ICMIF member FMG’s financial year has been underlined by several milestones, led by the mutual insurer achieving 50% rural market share of the New Zealand for the first time in its 114-year history.
It was also a record year for the number of claims settled and overall client growth says FMG (New Zealand) – with more and more farmers and growers, commercial businesses, lifestyle property owners and residential clients choosing to insure with the organisation.
“In 2010 we set out a strategic plan to protect and grow the Mutual on behalf of our members and 2019 was marked by breaking through the significant milestone of a 50% share of New Zealand’s rural insurance market. This is a clear highlight and means the Mutual can have a stronger voice on behalf of the rural sector,” says FMG’s Chief Executive Chris Black (pictured).
A steady increase from a mid-thirties market share in 2011 reflects the value people see in the mutual insurance model, says FMG in a press release this week. The organisation says that this is not only in respect of property and business operations but equally ensuring that the key people in a farming or growing operation, or related commercial business, are adequately protected.
“For FMG, ours is a model that is based on an enduring core purpose of giving rural New Zealand a better deal,” says Mr Black.
Supporting this FMG settled NZ $181m worth claims last year – up NZ $19m on last year.
“Settling claims effectively is something we are proud of as it’s through the claims’ experience that our clients test the quality of the Mutual,” says Mr Black.
FMG has continued to perform well on attracting new clients, with a net increase of more than 6,500, up 8.3% on last year. Alongside this strong growth FMG has also worked hard to ensure the organisation meet the needs of existing clients and is pleased to see new highs for client satisfaction on the back of this.
For the financial year FMG recorded a NZ $19.1m net profit after tax, up NZ $7m on last year. This increase is largely due to fewer major events to respond to, in contrast to the previous year where FMG helped clients recover from seven major storm events and the year before that, the Kaikoura earthquake.
FMG’s profit is added to capital reserves to support the growth of the business and at the year-end FMG’s reserves stood at NZ $257.4m.
Making a profit allows us to invest in new products and services, such as the recent launch of an online service channel called FMG Connect.
Supporting important initiatives such as Farmstrong and the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest is also enabled by FMG having a strong financial position.
“It’s heartening to see both these programmes going from strength to strength and having such a positive tangible impact on the fabric of New Zealand’s rural sector,” says Mr Black.