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Giving Back and Living Local at PD Insurance

Pacific International Insurance Company is an Australian-owned, Newcastle-based, company that was established over ten years ago to shake up the insurance industry (which it certainly has!). Employing over 100 locals, the company’s success is based on a belief that the best customer service approach is tailored to each individuals needs. It’s their rejection of the “one size fits all” approach that’s winning them plenty of fans both locally, nationally and internationally.

This month we spoke to CEO Roland Lange about Pacific’s national car insurance brand – PD Insurance, doing business locally, the importance of integrity and philanthropy.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a little about PD Insurance? Progressive Direct, as it was originally known before the transformation to PD Insurance, was a US-owned company. We first got involved in 2017 when the US owners decided to exit Australia, and we ultimately acquired the portfolio in 2018.

PD Insurance is a premium brand that caters to discerning, safe drivers. Many people around the country find excellent value in our lower premiums; in particular, motorists who are the exclusive driver of their car.

Two mantras are the driving force behind the brand’s DNA: soft landings and simplicity!

We strive to provide soft landings – smooth, seamless transitions – for all stakeholders, including our people, our clients, our regulators, our partners and our community.

For example, an insurance claim is often preceded by a traumatic event. Our team understands this and aims to provide a “soft landing” for each client by taking great care in every interaction to ensure they feel comfortable and at ease.

Our “simplicity” aspiration is reflected in our websites, products and contact centres where we provide clients with the option to communicate via several channels - online, telephone, email, live chat, etc. How clients interact with us is totally up to them, depending on their personal preference.

The Soft Landings mantra has been a hallmark of PD’s philanthropic work too – can you tell us how? We have also created the Soft Landings Foundation, Pacific’s charitable foundation. Through this, we formally donate 2.5% of after-tax profit to various charitable causes. This is in addition to our staff involvement with Salvos, Samaritans and Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW.

It might be an obvious question – but why Newcastle? As Australia’s seventh-largest city and the second-largest in NSW, idyllic Newcastle is perfect!

Our team benefits from a balanced personal and business lifestyle, with easy access to Sydney and other capital cities. A happy, productive workforce is key to delivering on our value proposition commitments.

How is PD Insurance different? Car insurance is relatively homogenous, and there is a lot of choice. In other words, most car insurance policies provide the same basic cover at similar pricing.

In addition to value-laden policy features and benefits, PD Insurance is different by being “simply better” at the aspects that really count, for example, service and claims.

At the end of the day, what Australians really want is to connect with a company with integrity; that stands for something. Companies that do what they say they will do and support causes that make a difference.

Our soft landings mantra and foundation keep us grounded and authentic.

Would readers recognise any of your team? One recognisable face is Belinda Smith, our Soft Landings Champion. Belinda is also Chair of Got Your Back Sista and a UoN MBA Advisory Board Member, as well as CEO of another of Pacific’s brands – Rapid Solutions.

Rapid provides general liability and professional indemnity insurance to property services professionals and has been a local business for more than 25 years.

Tell us about your Newcastle? My wife, teenage daughter and I fell in love with Newcastle when we moved here in 2011. We love the beaches, running trails, bike tracks and wonderful restaurants. Newcastle is home for us!

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