How ABICO Insurance Brokers Achieved Ausure’s Award of Excellence
Congratulations to ABICO Insurance Brokers who received Ausure’s coveted Award of Excellence at the Ausure Awards ceremony in Hobart in March 2023.
Ausure’s Graeme Lilley explains why ABICO won this highly coveted Ausure Award of Excellence:
“ABICO is a respected, professionally run insurance brokerage who are highly deserved winners of this prestigious award.
This insurance brokerage, with offices situated in Wollongong and Oran Park, NSW, was also a Finalist in the Ausure Awards the previous year.
ABICO has strived to become the best business within the Ausure Group over the past years and were led from the front by David North and his motivated team.
Always working to find the best way to do things, they strived to be better and improve their service to both clients and internally. They achieved above-average growth, purchased another Ausure business and integrated that business seamlessly, opened a new office in Macarthur to better service their clients.
The ABICO team are respected in their local community and by their peers and have a great team and work ethic where only the best will do,” says Graeme, who is Ausure’s General Manager – Distribution.
While ABICO took out the award, Ausure would also like to congratulate and commend the excellence of the Ausure offices who were very close contenders as Finalists for this year’s award.
What makes ABICO insurance brokers so successful?
As the winner of this prestigious award, we took great pleasure in chatting with ABICO’s Managing Director David North to find out his secret formula for business growth and success.
“We are proud to be an Ausure Brokerage and to be recognised through the Award of Excellence was a team effort”, says David North.
“As an Ausure Authorised Representative, we removed a lot of the stress associated with running your own business and it has allowed us to focus on our core value – delivering high quality insurance advice.”
“ABICO was established in 1981 by the founding owners who set the foundation for a family business with an exceptional culture well before its time, reflects David. “Mufti-days, mufti summers wearing boardshorts, T-shirts and thongs were the uniform for the men and the ladies in summer dresses, a gym (that never got used), the family dog or dogs were regular attendees along with friends dropping by to say hi and various staff members children spending school holidays working on whatever project we could make to keep them busy.”
“Fast forward 42 years, we have completed many acquisitions of business and portfolios and operate out of Wollongong and more recently Oran Park, whilst still maintaining the family values.
You don’t have to be family, to be family, we are all part of the Abico family.”
David North joined Abico in 2000 after working for various insurers such as GRE Insurance, NZI Insurance and then Mercantile Mutual, before deciding to join Abico to learn the art of Insurance Broking. While 23 years later, the founding owners have moved on, and David now heads up the team.
“Together with Ausure, the business is thriving having recently completed the acquisition of Ausure Macarthur”, explains David.
“Insurance is in my DNA, with my late father spending his total working career in insurance of some 50 years and I now have two sons working in the business having both spent time working externally.”
What’s particularly contributed to the excellence, success, stability and growth of your business?
“The saying goes that you are only as good as your weakest link, and this is where the success of Abico is built on,” responds David.
“We are more than just a business, we are a family and that synergy allows us to turn each other’s weaknesses into strengths, both professionally and personally, We all help each other every day and learn together every day.”
Best marketing strategies?
“Similar to most growing brokerages, the value of word to month cannot be understated. You have to be close to your clients, pick up the phone and have a chat.
We pride ourselves on delivering personalised services and we find that this transfers to new business opportunities as clients want to know that their needs are our priority.
Furthermore, we continue to expand our involvement in radio to continue to create exposure for our name within the communities are established in.”
How do you find and keep good staff?
“Historically we have had a very low turn-over of staff and in some cases when they leave, they come back.
In our view, finding and keeping quality staff is linked strongly to providing a positive inviting workplace and culture.
If we can provide a culture that is pleasing to the team, they will enjoy coming to work, don’t get me wrong we all have bad days but with the right environment we have set the foundation for a positive day with positive outcomes.
Family look after each other and we do.”
What is the greatest source of frustration about being an insurance broker, in the insurance industry or in your business?
“Where do you start in this current market, service and responses from Insurers – anyone seen any?
Our greatest source of frustration is the turnaround times at the moment from insurers in both claims and underwriting.
There is a large amount of pressure placed on broker to have Renewals out on time, but achieving efficiency in this space is frustrating.”
Advice to other insurance brokers or other businesses starting out?
“One day at a time, focus on establishing long term relationships with your clients. It’s about the journey not the destination for your client, if they feel they are valued they will stay and help you reach your destination.
As a business owner you have to get that work / life balance correct, for me it’s still a work in progress but I never stop trying.”
Congratulations once again to David North and the entire team at ABICO for all you have achieved.
Contact the team at ABICO Insurance Brokers today