The companies will employ a new team, which will be based predominantly in inner Sydney’s Surry Hills, in charge of designing new insurance products for small and medium enterprises. These products will move away from the broker-driven annual fee bundle approach towards a model where technology is used to monitor and assess risks – ultimately helping to reduce a customer’s premiums.
Mitti is structured so QBE and SafetyCulture have equal equity and both have two directors each on the board.
This structure, according to QBE Ventures chief executive James Orchard, will allow Mitti to combine the resources of QBE with the hunger and pace of SafetyCulture’s early years.
“I think this is unique in the global world, particularly from our perspective, and insurer’s perspective, where the ability to partner so effectively and create a stand-alone entity where the insurance operations are built outside the confines of QBE,” Mr Orchard said.
“QBE provides the insurance cover, and Mitti distributes it and has the relationship with the customers.
“By bringing it together and creating a standalone entity where both parties have significant skin in the game, it allows us to move at more of a pace that is more reflective of probably what Luke [Anear, SafetyCulture chief executive] is used to moving at rather than how we’re used to moving at.”
Every day assessment
Each sector has its own needs but SMEs typically take out some kind of public liability insurance, workers compensation coverage, property damage and coverage in case of unexpected delays to being able to perform time-bound contractual obligations.
Mr Anear, who started his career as a private investigator for insurance companies looking into workers compensation claims before founding SafetyCulture in 2004, said the time was ripe for challenging the traditional insurance product business model.
“The insurance model has remained largely unchanged since it started with the Great Fire of London in 1666. And I think that model of giving people reassurance and giving them peace of mind has been very important. If something goes wrong, in this case, QBE would be there for,” Mr Anear said.
“What the gap is is that we can give people a tool in iAuditor that they can use every single day to run their business, and that means we have greater visibility into what those teams are doing well and what they can improve on. That’s a different model to where once a year they are assessing the risk of a company … and writing a premium. We’re able to support our customers every single day with iAuditor.”
Through Mitti’s involvement in the day-to-day running of its SME customers, Mr Orchard hopes Mitti can change SME insurance premiums from being an “annual grudge purchase” to something that enables a “deeper relationship with each customer”.