Vero Voice Blog
By Jimmy Higgins
Chief Executive Officer
On 7 February 2023, Vero Insurance celebrates 100 years since being incorporated in New Zealand. Since then, the business has changed significantly and every day builds on its rich whakapapa, and a century of experience in helping millions of Kiwi households and businesses through hard times.
In the wake of the Auckland anniversary weather event, this experience has been called on as Vero helps individuals, businesses and communities get back on their feet. The weekend’s weather saw city drains, gutters and culverts overflowing, homes and businesses underwater and on unstable ground, vehicles and machinery unusable and communities in shock and in desperate need of support and reassurance.
We are scaling up and throwing all of our resources at supporting customers impacted by the event, fulfilling our core purpose of being there in the moments that matter.
It’s hard right now for many of our customers and we know that recovery is going to take time. But this is exactly what we’re here for – this is the role of insurance, to be there in the moments that matter.
There’s never a better time to pay tribute to all the people that have contributed to the strength of the business throughout its 100 year history, and to the experience they brought to support the current leaders of Vero Insurance.
We will be holding off on any 100-year celebrations in the near term, but we will be acknowledging the milestone later in 2023.
Suncorp New Zealand’s life insurance brand, Asteron Life is fast approaching an even greater milestone, counting down to 150 years of providing New Zealanders life and income protection insurance.
Vero Insurance started out underwriting a small number of type-set uniform insurance policies, with transactional commodity products for those wanting to protect their most significant assets. Today, it offers individual customer-focused insurance services, distributed through its valuable network of brokers and corporate partners including a partnership with Toka tu ake EQC to facilitate land movement claims on behalf of the New Zealand government
In 1923, when Vero was first registered with the New Zealand Company’s Office, insurance was still in its infancy. The country was putting economic and political uncertainty to one side after the first World War and beginning to revel in the excitement of jazz music and glamour.
The number of motor vehicles was growing rapidly, the Post Office began managing vehicle registrations, and the New Zealand Permanent Air Force gained a base. New Zealand breweries was formed, radio transmission in New Zealand made fledgling experimental progress and we were shocked by a tragic rail disaster when an Auckland to Wellington express train crashed into a landslip on the tracks at Taumaranui.
Since 1923, when we were known as Mercantile and General Insurance, we became Sun Alliance Insurance, then Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance (NZ) Ltd and then Vero Insurance NZ Limited. These founding companies helped to build Vero’s whakapapa, as we supported New Zealanders through fires, floods, tornados, storms and earthquakes.
Even in the past 20 years, the insurance needs of New Zealanders have changed remarkably. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to customers. We were there to support Hawkes Bay in the 1931 earthquakes, just as we are in the increasingly catastrophic weather events we’re seeing today.
Insurance is a sector that has seen immense change, especially in the past three years as COVID impacted the way we work and live. Our challenge now is to continue to adapt, offering products and services that are relevant today, including innovative insurance products that help the most vulnerable members of our communities.
The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. Full details of policy terms and conditions are available from Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited or your financial adviser. For advice on product suitability, please contact your financial adviser. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.