“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.” Often quoted by a famous movie character, this whakatauaki provides a pertinent reminder that life is indeed full of surprises.
The unexpected however can sometimes have a serious impact on peoples’ lives and livelihoods. A break in at your home, a car accident on your way to work or damages to your property caused by Tawhirimatea are just some of life’s ‘surprises’ which possibly lie ahead of you. Having effective insurance cover provides one way to deal with these kinds of setbacks and help get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Iwi Insurance is a personal insurance scheme offered by Nati Insure, a partnership between Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou and Aon Insurance, New Zealand’s largest insurance broker.
Introduced eight months ago, Iwi Insurance provides home, contents, motor vehicle and boat insurance to Ngati Porou tribal members living around the country. Businesses also have the opportunity to join the scheme, and in the future tangihanga and health insurance will be provided.
Geovarna McClutchie (Te Whanau a Rakairoa, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Te Whanau Apanui) is the key point of contact for Iwi Insurance, the first insurance scheme created primarily for Ngati Porou members. Geovarna works at Aon’s Gisborne office as Executive Account Broker, and is the mokopuna of George McClutchie and Nancy Aitkens from Uawa, and Okeroa Henry and Hannah Henry from Waipiro Bay.
A Coastie girl at heart, Geovarna was brought up in Tolaga Bay by her parents George McCutchie (Jr) and Frances McClutchie-Henry. As a teenager she attended Gisborne Girls' High School’s Service Academy, where she was striving for a place in the Navy. However her plans soon changed when she was offered an interview as receptionist at the Gisborne Aon branch in her last year of school. Instead of serving in the armed forces, she learned how to serve Aon’s wide range of clients with quality customer support and advice.
Since then Geovarna has experienced a rapid ascent through the ranks and was recently made Executive Account Broker where her focus is on domestic insurance policies. She believes her new Iwi Insurance portfolio provides a key point of difference for Ngati Porou customers.
“People interested in joining Iwi Insurance won’t be talking to a stranger in a call centre in Auckland, but a real-life Ngati Porou person from the Coast. I enjoy making a whakapapa connection with my clients and sharing with them who my whanau are. It helps to establish trust and building good relationships is important to me. Insurance can sometimes seem like a frustrating and complicated issue. But I like to create relationships with my clients where I can take away a lot of the headache for them, and they know I am looking out for their best interests.”
Geovarna says the other benefits for Ngati Porou wanting to join the scheme are discounts if they sign up for multiple policies, along with competitively priced domestic and business policy coverage. Another benefit is that a percentage of commissions made from Iwi Insurance will be passed on to help subsidise the insurance premiums of Ngati Porou marae, who have joined the Nati Insure Marae Collective scheme.
“The main marae I associate with are Kiekie in Waipiro Bay and Hauiti in Uawa,” says Geovarna. “I go back to my marae quite regularly for wananga or celebrations like 21sts. I’m aware Marae insurance affordability is a topical issue for many communities but I believe it’s important marae ensure they have adequate protection. If they are insured the whanau can have peace of mind lest anything unfortunate should happen. For example if a wharenui was to burn down, or a storm caused extensive damages, then the marae whanau are able to easily replace or repair things. They don’t have to worry about where the money is coming from, and end up saving time and more money in the long run.”
Geovarna says she enjoys her job which allows her to help people during anxious times in their lives. “One of my clients was involved in a motor vehicle accident, where they were not at fault. I was able to make their life easier and take some of the stress away by helping them to quickly get the repair work on their car done. Another client damaged their cell phone, and I could immediately help replace it with their contents insurance. It may seem trivial but for many people mobile communication is their life line to the world, so this person could get back in action sooner rather than later.”
To find out more about Iwi Insurance please give Geovarna a call or email to discuss, or drop in to see her at the Aon office in Gisborne for a cuppa. You can also click here.
Free phone: 0800 266 426
Office Address: Aon House, 151 Grey Street,