Insurance broker Gallagher is using industry experience to negotiate better deals for the waste and recycling sector.
Changes in the insurance market early in 2021, including the exit of a major player and increasing premiums, led many in the recycling sector to believe it was more financially beneficial to “self-insure”.
David Ford, Client Manager for Gallagher insurance brokers says many “believe they have the risk management protocols in place”.
“For smaller companies, with margins being so fine, paying high insurance costs is a huge percentage of their expenses,” he says. “Our experience in the sector shows that effectively, the market has pushed them this way.
“But I do believe there are solutions available. I believe it’s up to my company, and myself and my profession, to find a cost-effective solution.”
David and Mark Bramley, Gallagher Regional Director, have a combined 20 years’ experience in the recycling sector. Gallagher has partnered with the Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association (WCRA) of New South Wales for more than 15 years. It’s this long-term connection that David says gives Gallagher a point of difference.
“We understand the sector. We understand the difference in the types of facilities and key issues that the industrial special risks insurers are concerned about,” he says. “A lot of brokers don’t take the time to truly understand the client, the risk culture, how good the facilities are, capital expenditure and the processes that are in place. All they ask for is the traditional basic renewal information. Because we are spending time in the sector we genuinely understand it.”
David says insurance company Criterion Underwriting is the only provider in Australia of specific insurance products for the waste and recycling industry.
It has capacity of up to $50 million per risk, including paper and cardboard recycling, plastic, e-waste and tyre recycling, domestic and commercial waste, green waste, tins and metals, ceramics and glass and hazardous waste.
Gallagher and Criterion have built a strong working relationship since partnering in September 2021 and have secured an exclusive 10 per cent discount on property insurance for WCRA NSW and Gallagher clients.*
David says Gallagher works to give clients “more than just the usual spiel about price”.
“The terms attached to insurance can be very onerous and a lot of people in the waste and recycling sector are under a lot of pressure when it comes to meeting those criteria,” he says.
“We go out to clients and advise them of their requirements. It’s not just as simple as a phone call to get all the information and we give them a number. We get in there and understand the business itself and speak to the key people involved.
“We’re putting their risk management in the best possible light. We understand there’s a deeper part to the service.”
David believes a hands-on approach is key to finding the right insurance solution but one that not many people are invested in. Because David and his team take the time to visit client sites they can recommend risk improvement and capital expenditure, giving them a practical standpoint to negotiate premiums for clients.
Leila Reed, Account Manager, cites a recent negotiation for a client who had a surveyor recommend they install thermal cameras on site to detect any sources of ignition or heat to prevent a potential fire.
“Thermal cameras would be fantastic for all facilities and in an ideal world everyone would be able to spend the money to have them installed,” Leila says.
“The recommendation would have been a capital expense of $20,000 to $30,000 for this client. Because we had been on site, we were able to help the client modify their process to reduce the amount of waste stored on the floor and the surveyor said they’d no longer need the thermal camera.
“That’s because of our experience on other sites.”
David says he understands the pain operators have gone through in the past and he is confident Gallagher and Criterion can make a difference.
“Based on what was out there, I know we’ve been able to create a difference. We know we have market-leading prices,” David says. “A lot of people out there now are having a really hard time and feel like they’ve got nobody to talk to. We’re happy to take a call.
“We are a real partner for the waste sector. We’re invested in WCRA, the members and the sector and intend to be for a very long time.”
Contact David, 0435 658 263 or Leila 0435 533 644
*subject to underwriting/risk information and claims experience
For more information visit: www.aig.com.au