CommInsure celebrates 135th anniversary and $1 billion in life insurance inforce premiums

10 November 2008

Leading Australian Life insurer, CommInsure, announced it had surpassed $1billion in life risk inforce premiums for the first time as it celebrates 135 years of servicing Australians.

CommInsure Managing Director, Simon Swanson, said the event marked an important milestone in the ompany’s history and highlighted its financial strength even in the face of challenging economic conditions.

“This month CommInsure celebrates its 135th anniversary and we are proud to continue delivering outstanding service to our members. The $1 billion milestone is testament to our financial strength and the outstanding value we continue to provide. I would like to thank all our advisers and business partners for their support in reaching this milestone,” Mr Swanson said.

CommInsure has consistently increased its market share position over consecutive years and is today Australia’s largest life risk insurer, with well over 3 million clients nationwide.

CommInsure has retained its market leading position by inforce rankings in life insurance with a market share of 14.7% in the year to June 2008 after achieving an annual growth rate of 15.7%, above the industry average of 12.8%1. It also operates a thriving general insurance arm and an immediate annuities arm with funds under management totalling more than $1.6 billion. General Insurance inforce premiums increased 7.2% to $299 million in the September quarter2.

To coincide with its anniversary celebrations, CommInsure this month launched to advisers a series of product enhancements and premium reductions.

CommInsure has a long history of investing in new technology and prides itself on providing customers with sustainable, well-designed and competitively priced products. These characteristics have helped CommInsure successfully provide protection to Australians particularly throughout challenging economic times, with the latest enhancements reinforcing this position.

As part of the latest changes, CommInsure has introduced a premium reduction of up to 10% on its lower sums insured under its Life Care product. The company has also removed smoker rates on its Essential Cover product, eliminated the maximum $2 million payment amount on Terminal Illness benefits and introduced enhancements to its Total and Permanent Disablement cover.

“The business remains strong through the current market volatility as underlined by our ability to pass on benefits to members through product enhancements, premium reductions and service enhancements,” Mr Swanson said.

Our place in the history of Australia's Insurance Industry

Australia’s insurance industry dates back to the late 1820's when United Kingdom based Eagle Insurance established the first agent in the region. From its origins as a mutual life assurance company, dating back to 1873, to joining the umbrella of one of the nation’s biggest retail banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; CommInsure has played a vital role in the development of the industry.

1827: Eagle Insurance becomes first company to establish an agent in Australia

1836: Launch of first local life insurance company; Australian Fire & General Life Assurance (CGNU)

1849: Australian Mutual Life office founded (AMP)

1871: National Mutual (AXA) Insurance established

1873: The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd established (CommInsure)

1914: Allianz Australia established

The CommInsure Story

4 November 1873: Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Established. Society conceived

as a federation of branches with each branch operating under the control of a Board of


1876 - 1889: Establishes overseas branch network starting with first office in Fiji

1912: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) established

1975: CBA offers building insurance

1995: CBA launches Commonwealth Connect Insurance Limited (CCIL)

1996: Colonial Limited incorporated as a public company

1997: Colonial lists on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange

1998: Colonial acquires Legal and General Australia Holdings, the trans-Tasman operations of Prudential Corporation and CCIL changes its name to Commonwealth Insurance Limited (CIL)

1999: CIL starts trading under CommInsure brand name

2000: Commonwealth Bank acquires Colonial

2002: Colonial insurance operations come under CommInsure brand

2002 to present: Award winning products

- 2003 Best Life Insurance Product, Australian Banking & Finance Institution Accolade

- 2004 Annuity of the Year, Personal Investor Excellence in FS Awards

- 2004 & 2007Annuity Provider of the Year, Plan for Life Research

- 2005 Best of the Best Annuity Award, Money Magazine

- 2005 & 2008 Best Life Insurance Company, Australian Banking & Finance Magazine Insurance Awards

- 2005 & 2007 Life Insurance Company of the Year, Plan for Life & Association of Financial Advisers

- 2008 National 5 Star Rating for CommInsure Home Insurance and Car Insurance, Cannex


1 Plan For Life: Life Risk Market Share Statistics 30 June 2008

2 CBA: Funds Under Administration/Management and Inforce Premiums ASX Release


For more information, please contact:

Noelle Waugh

Manager, Wealth Management Communications

T: 02 9303 6412

M: 0415 193 624


Caroline Regidor

Acting Executive Manager, Wealth Management Communications

T: 02 9303 7008

M: 0419 989 800