Broking behemoth Steadfast is making big forays into a pair of new markets, developing and launching two new product lines aimed at sectors many SME brokers do not currently operate in.
The broker network has struck two partnerships, the first for domestic motor and home insurance and the second for group life insurance.
In February next year, Steadfast plans to launch Steadfast Direct, aimed at giving brokers access to products they can use to enter markets that are traditionally sold direct.
Steadfast CEO and Managing Director Robert Kelly says this will enable brokers to strengthen their relationships with their clients and grow their businesses.
“We are delighted to roll out our Steadfast Direct product line and expect to provide competitively priced products for our brokers to market to new and existing clients,” he says.
Steadfast is working with a member of the Berkshire Hathaway Group to develop the home and motor products, which are set to be joined later by other products.
Meanwhile, global life insurer MetLife will use Steadfast’s network to distribute an exclusive suite of tailored corporate life insurance, income protection and total and permanent disability insurance to businesses with as few as 12 employees.
Recent research has found that while 90% of SMEs have public liability protection, less than one in 10 have personal insurance. Meanwhile, more than a third of Australian workers have no disability insurance.
MetLife CEO Deanne Stewart says many thousands of SME employers do not currently have adequate life or disability insurance for their staff.
“By taking our life products direct to SMEs, and packaging them in a way that makes them compelling to both employers and employees, we expect to help more Australian businesses not only protect and retain existing staff, but also use improved benefits to attract talent in the future,” she says.
“Steadfast is the leading broker of risk products to SMEs and partnering with them is a natural fit for us in this segment of the market.”
Kelly says the partnership would strengthen Steadfast’s position in business insurance.
“We have been impressed with MetLife’s ability to tailor bespoke life solutions for individual SME customers while drawing on deep global expertise,” he says.
“Their group life products are complementary to our traditional business insurance lines and will be compelling to the SMEs we service.”