Renewal time for brokers are expected to be busy with many considerations to take when reviewing client portfolios. The current economic climate certainly doesn’t make their job easier. ARAG Services Australia has been working with our broker partners to support them with these challenges to provide an offering that can potentially fill the gaps in the current market.

We had a chat with our Underwriting Manager, Stephen Bunt, asking him to share his insights into the current market conditions and how he sees this renewal period.

“Being predominantly in the casualty and liability market for nearly 20 years I have seen major changes. However, what we are experiencing now I have never experienced in my time in insurance.

One of the biggest changes is the increase in bespoke products, and agencies now operating. Over the last 12-24 months there has been a significant hardening particularly in the General Liability space we have seen increases of up to 30-40% with deductibles becoming unsustainable. Professional Indemnity and Management Liability market we have seen as high as 50-100%. Almost all of these markets have had reduced capacity through both local and international markets.

The frustration from brokers not being able to source adequate or affordable cover for their clients is evident and there doesn’t seem to be any relief. Feedback from our broker partners is clients who haven’t had a claim in the past 5 years are getting premium increases of 20-30%. How this is sustainable for SME’s is challenging. In some industries there just isn’t a market.

This is not only frustrating for brokers and underwriters but really complex for their client to understand- why their premium has gone up, excesses have doubled. Now more than ever it is important to get the renewal review right and gain confidence in their brokers. Providing clients alternative available coverage options within their renewal review is one solution offering commercial alternatives that provide some protection rather than leaving them completely exposed”

While many liability products offer some legal costs, these are often limited and don’t offer the pursuit cover or access to advisory and legal resources. The brokers who are offering their clients Legal Expense Insurance as part of their renewal review are providing protection for legal costs and gaps in their coverage.

ARAG Legal Expense Insurance can support SMEs, Sole Traders and Individuals to ensure everyone has access to legal protection, representation and advice for both pursuit and defence costs.

Some of the cover we focus on in our Business Legal Expense Insurance include:
• Employment related matters ranging from breach of contract disputes or unlawful dismissal claims.
• Statutory licencing protection so you can appeal against a decision to suspend, revoke, renew or cancel your licence by authorities.
• Compliance & regulation to help with notices of formal investigations notice of a formal investigation or a regulatory or disciplinary proceeding against you by any professional, disciplinary or regulatory Authority.
• Tax Audit protection- providing cover for any audit or investigation for both your business or personal tax affairs

All policy holders have access to our Legal Helpline and Document Centre with customisable legal documents drafted by our lawyer partners. Available anytime throughout the period, these services are beneficial for SMEs and Sole Traders who are often limited in resources for legal help.

2020 has shown us that businesses change quickly and need to adjust, much has shifted in terms of how businesses are operating while facing employment challenges, redundancies, job keeper requirements and tax investigations. Industries such as hospitality are more regulated now because of COVID than ever before. Legal Expense Insurance can provide protection for legal matters where other policies fall short.

Access our Online Portal for Brokers and see how affordable it is for your clients to receive the coverage they need. Get in touch to find out more about ARAG Legal Expense Insurance at