Preferred industry insurance partner

As you may be aware, the Retirement Living Council has been working to find ways to reduce the impact of insurance cost increases on operators and residents.

The RLC established a workgroup - a key recommendation from this group, which worked on potential solutions for over 12-months, was to identify a preferred industry insurance partner. 

After extensive engagement with experts across the insurance industry, and as a result of a thorough Expression of Interest process, the RLC has now formalised an arrangement with Zenith Insurance Services, partnering with Lockton Australia. 

The Property Council of Australia is entitled to a commission in respect of new business which it refers to Zenith Insurance Services and Lockton Australia. 

The Property Council of Australia will not be a party to any arrangement between Zenith Insurance Services and Lockton Australia and retirement living operators, and accepts no liability in respect of any such arrangement. 

The Process

Through the Retirement Living Council, operators flagged that rising insurance premiums and excesses were beginning to heavily impact operating budgets. Members resolved to form a workgroup to investigate the cause of these cost increases, and to identify ways of mitigating future impacts. 

Operators appointed to the workgroup were:

  • Andrew Giles, Chair
  • Doug Borrows (RetireAustralia)
  • Christine Osgood (Living Choice Australia Pty Ltd)
  • Andrew Bourne (The Parks Villages) 
  • Glen Smallwood (Stockland)
  • Natalie Woerndle (RCA Villages) 
  • Peter Quinn (RCA Villages) 

Following engagement with the insurance industry, the workgroup sought Expressions of Interest from seven brokers. Each of the brokers had a demonstrated experience of working with retirement living operators. 

Assessment of the responses received led to ongoing discussions with five brokers. 

Five brokers were given the opportunity to have formal interviews with a subsequent series of follow-up questions, feedback and clarification of key areas providing the basis for a final shortlist consisting of two brokerage firms. 

In November 2021, the workgroup presented the final shortlist and a recommendation to the RLC's Chief Financial Officers Roundtable for endorsement. The two shortlisted brokers then presented to the RLC, with the final decision on a preferred broker agreed by the RLC Management Committee.

Next Steps

Something that brokers across the board clearly communicated is that the retirement living industry needs to get better at using data to create a comprehensive risk-management profile. 

The education of underwriters and insurers on the actual risk profiles of retirement living communities, which are frustratingly often confused with residential aged care, has become an objective of Zenith and Lockton. 

Both are confident they can work with operators and underwriters to share information for the benefit of Property Council members. 

The RLC has finalised a formal agreement with Zenith and Lockton that ensures appropriate arrangements are in place to safeguard industry data. There have also been agreements across branding and commercial matters.