New SME brand hits market

A global insurance titan has made a major play in the Australian commercial insurance market, launching a new SME brand.

Calibre Insurance is Australia’s newest insurance operation, created by Munich Re after it purchased Calliden’s commercial insurance operations from Steadfast in August.

The brand will also take in what was previously Latitude Underwriting’s specialty liability portfolio, which Munich Re also recently purchased.

Mike Hooton, formerly of Calliden Agency Services, has been appointed CEO, while Latitude’s Ross Gilbert has also joined the new operation.

Calibre will offer business package, industrial special risk, general liability and specialty liability for SMEs.

“This is an exciting development for the Australian commercial insurance market,” Hooton says.

“In a short time we have already established a growing commercial insurance portfolio and strong connections with brokers across Australia.

“As a subsidiary of Munich Re, with Great Lakes Australia’s security and our network of distribution partners, we’re in a strong position to provide useful, fair, and secure insurance for Australian businesses.”

All Calibre’s policies will be underwritten by Great Lakes Australia. Transactions will be available to begin from 16 November, to take effect from the beginning of next year.

Munich Re took over Calliden’s general insurance operations in August, after Steadfast bought the firm and split off most of its underwriting agencies.