AM&T (Allianz Marine and Transit Underwriting Agency) is a specialist in the Australian marine and transit insurance market. The team at AM&T are considered the trusted partner for brokers when it comes to the complex world of marine.
This year, AM&T celebrates 10 years of successful business operations. To commemorate this milestone, we look back on its history to celebrate the team and its success and look ahead to what’s in store for the insurer.
Where it all began…
The business began from small but mighty beginnings in 2012, when Allianz Australia Insurance Limited saw a gap in the market for niche business areas, like marine and transit insurance, to be managed and developed by dedicated specialist staff with deep experience in, and passion for, their chosen area of the industry.
AM&T started out with a small portfolio and a start-up team of just six, headed up by then Chief Executive Officer Stephen Ford. The agency structure allowed a unique point of difference in the market, offering clients specialisation and security thanks to the backing of Allianz Australia.
Steve reflected on these times as ‘being in the right place at the right time’ and that the success of the business really came down to the team. He commented: “Within the team, we have true experts, people who have a passion and an ongoing curiosity for everything marine. People who call themselves ‘Marinos’, who love what they do, and who’ve worked alongside the biggest names in marine, across complex territories, under frequent pressure and with high stakes.”
Growth into large corporate and specialty insurer
In 2016, AM&T undertook the management and development of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s portfolio in Australasia, handling the marine insurance needs of large corporates and major projects. This growth was testament to the strong team who have earned the trust of the industry.
AM&T introduced an online system, AM&T Online, in 2016 via the Sunrise Exchange platform, which allowed the ability to quote, bind and renew policies online.
This system provided an easy and flexible option for brokers to access their policies at their own convenience. Since then, AM&T Online has been extended to include cargo and carriers’ policies and now gives brokers the best of both worlds by offering a dedicated expert support team who can assist at any time as well as an online process.
Sydney broker, Samantha Bridger from All Solutions Insurance Services said: “We’ve been placing quite a lot of business with AM&T through their online system via Sunrise. The system is easy to navigate with a streamlined process, pricing is extremely competitive in the market, and turnaround times on referrals are exceptional.
“The AM&T team are always helpful and open to looking outside the box, which gives us the opportunity to provide a great range of products to our clients, and why AM&T is our “go-to” for our Marine & Transit needs. Can’t fault the team, keep up the good work guys!”
Brand new visual identity
In 2017, AM&T undertook research to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of the market and broker expectations when it came to a marine insurance partner.
The research indicated that brokers relied on AM&T for its expert knowledge in such a complex industry and the brand was anchored around trust and understanding.
Using these insights, AM&T’s new brand identity was established, focusing on its unique position in the market – that of deep knowledge, personal service and the security of being backed by Allianz Australia.
Always open to feedback and improvement
Whether AM&T is working with a small business in Tamworth, or a global freight company in Adelaide, AM&T believes it is important to take the time to truly understand each customer’s unique circumstance and to provide the service that would exceed expectations.
It is for this reason AM&T launched its annual broker survey in 2019 to monitor customer satisfaction. Using these insights, the business continually revises its offering and services to meet client and customer expectations.
Flexibility and resilience of the team was recognised
2020 was an incredibly challenging year for AM&T’s broker partners and their clients who are at the coal face of cargo, transportation and shipping. Not only did COVID-19 create incredible pressures on the industry with a dramatic increase in shipping demand, but it also had to manage the impact of significant extreme weather conditions across the country.
While navigating this challenging climate (including new working from home requirements), the AM&T team remained focused on its purpose, providing deep specialist knowledge and exceptional service to the broker community. The team continued to meet and exceed clients’ expectations and be responsive to customer needs in all aspects of the business – from underwriting, customers support and at claims time.
This dedication was recognised at the 2020 Insurance Business Australia Awards, where the claims team were awarded ‘Underwriting Claims Team of the Year’.
In the world of marine and transit, no two claims are ever the same. This means the level of specialisation and personalisation of claims is paramount. AM&T’s claims team is skilled at carefully balancing speed and accuracy when resolving claims, and this award reflects their superior dedication and skill.
A new era of leadership
AM&T announced the appointment of Ben Morgan as Chief Executive Officer in July 2021. This was a natural progression for Ben, a member of the inaugural team and a shareholder in the business since 2017. Ben brings extensive industry and business-specific knowledge to the position, with almost two decades’ marine insurance experience.
Prior to his appointment, Ben was the General Manager, Underwriting where he was responsible for delivering market-leading customer service and building on the Underwriting proposition at AM&T.
Commenting on his appointment at the time, Ben said: “AM&T is a key part of the intermediated distribution strategy for Allianz in Australia; and the AM&T team and I look forward to sustaining our market position by continuing to enhance and adapt the successful business that has flourished under Steve Ford’s leadership”.
2022 and beyond
In navigating the path ahead for AM&T, continued growth and success come down to responsiveness. The team at AM&T are committed to always improving on their level of expertise and the business will continue to invest in their people, the depth of knowledge and strong connections with the broker community.
Commenting on the future ahead, Ben is eager to chart the course: “Fostering our partner relationships will continue to be our priority. We look forward to continuing to provide the responsiveness and service that our brokers and customers need and expect, developing our people, and of course working closely alongside our One Allianz partners.”