News 21 February 2017

New Local Office in Adelaide

It’s official. After many years spent building close ties with the local insurance broking market in South Australia, SURA has opened a local office in Adelaide, and we are in the market to stay.

Spearheaded jointly by our SURA Construction, SURA Plant & Equipment and SURA Engineering businesses, the office, headed by experienced underwriter and qualified engineer Michael Holbrook, will initially focus on underwriting engineering and construction risks. That means for engineering, construction and machinery breakdown cover, brokers and clients will now be able to access the specialist expertise SURA is known for right in their own backyard.

SURA managing director Angie Zissis said offering brokers the best possible service is always a top priority, and the new office showed how committed SURA is to continued local market growth. “We didn’t just want to open an office, we wanted to staff it with well-known local professionals. We now have an office led by a South Australian, in South Australia writing South Australian business.”

SURA Construction underwriting manager, Jim Wiechman, says the new office promises insurance brokers genuine local underwriting authority for faster quotes and decisions on local risks. “When Michael is confronted with a risk that is a bit unusual, he has the authority to nut it out and come up with a quote. That’s what brokers really love about us here at SURA Construction.”

“If we want to access the local opportunities available in South Australia, the smartest way to do that is to have people on the ground with local contacts and the decision making ability,” he says. The office has been some time in the making. Michael Holbrook was recruited 18 months ago to help grow SURA’s regional operations, in addition to his responsibility for the Northern Territory.

It’s only now that, having reached critical mass through local market engagement, SURA has been able to invest in dedicated office space, investing in long-term growth in South Australia. Holbrook said the way insurance brokers and clients in Adelaide have embraced SURA Construction’s specialist offering had been humbling, and he anticipated a big future in the market.

“I’ve appreciated the wholehearted support the local market has shown me, which has enabled me to build the critical mass required to open an office here in such a short time frame,” he says. Holbrook has 19 years’ experience in the engineering niche, a bachelor degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering, and previous regional management experience in South Australia. But he is not on his own. SURA has also moved to recruit underwriter Debra Genovese, who has 20 years’ underwriting, claims handling and loss adjustment experience.


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