January 15, 2018
Integrity Life, a new entrant to the life insurance sector, will offer a full suite of retail life insurance products available through financial advisers by the middle of the year following its acquisition of QBE Life.
The acquisition of QBE Life by Integrity Group Holdings for $27.1 million, will result in the transfer of the former’s life insurance licence and its renaming as Integrity Life Australia.
The deal, which was recently approved by APRA, includes an arrangement for Integrity Life to underwrite the life insurance component of QBE’s consumer credit insurance which is sold through financial institutions.
Integrity Group Managing Director, Chris Powell said the start-up insurer was being funded by sophisticated investors and had so far raised $165 million of capital, comprising equity and debt facilities, from local and overseas investors.
Powell, who is a former Chief Financial Officer at Zurich Australia and a former Chief Operating Officer of Centric Wealth, added that retail products were planned for release in mid-2018 after the release of group insurance products, aimed at the small to medium enterprise sector, in the next few months.
“We are looking at the full product suite for retail products and are currently developing those products…”
“We are looking at the full product suite for retail products and are currently developing those products that will focus on the needs of consumers and will match the changes in their lives,” Powell said.
“We believe they will be easier and simpler for consumers to understand, and we are contacting advice groups and looking at open APLs as a way to gain quick access to the advice market,” he added.
Powell said advisers held a key role in helping consumers and businesses find appropriate insurance for their needs but were undervalued by the insurance sector.
“We want advisers to feel we listen to their needs and their clients’ and we will act to meet those needs. We have the opportunity to build our products from the ground up,” he said, adding that Integrity will use QBE Life as a launch pad to provide new products and processes free of the legacy systems common in the market.
“The Top 10 life insurers hold 96% market share – we are about to see their number reduced to a top seven or six. This means there is a place for new operators to disrupt the market with differentiated products and services,” Powell said.