About Pacific International Insurance Limited

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1 About Pacific International Insurance Limited Pacific International Insurance Limited (Pacific International) is a niche New Zealand insurer and according to Rating Agency, A.M. Best, the only one of its kind in the world. The Company specialises in writing Public & General Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance cover for the Urban and Agricultural Pest and Weed Control Industries, the Timber Pest Management Industry, Building Inspection Industry, Carpet Cleaning and associated businesses in New Zealand, Australia and in the Asian Pacific Region. The Company has developed a Risk Management Process allowing it to write the above business which is regarded world wide as an almost uninsurable risk. Currently Pacific International is the only provider to the above industries in Singapore and Thailand and from time to time also in Australia. Pacific International has been asked by other Pest Management Associations from many countries to write this cover. These include Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia. Pacific International is a member of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) and to the best of our knowledge the only New Zealand based insurance company granted unrestricted Authorisation by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The company can market its products in the Australian market and currently holds about an 80% share of the insured Pest Control and Timber Pest Management business in that market. The Company originally intended to set up in Singapore but after talks with the then, Trade New Zealand and a meeting in Auckland with a Mr Paul Simmons of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise the shareholders set up a new Company, Pacific International Insurance Limited, in Auckland. The new Company was authorised by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) on the 7 th of January Pacific International has a rating of B+ (Good) Financial Size Category: V ($10 Million to $25 Million) Outlook: Positive. The company operates from the top floor office building it owns in the Harbourside Business Park, Rosebank Road, Avondale, Auckland. Pacific International has developed a unique Risk Management system which involves training prospective clients to a high standard before offering insurance cover. For details please see Attachment A. At formation Pacific International gave undertakings to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to export its products. Over the years the company has worked with Trade and Enterprise to break into markets in the Asia Pacific Region. For details please see the Attachment B. Summary: Pacific International supports the intent of this Bill. New Zealand has had a very low insurance regulatory regime and was out of step with world best practice. The ease of setting up in New Zealand resulted in a number of small, poorly financed companies using New Zealand to gain credibility when trading into countries outside of New Zealand. Many made no attempt to trade within New Zealand. The new Bill offers greatly increased protection for policy holders and will add credibility to New Zealand based insurers and bring New Zealand into line with countries like Australia, the UK and Europe. However, in an effort to stop New Zealand being used as a base for unscrupulous people the Bill has one clause that could result in Pacific International not being granted a licence by the Reserve Bank. We have consulted with the Manager Insurance Policy at the Reserve Bank and were advised that the Bank could see an issue for Pacific International under its draft policy. Submission from Pacific International Page 2

2 Clause 20 (2) (d): The Reserve Bank may have an, as yet, unpublished draft Policy on how it intends to act in determining applications for licenses and any conditions it may wish to impose. Pacific International may be precluded from obtaining a licence in New Zealand due to the amount of premium generated from New Zealand policyholders under Clause 20 (2) (d. A large proportion of Pacific International s income is derived from markets outside New Zealand. Point (d) requires a specified amount or proportion of the companies business to relate to New Zealand policyholders. At present, Pacific International s biggest market is Australia, followed by New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore. This is likely to change as we expand further into the Asian region. Recommendation: Pacific International requests that the Committee seek to have changes made to the Bill by altering Clause 20 (2) (d) by adding the words and/or Australian after the words New Zealand and before the word policyholders. The reason this should be acceptable is because of the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) agreement between New Zealand and Australia. Additionally, any insurance company licensed in New Zealand but trading into Australia must obtain authorisation from APRA to do so. The adding of and/or Australian does not change the intent or strength of Clause 20 (2) (d) but should allow the Bank to licence companies such as Pacific International as it trades in both countries, has a large specified amount or proportion of the companies business to relate to New Zealand and Australian Policyholders and is already APRA Authorised. Alternatively, the Committee could recommend adding another Clause allowing the Bank to licence an insurance company like Pacific International that exports their products into overseas markets. These powers should allow the Reserve Bank to take into consideration the size of the export markets compared to the size of the New Zealand market. For details please see the Attachment C. Alternatively, an additional Clause could be inserted after Clause 20 (2) (d). The new Clause 20 (2) (e) could read something like the following: - (e) Conclusion: in the case of a licensed insurer that carries on insurance business in New Zealand but exports insurance products into other countries from New Zealand: a condition that requires some amount or proportion of the licensed insurer's insurance business to relate to New Zealand policyholders (whether that amount is defined in terms of premium revenue, amount of insurance liability, a combination of premium revenue and amount of insurance liability, or in any other way) then Clause (2) (d) will not apply to such a licensed insurer: The present wording of the Bill may give rise to a hitherto, unforeseen restriction on specialised insurers exporting their services overseas. Regulation as opposed to legislation could remove this potential problem. It appears the Bank s unpublished policy has an amount or proportion of premium it deems necessary to meet Clause 20 (2) (d). The Bank, by recommending that Pacific International make this submission, see a need for clarification to the Bill because they may be unable to grant the Company a licence under Clause 20 (2) (d). It would seem rather strange to penalise the Company by denying it continuing authorisation under the new Legislation considering the amount of money that has been Submission from Pacific International Page 3

3 spent by Pacific International with the support and efforts over the years by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to open up export markets. At the time of obtaining Australian authorisation from APRA it was strongly suggested by APRA staff that the Company should incorporate in Australia and cease being incorporated in New Zealand. At least one New Zealand insurer did so. With the help of the New Zealand High Commissioner in Canberra who intervened twice on our behalf and staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, this was avoided and APRA authorised Pacific International to sell insurance policies in Australia. We believe we are the only New Zealand company Authorised by APRA. We trust that the Committee will consider these changes to Clause 20 (2) (d). While the Bank must have discretionary powers and to exercise it policies the Bill must state the boundaries of that power. We are more than happy to meet with the Committee to speak to our Submission and answer questions on the matters raised in this Submission. Yours sincerely Graham Hellier CEO Pacific International Insurance Limited Submission from Pacific International Page 4

4 Risk Management: Attachment A Pacific International Insurance Limited while being a small insurer applied for and was granted full membership of the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) [See ]. The Company is the only insurance company member of the Pest Management Association of New Zealand (PMANZ) [See Pacific International was invited to join PESTNETWORK, which is a Pest Control Training Group (See The Company is involved in training throughout New Zealand for Pest Control Operators and supporting them in becoming Approved Handlers under the new Legislation. Pacific International has continued to support PESTNETWORK in running workshops each year throughout both Islands on safe pest management methods. Plans for workshops have already being decided for the 2010 year, dates and venues set (See Pacific International was instrumental in getting PMANZ to adopt the Bedbug Code of Practice which was developed in Australia. Then the company became the liaison between the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) and PMANZ in jointly developing the latest version of the Code which has now been adopted by over 20 Countries. Pacific International has run one day training courses on the control of Bedbugs based on this Code throughout New Zealand with over 25% of the Pest Control Industry attending. Training and Technical Staff from Pacific International have used their expertise to advise Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) on how to locate Australian Damp-Wood Termites in trees in New Zealand so they could be eradicated. The same staff have also run a training course on Argentine Ants for MAF staff in Nelson and another on Borers in Christchurch attended by New Zealand BioSecure staff. Some time ago Pacific International Insurance and its partners in PESTNETWORK saw there was a need for providing a high quality modern alternative training pathway for newcomers to the industry. The partners in PESTNETWORK asked Pacific International to have its Training Division write a Certificate Course that could be delivered by a number of methods to the Pest Control Industry throughout New Zealand. Pacific International Insurance Training Division set about developing a Certificate Course in Urban Pest Control and some two years later in 2009 sent the completed course to the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) and applied for registration as a Private Training Enterprise (PTE). The Company intends to commence offering NZQA Certified Training in Prior to training commencing the Company will fully brief the Council Members of PMANZ. The course will be offered both as a classroom course with up to 10 students present and a web-based distant education package where the student may obtain one on one help over the web and by phone etc. The qualification will only being issued after the student completes an on the job assessment. Submission from Pacific International Page 5

5 Attachment B Growth in the Pacific and Asian Region: Pacific International is a niche insurer and has managed to make good profits out of insurance business that traditionally is a horror story of losses. For this reason the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise people have actively encouraged and helped Pacific International expand into other markets in the Asian Region. The reason for the Company s success is the unique risk management that is used in underwriting the risk. For details please read the section under the heading Risk Management. If the client does not meet the guidelines then training is offered at a cost. Once the client and staff have been trained and assessed as competent then and only then will a cover be offered. Apart from New Zealand and Australia the Company has looked at Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Hong Kong and Cambodia. Pacific International has also looked at markets in France, Spain, Italy and, with the help of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Staff in New York, the USA. The Company now sell its products in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Timor, Thailand and shortly Cambodia all out of New Zealand with Australia being serviced through an Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Licensed Insurance Agent. Pacific International Limited New Zealand is authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to sell its insurance products within Australia and that authorisation is unrestricted. All other markets are handled directly from New Zealand and the company has been and continues to be predominately an exporter with the bulk of its earnings coming from outside New Zealand. The company s biggest market is Australia where Pacific International has better than 85% share of Urban Pest Control and Timber Pest Management markets of those that purchase insurance (more than half the market operates uninsured). New Zealand does not have Termites and carrying insurance is not a requirement of being an Approved Handler. As such, the majority of potential clients do not purchase Liability insurance and even less take out Professional Indemnity cover. For this reason the real growth for Pacific International is going to continue to be in Asia and the Pacific Region. Submission from Pacific International Page 6

6 Attachment C Relevant Size of Markets: The Reserve Bank discretionary powers should require the Reserve Bank to take into consideration the size of the markets that are being exported into and the relevant size of those markets in size and type compared to that of New Zealand. For example, in the case of Pacific International, Australia has a population of 22 million and has a large Timber Pest Management Industry because it has a large Termite (White Ant) problem while New Zealand has a population of just over 4 million and no Timber Pest Industry to insure and a pest control industry that is not required by current Law to be insured. Thailand like Singapore does have a Timber Pest Management Industry and a population of over 67 million and Singapore a population of nearly 5 million. The following is an example of the New Zealand and Australian markets. There is a estimate of the numbers of potential clients that Pacific International has in each, the differences between the two types of clients and an estimate of the possible premium income based on today s prices in each country: - Country possible clients Timber Pest Estimated possible Market New Zealand 800 No $300,000 Australia 11,000 Yes $42,000,000 Only about 20% of Pest Control businesses in New Zealand purchase Liability insurance and very few takeout Professional Indemnity, while about 25% of Pest Control businesses in Australia takeout both Liability and Indemnity cover. Pacific International insurers about 30% of the New Zealand Pest Controllers/Carpet Cleaners that purchase insurance and about 80% of the Pest Controllers and Timber Pest Managers that purchase insurance cover in Australia. New Zealand represents a very small part of Pacific International s total income and Clause 20 (2) (d) may prove to be an issue for the company. Submission from Pacific International Page 7

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