake had been encouraging since they began offering its expanded services at the start of this month and "if we overshoot on our expectations then we will have to look for some more people pretty quicky".

"At the moment we are a small staff and are monitoring things closely but the phones have been ringing, so it's pretty encouraging."

He said while some Wealthpoint member businesses had explored the option of setting up their own brokerages, there were significant barriers such as high setup costs, lack of scale at member level and potential regulatory risks.

He said with that in mind Wealthpoint had joined forces with Auckland-based brokers Steadfast.

"They have been extremely helpful, they are very professional and have arrangements with virtually all of the market so that's helped us form alliances with all of the providers we want to.

"They have given us a really good tech platform as well.

"Now it's up to us working through the list of insurers and working with them to bring them onstream. Getting agreements in place will take time and we are being quite methodical working through that."

Wealthpoint General Insurance offers two models for members.

The first is a specialist model for experienced general insurance advisers who are qualified to provide advice to clients under their
own business brand.

Back-office processing, invoicing and premium funding is partly managed by Wealthpoint General Insurance.

Members can also opt for a referral model if they don’t have general insurance capability within their business.

For these, a Wealthpoint General Insurance broker provides the advice and takes on all operational responsibilities with the referrer paid an annual referral fee for the life of the policy.

Wealthpoint General Insurance is currently staffed by a broker manager and two broker support staff and expects to scale up as member demand continues to build.

He said the business was already seeing significant operational efficiencies being delivered to members with far greater product choice available to clients.

”We are excited to introduce Wealthpoint General Insurance as the latest initiative in Wealthpoint’s three-pronged strategy to develop our member offering, expand supplier choice and lower our members’ costs."

He said recent regulatory changes were not a factor in Wealthpoint's new business model and would actually remove some of the complexities seen under the old regime.

"Obviously licencing created issues for some advisers who might have historically represented more than one business and there were a lot of referrals going on.

"Now it's all done under our licence...this is all about our members growing their businesses and giving more choice to their customers so it does take away an area of complexity in the industry."

Tags: Wealthpoint

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