The story behind one of the most well established insurance companies within our industry. 

Those who run a pest control business will know the constant challenges involved; survival and success require leadership, determination, adaptability and courage. It is therefore not surprising that the Australian pest management sector also includes a number of innovators.

Most of us probably think of innovation in chemical manufacturing, equipment design and app development, but perhaps the most innovative people are those who had an eye for opportunity and the bravery to give it a go, such as Graham Hellier, founder of Rapid Solutions.

Rapid Solutions: Quick Facts

  • Overview: Insurance and training company working with the timber pest management, building inspection, urban and agricultural pest and weed control industries.
  • International reach: Australia and New Zealand.
  • Specialisation: Professional indemnity and general and public liability insurance.
  • Notable products:The biennial Rapid Solutions Conference for pest management professionals.

Brave beginnings

Just over 25 years ago, Graham Hellier owned and operated a successful pest control company in NSW, servicing Newcastle and the surrounding area. He took the approach of always quoting a fair price for a premium service. Graham is the first to admit that this approach didn’t initially appeal to all clients – particularly those who were looking for a bargain. However, as time passed many of these clients would call after their ‘bargain’ supplier had failed to resolve the problem or had gone out of business.

Mr Hellier recalls one job in particular when a restaurant owner had an extreme cockroach problem but baulked at the price quoted. “He went with a quote from someone else and a few months later, the owner called and explained that the problem had worsened. He now wanted to accept our quote if it was still on offer,” he said.

Mr Hellier and his team worked through the night to do the job thoroughly. He recalls that the owner wasn’t altogether convinced he needed to get the cleaners in after the treatment until he arrived and saw the thick layer of cockroach corpses over the floors.

“Our competitors quoted a cheaper price but we were the only ones who managed to effectively take care of the problem, and so we had that contract for years,” said Mr Hellier.

A new business idea

It was his passion for quality and customer service that eventually led him to develop niche insurance provider Rapid Solutions.

Mr Hellier realised that many pest managers had difficulty getting the insurance cover they wanted for their business. At the time, general insurers took a one-size-fits-all approach. He quickly seized the opportunity to launch a specialist provider that could arrange insurance that was tailored to the pest industry and backed by pest control expertise.

He was also convinced that for the business to succeed, he needed to apply the same approach he had applied to his pest control business by offering a fair price for a premium service.

Long-lasting quality

Graham and Marilyn Hellier founded Rapid Solutions in 1992 and they were soon providing insurance cover to pest managers across Australia. As the company celebrates its 25th anniversary, it now supports more than 2,200 pest managers across Australia and New Zealand through its insurance products and in-house claims management.

“Over the past two decades a number of other insurers have entered the market with the aim of making short-term gains through cut-price products. I have watched them come and go, often cleaning up the mess left behind. Pest managers like to deal with people who understand their business and are here for the long haul,” said Mr Hellier.

“Where possible, we’ve always employed qualified pest managers in our claims, technical and training teams to complement our specialist customer service and support teams. These people know the pest control business and add great value to our team and most importantly, our customers.”

Leading into the future

“Marilyn and I are extremely proud that this year marks the 25th anniversary of Rapid Solutions. We are growing and changing to ensure that we are still ahead of the competition and in so doing, providing peace of mind to our customers, so they feel confident to get on with their job,” he said.

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