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Brad Smith’s nine months at ARAG Services is a drop in the ocean compared to his 30+ years in the insurance industry. What it has proven is that there is always an opportunity to find new and exciting opportunities in insurance. Way back in ’91 Brad just didn’t like university, he quickly found himself in the insurance industry and has never left. Currently National Business Manager at ARAG Services Australia, a Legal Expense Insurance (LEI) specialist which is new to Australia but a household name across Europe, Brad brings his wide industry connections to his Broker relationships. We spent a few minutes with Brad to find out about more about his role.

Brad Smith of 'ARAG Services Australia'

What makes this role a unique challenge?

The fact that LEI is such a new product offering in the Australian market, and the team and I are building the business in the hardest market we have seen.

How are you dealing with the hard market?

One of our key messages to brokers is that regardless of market conditions their role as insurance advisers is to speak with clients about many different types of risks and how they can be mitigated. The risk of getting into a legal dispute is absolutely real in Australia, and it’s the duty of a risk adviser to present an option that can insure against many of these legal risks.

How does LEI fit into the insurance portfolio for clients?

LEI is part of a comprehensive risk management programme and sits alongside other insurance products. It fills gaps that are currently not insured by other policies, even where some legal defence costs are covered. Our policies cover both pursuit and defence. Without the benefits provided by LEI, many SME’s simply wouldn’t have the means to access quality legal advice in the event of a dispute.

So you’re in at the ground level of the next big insurance innovation?

If you look back, Management Liability was a new product in Australia 15 years ago, and after a slow start it’s been embraced by the market. The same with cyber insurance, which was a new product only 5 years ago, and it’s now being taken up at an ever-increasing rate by clients.

I’m excited with LEI as a complimentary product, there are already huge take up rates in Europe, Canada and the UK. I get to work in a business that is scaling up quickly with a local team. We have local underwriting and claims authority, making my Brokers’ lives easier, but have the backing of ARAG SE who have specialised in the category for over 80 years.

What do you see as the watchouts for the insurance industry?

The state of markets everywhere and the ongoing challenge to achieve profitability. Only profitability will attract capital and more stability to markets. The ongoing global pandemic as well as the increased frequency of large-scale natural disasters is only leading to further uncertainty at present. Which is why having a cover that can support you when you need it is critical.

Even with this in the background Brad’s belief that innovation such as LEI will keep insurance growing in the years ahead.

Connect with Brad and ARAG Services Australia
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ARAG Services Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 14 627 823 198) (ARAG) has been granted delegated authority by the Insurer to enter into, vary or cancel Policies and handle Claims on their behalf. In providing these services, ARAG acts on behalf of the Insurer and not as Your agent. ARAG is authorised to provide financial services in accordance with its Australian Financial Services Licence (AFS Licence number 513547). Any advice provided by ARAG in relation to this product is general in nature and does not take into account Your individual circumstances.
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