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Steve Nichols - Chief Executive outlines what 2021 holds for ATL Insurance Group

After investing heavily in technology and distribution partnerships, ATL Insurance Group is looking forward to what the new year is about to bring.

“Doing business with us in 2021 will be simpler and easier, with our products available on Sunrise Exchange and our development underwriters enabled to spend more time consulting with brokers and finding the best solutions for their customers,” ATL chief executive Steve Nichols (pictured) told Insurance Business.

“Our leadership team has been working hard at building a better business with an entrepreneurial mindset and a focus on flexibility and speed. We have brought new talent into the business and worked hard on developing our existing talent to build a culture of innovation and fresh thinking.”

According to the CEO, the combination of new products, new technology, and the insurance agency’s investment in its people will mean strong growth for ATL this year. In fact, Nichols revealed that the Envest-backed business will soon be rolling out a “new and improved” transport package. Additionally, the insurance boss said they will be providing further clarity in ATL’s approach for the benefit of brokers and, in turn, their clients.

Meanwhile, when asked how the coronavirus crisis has impacted the commercial motor insurance space, Nichols noted: “Business opportunities for transport operators carrying consumables and wholesale goods business increased dramatically with the change in buying behaviour increasing demand for online sales.

“This resulted in a growth in vehicles requiring insurance, increased distances travelled as businesses took on higher-value contracts, increases in freight task combinations and variations, and the purchase of higher-value equipment.”

Other insurance implications include the rise in laid up cover requests, as well as a few cancellations of policies, among passenger transport operators amid the decline in demand for both rideshare and taxi business.

Interestingly, “the shrinking market has resulted in a number of insurers pulling out of the passenger transport market, which has increased our opportunities to grow our portfolio,” shared Nichols.

As for the challenges facing commercial motor in Australia, the CEO cited concerns surrounding driver health as among them, highlighting not only the distances now being travelled but also the frequency of journeys as a consequence of the “massive” change in consumer behaviour.

“Increased trip frequency requires more qualified drivers, and this is one of the issues facing commercial motor underwriters,” Nichols told Insurance Business. “How do we provide a pathway for inexperienced drivers to progress to high-value vehicle combinations while maintaining underwriting standards?

“ATL has invested a lot of time in this issue and will release its updated, clearer, and sensible driving acceptance guidelines in 2021 which makes doing business with us much simpler.”

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