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Insurance provider celebrates nine years in Cooks, pledges continued commitment

Monday 8 July 2024 | Written by Talaia Mika | Published in Business, Features, Go Local, National

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Insurance provider celebrates nine years in Cooks, pledges continued commitment
From left, Eleanor Rivera, Federal Pacific Insurance country manager, Riaan Wolmarans, FPI regional senior underwriter, Namulauulu Papalii Sami Leota, FPI general manager, Tina Brown, Leader of the Opposition, Tingika Elikana, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Simon James, FPI business development manager. TALAIA MIKA/24070511

A regional insurance company celebrated its ninth anniversary in the Cook Islands, highlighting its commitment to the local community and its achievements in providing insurance services.

Federal Pacific Insurance (FedPac) recently marked its ninth anniversary in the Cook Islands with a celebratory cocktail event at the Muri Beach Club Hotel.

The occasion on Wednesday night was held to thank clients and customers for their continued support over the years.

The event was attended by FedPac clients, government officials, and members of the Cook Islands business community.

Tingika Elikana, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marine Resources, and Parliamentary Services, commended the FedPac team for achieving this milestone and emphasised the importance of maintaining their high-quality service.

“Claims settlement speaks volumes about the service of any insurance provider, and that must be your company’s priority,” Elikana stated.

He encouraged FedPac to continue expanding its presence across the Pacific Islands, adding, “It’s a comfortable thought to have one of our own island companies providing insurance services to our own Pacific island people.”

Namulauulu Papalii Sami Leota, the Samoa-based general manager for Federal Pacific Insurance, addressed the guests, noting that the event was an excellent opportunity to meet clients and local partners.

“First and foremost, this is a great opportunity to thank customers and partners for their support,” Leota said.

He reiterated FedPac’s long-term commitment to the Cook Islands and their dedication to supporting the local team, especially with technical underwriting needs.

Reflecting on the past nine years, Leota shared that the company has made significant progress in understanding the insurance needs of the Cook Islands community.

They have also partnered with the government and private sector to address specialised risks.

However, he acknowledged the challenges in securing reliable reinsurance treaties, as many underwriters view the Pacific region as a high-risk area prone to natural disasters, particularly cyclones.

Despite this, FedPac has managed to maintain the support of key reinsurance underwriters, including Lloyd’s of London, and PWS East Asia.

“We have worked together on Pacific risks since start-up, so we hope customers feel assured we have solid backing to the insurance products that we offer,” Leota stated.

The company’s claims capability was tested by various natural disasters, vehicle accidents, thefts, and fires.

FedPac Cook Islands country manager Eleanor Rivera highlighted that these claims were processed and settled quickly, thanks to the support from key reinsurance partners.

“We pride ourselves in the Pacific as a company who honoured and paid out genuine claims promptly,” Rivera said.

Leota also reaffirmed the company’s initial commitment to the government to provide an alternative for the public.

“And that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

FedPac operates from Federal Pacific House in Rarotonga and remains deeply rooted in the local community, supporting various sporting and educational initiatives.

In August 2023, in partnership with its Samoa offices, FedPac sponsored the Cook Islands U16 Women’s oe vaka team to the Regional Waka Ama Championships held in Apia, Samoa.

“Without the support of the Cook Islands insured public, we would not be here today, and I thank you all for allowing us to provide for your insurance needs. I am positive that there are better things to come for us in the future,” Rivera expressed emotionally.

Leota acknowledged the perseverance and hard work of Rivera and her team, who have navigated both good and challenging times with determination and a commitment to the community.

“Like any business, Eleanor and her team have had their share of good and bad times, but have managed to get through them one by one through determination and hard work, while being grounded in a heart for our community,” Leota said.

He also expressed gratitude to the local director, Diane William, and FedPac business development manager Simon James and regional senior underwriter Riaan Wolmarans, both based in Auckland.

FedPac benefits from the strong reputation of its associated companies, Western Union and Fexco, within the Cook Islands business community.

Federal Pacific Insurance began operations in Apia in 1999 and has since established offices in Tonga, the Cook Islands, Timor-Leste, Fiji, and Vanuatu, with supporting underwriting offices in New Zealand and London.

Leota recognised the support of the Federal Pacific Group board of directors, particularly chairman Papalii Alan Hutchison, for continuing to pursue the vision of his late father and group founder, Alistair Hutchison.

He said as FedPac looks to the future, it remains dedicated to serving the Cook Islands and the wider Pacific region with reliable insurance services, backed by strong community ties and international support.