Auto & General revs up with Kawana expansion
  • Wednesday 09 December 2015
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Auto & General insurance providers are renowned for avoiding “Captain Risky” in their popular TV commercials but they have every confidence in the Sunshine Coast as an ideal region to grow their business.

The company, part of the international Budget Insurance Group, will expand its current operations at Birtinya to an adjacent 2234sq m site which will house additional staff – a sign of its long term commitment to the Sunshine Coast.

Auto & General CEO Ram Kangatharan said the strong performance and staff commitment at the company’s Birtinya office, along with a growing local economy, meant the Sunshine Coast was a logical place to expand.

“The Sunshine Coast has a very strong vision for the future growth of the local economy and an outstanding plan to help achieve that aim,” Mr Kangatharan said.

“The Regional Economic Development Strategy has outlined the keys to long term prosperity here and this gives us the confidence to continue our investment in this region.

“We currently employ around 270 staff and this expansion provides the potential to grow the number of jobs at Auto &General in the future

“The two buildings combined will make this the largest Auto & General facility of its type in Australia.

“Auto & General has quite a diverse group of staff, ranging from university graduates to people in their sixties who have decided retirement simply didn't suit.

“With the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital opening soon nearby, our expansion will offer career opportunities for partners of the approximately 7,000 new hospital staff.”

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said Auto & General’s expansion was a significant boost for the local economy.

“Auto & General currently injects around $15 million annually into the local area, so we can expect these numbers to increase when the company’s new site is operational in 2016,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“These professional services jobs will also assist in our goal to increase income levels above the state average. This supports the regional vision of growing our economy from $13 billion to $33 billion by 2033.

“Auto & General has also established itself as a very community-minded employer that has built long-term relationships with local associations such as Kawana Surf Club.

“They also work towards building community spirit and a prime example of this is Auto & General’s commitment and support to Act for Kids.”

Sunshine Coast Economic Futures Board Chairman David Foster said Auto & General’s expansion strengthened the Sunshine Coast’s Knowledge and Professional Services, a high value industry under the Regional

Economic Development Strategy.

“The Sunshine Coast is the perfect location for these types of businesses to grow and flourish and Auto & General’s expansion is further evidence of that,” Mr Foster said.

“We need to capitalise on the growth in innovation and IT services sector among others.

“We also need to capitalise on the growing standing of our training and education institutions such as the University and their capacity to help grow key areas like professional and online services.

“With the new Smart City Centre at Maroochydore providing the perfect future platform to take the Coast to the new digital era, the Sunshine Coast is a very attractive region for businesses in the Knowledge and Professional Services industry to invest.”

Photo: Auto & General CEO Ram Kangatharan and Mayor Mark Jamieson


Background:

Auto & General is a provider of car and home and contents insurance products, and has been operating in the Australian market since 2000.

The company’s two call centres are based in Queensland, with claims assessing centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, employing more than 1300 people.

Policies are underwritten by its insurer Auto & General Insurance Company Limited. Auto & General is an Australian insurance company regulated by APRA and is a member of the Insurance Council of Australia.

Auto & General is part of the international Budget Insurance group which provides insurance solutions for millions of policy-holders worldwide. The group includes one of the largest direct personal lines insurers in South Africa and one of the largest personal lines insurance intermediaries in the United Kingdom.

In 2007 Auto & General opened a 2200sq m,  three-level call centre with an opportunity to grow and expand employment. Budget Direct is now one of the largest employers on the Sunshine Coast.

In early 2015 Auto & General began a search for a site on which to expand their operations and subsequently secured a block at 40 Innovation Parkway next door to their existing facility.  This will be home to an additional 2234sq m office building.