New agency launched: Rhodian introduces Batch

Agencies accelerator Rhodian Group has launched accident and health (A&H) specialist Batch Underwriting, the second business it has introduced to the market.
Batch will focus on the corporate and larger SME segments in Australia. The agency, which has capacity from Lloyd’s of London, is initially offering corporate travel, group personal accident and sickness, journey cover and volunteer cover, before a planned expansion of the product suite.

Rhodian, backed by US specialty products and services distributor Amwins, was formed early last year to provide support services that create a faster pathway for start-up underwriting agencies to enter the market and grow.

Last July, the group launched its first agency, Halo Underwriting, which focuses on hard-to-place risks in property and liability.

“We are … pleased to once again be working closely with Amwins Global Risks and Lloyd’s to bring an agency to market with a strong product offering and great scope for growth,” Rhodian Group Chief Executive Simon Lightbody said.

“I am looking forward to seeing Batch, agency number two, take off.”
Batch Underwriting, led by founder and CEO Andrew Batchelar, brings more than 20 years of specialist A&H experience to the market.

“Batch is the culmination of extensive work, innovation and a shared commitment to delivering high-quality, tailored A&H products to our broker family,” Mr Batchelar said.

“At Batch, we understand the evolving landscape of the A&H market, and we pride ourselves on being problem solvers and solution providers in an industry where many insurers are restricting or shrinking their A&H product offerings.”

Rhodian’s services include help with legal and governance, finance requirements such as credit control and regulatory reporting, brand and marketing, and human resources. Technology innovation is also a strong focus.

It says its incubator model seeks to support leaders with the technical expertise, track record and entrepreneurial spirit to drive successful, sustainable underwriting businesses.

Travel partnership takes off: Flight Centre switches insurer

Europ Assistance will offer insurance to Flight Centre leisure customers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and Britain under a new partnership.

The arrangement follows the end of a 33-year partnership with Zurich’s Australian travel insurer Cover-More, which was Flight Centre’s preferred provider in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Allianz held the partnership for Canada and the US.

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Europ Assistance and look forward to working closely with the team,” Flight Centre Global Supply Chief Executive Greg Parker said. “Europ Assistance presented a compelling offering and demonstrated why it is the right long-term partner for our leisure travel business.”

An initial five-year agreement will start later this year. Europ Assistance is a subsidiary of Europe’s third largest insurer, Generali Group.

Flight Centre says the new deal brings improved financial terms compared with its previous insurance agreements. Contract terms are confidential and not material to Flight Centre earnings, it says.

Mr Parker says Europ Assistance’s proposal featured strong technology and system integration, making it easier for Flight Centre consultants and customers to quote and book cover. “We will also have a greater involvement in product design and pricing, which will create exciting new opportunities.”

Cover-More told Insurance News its partnership will end in November. “We wish everyone at Flight Centre leisure brand the very best for their ongoing success,” a spokesperson said.

Cover-More was established in 1986 in Sydney and the Flight Centre partnership started in 1991. Zurich bought Cover-More in 2017 for about $722 million.