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AA Insurance scoops NZ insurer award

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AA Insurance emerged dual winners at the New Zealand Insurance Awards prize ceremony, taking home the general insurance company and insurance learning program of the year awards.

Yesterday's annual event organised by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) was held virtually due to ongoing pandemic restrictions. Last year’s awards were called off due to the coronavirus disruption.

AA Insurance, a joint venture between Suncorp’s Vero Insurance and the New Zealand Automobile Association, says the awards are the results of the efforts put in by its employees.

“Given the pressures the entire country has endured, we’re delighted to be recognised by the industry with these awards, especially given the calibre of the competition,” CEO Chris Curtin said.

“It’s an absolute honour and speaks volumes of the effort our people have put in to look after our customers, as well as each other, regardless of what’s going on in the world.

“I can proudly say that these awards can be attributed to them.”

ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford, who hosted the event, says the industry has been extremely resilient in what has been a testing period for everyone.

“Whilst the industry has faced challenging circumstances over the past 12 months, the professionalism from the New Zealand insurance industry to adapt is second to none,” she said.

“Everyone watching… finalists, nominees, colleagues and peers should all be proud of the achievements made during a year that rocked the world.”

Insurance Advisernet New Zealand was named large broking company of the year, Delta Insurance Group triumphed in the underwriting agency category and Suncorp-owned Asteron Life topped the life insurance company section.

Insurance Leader awards went to IAG New Zealand General Counsel and EGM External Relations Blair Williams, Earthquake Commission CEO Sid Miller, Suncorp New Zealand CEO Jimmy Higgins and his colleague, EGM Claims and Operations Campbell Mitchell.

IAG says Mr Williams has been recognised for his leadership role in driving the Natural Disaster Response Model.

“It is an honour to accept this award on behalf of the broader IAG team, who have worked tirelessly to drive these changes and transition our business and industry to the new natural disaster response model,” Mr Williams said.

“We know all too well that when disaster strikes, our customers simply want the information and support they need to put their lives back together as quickly as possible.”

Click here for the prize ceremony.

Here are the winners:

Large Broking Company of the Year - Insurance Advisernet New Zealand

Underwriting Agency of the Year - Delta Insurance

General Insurance Company of the Year - AA Insurance

Life Insurance Company of the Year - Asteron Life

Innovation of the Year - Gallagher Bassett

Professional Services Firm of the Year - McLarens

Service Provider to the Insurance Industry - CoreLogic NZ

Excellence in Workplace Diversity and Inclusion - Suncorp New Zealand

Insurance Learning Program of the Year - AA Insurance

Young Insurance Professional of the Year - Stephen Cantwell of FMG

Broking Professional of the Year - Faith Owens of Bridges Insurance

Insurance Leader of the Year - Jimmy Higgins, Sid Miller, Campbell Mitchell and Blair Williams (joint winners)

ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award - Doune Connett of AIA New Zealand