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Berkley, GT Insurance win NIBA awards

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Berkley Insurance Australia has won the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) General Insurance Company of the Year award, while transport specialist GT Insurance has been named Underwriting Agency of the Year.

The winners were announced at the NIBA virtual 2020 convention today, after insurer products and services were rated by more than 500 brokers in an annual survey.

NIBA says the decision to present two awards recognises that brokers deal with underwriting agencies, or managing general agents, as well as companies operating in the local market that are authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

“The underwriting agencies are often specialist operations, offering cover in a specific area of risk, with specialist expertise to offer in that area of insurance,” NIBA President Eric Harris said.

“Insurance companies mostly offer a broader range of cover, and in some cases offer cover in most areas of general insurance.”

GT Insurance, which is owned by Allianz, and Berkley Insurance Australia had provided quality products, service and support to insurance brokers and their clients over the past 12 months, and the two were the strongest performers in this year’s Broker Market Survey, Mr Harris said.

Shelley Hymas of Phoenix Insurance Brokers in WA was named winner of the QBE-sponsored Stephen Ball memorial Award for Insurance Broker of the Year.

“Shelley is a great example of excellence in insurance broking,” NIBA CEO Dallas Booth said. “She uses innovative approaches to get great outcomes for her clients, and supports her fellow brokers, mentoring those in and outside her firm.”

Kate Martin of Marsh in Queensland was the recipient of the Vero-sponsored Warren Tickle Memorial Award for Young Professional Broker of the Year.

The Lex McKeown Trophy for lifetime achievement was awarded to Graham Stevens from Edgewise Insurance Brokers in Victoria.

Mr Stevens has served on the NIBA board for more than 13 years, including a term as President and has represented Australia on the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries and has chaired the group.

Since starting his career at Guardian Royal Exchange (GRE) in 1970 he has worked in the international broking arena and in his own brokerage businesses.