If the pandemic era taught us nothing else, it’s that change is a constant. Few could have predicted the social and economic upheaval to come when the term ‘COVID’ was first uttered. The consequences are still being felt even as we emerge from the worst of it.
Global financial markets have found themselves in challenging predicaments before – and will again. Prior to the global pandemic it was the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that presented us with a stress-test of global markets and banking systems. These days, we face the rumblings of new challenges brought about by a sharp turnaround in interest rates after more than a decade of contraction.
Through economic upswings and downturns and periods of uncertainty, Hunter Premium Funding (HPF) has not just survived but thrived. Over a period of 35 years, it has overcome numerous economic headwinds and disruptions to become a trusted provider of short-term lending solutions to enterprises large and small. It has proved its longevity in a way few other funders can. And it has emerged more resilient with every challenge it has faced.
HPF has weathered the storm
Economic conditions may not be as dire now as they were during the GFC. But many businesses, having already survived the pitfalls of the pandemic, now face an interest rate environment that’s impacting their cash flow and ability to borrow and reinvest.
Insurance brokers have a role to play in helping their clients plan for the impact of economic pressures. And they need to know they can partner with a funder that can reliably assist their clients during challenging times.
Hunter Premium Funding’s extensive financial experience, is why many brokers recommend it to their clients as a funding solution provider. It’s one of the largest premium funders in Australia and New Zealand and has a proven track record of helping businesses consolidate and improve their operations, even when conditions are hard.
Not only has it weathered the storm of economic challenges over a period of 35 years, it has also helped its brokers and their clients do the same.
Premium Funding: a trusted funding mechanism
Hunter Premium Funding offers a loan facility product that allows customers to pay their insurance premiums in regular instalments rather than in one lump sum. This gives customers greater flexibility, helps them generate better cashflow.
Premium funding is now well established as a mainstream short-term lending product for SMEs. It provides value to clients over alternative funding methods, such as credit cards, business loans and lines of credit, because payments are spread over the course of the term. And it’s fast becoming an attractive funding mechanism for large institutional clients also.
A customer-centric approach
Hunter Premium Funding takes pride in the sustainability and consistency offered by its strong heritage and the industry-focused experience of its team.
“In the last 10 years, our management team hasn’t changed,” explains Brad Bartlem, CEO of HPF. “People make a difference and so does institutional knowledge. Nearly all of our people have an insurance background, so they have an innate understanding of our product and clients’ needs.”
Hunter Premium Funding’s customer-centric approach to funding is evidenced by its efforts to improve standards for customers right across the sector. Consistent with its industry-leading reputation, it recently played an active role in the development of the new Insurance Premium Funding Code of Practice (Code).
The Code, which came into effect on 1 October 2022, goes a long way towards supporting compliance with regulations, promoting transparency in how business is conducted, and embedding new standards of professionalism in Code members. Above all else, it aligns the industry towards the customer to ensure they are dealt with fairly and equally.
Even before the commencement of the Code, HPF put procedures in place to promote the rights of its customers. Among these were identifying and aiding customers experiencing financial hardship and vulnerability. Hunter Premium Funding is the only premium funder to offer complimentary counselling services to customers impacted by a natural catastrophic event, including those people affected by last summer’s flooding events and the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in line with counselling services offered to other Allianz customers.
It has also put in place an efficient customer complaints process to resolve complaints quickly, fairly and with compassion.
“As the market leader, we felt a responsibility to lead by example,” Bartlem says. “We believe strongly in transparency and better all round outcomes for customers. For us, the Code isn’t about doing the bare minimum for customers, it isn’t just about meeting its requirements; it’s about well and truly exceeding them.”
Leading the industry forward
Hunter Premium Funding isn’t content to rest on its laurels and has its sights set on opportunities to come. The organisation is guided by its central ethos – ‘ready for today, prepared for tomorrow’.
“We’re investing in our systems and processes to make premium funding even easier for our broker partners and their clients,” Bartlem says. “We’ve been through challenging times – and our heritage equips us for the future.”
In a period of profound regulatory and legislative change, and with economic challenges ever-present, brokers and their clients can rest assured they have the backing of a funder who has delivered for them before.
“We’ve proved our ability to deal with rapid change and uncertainty, and with great people and systems in place – that’s exactly what our broker partners can expect of us,” Bartlem says.
The information contained within this article is of a general nature. While all reasonable care has been taken, Hunter Premium Funding accepts no responsibility for any loss, expense, or liability which you may incur from using or relying on this information.
We’re proud to be an accredited member of the AFIA Insurance Premium Funding Code of Practice