FLOODS INQUIRY ANNOUNCED
The Federal Government has announced a parliamentary inquiry into insurers’ response to last year’s devastating floods.
Flooding hit Northern NSW and South-East Queensland in February and March, the Hawkesbury-Nepean in July, across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania in October, and in the Central West of NSW in November.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), which has already commissioned its own independent review, says those events have so far cost $7.17 billion in insured losses from more than 300,000 claims.
Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones says the inquiry will take a “whole of economy view” of ongoing challenges brought about by intense and frequent floods.
“Any review that supports the ability of insurers to improve how they carry out their crucial function is welcome, and we look forward to participating,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said.
AIG NAMES AUSTRALIA CHIEF
AIG has appointed Grant Cairns as CEO AIG Australia, and Head of Australia and New Zealand, based in Melbourne and effective from November.
The appointment comes after former AIG Australia CEO Nigel Fitzgerald departed earlier this year to join Steadfast as COO.
Mr Cairns joins AIG from Chubb where he was most recently Head of Property and Casualty, Asia Pacific, and formerly Private Equity Industry Practice Leader, Chubb International and Head of Financial Lines, APAC.
He has 22 years’ insurance experience across Asia, Europe and Pacific, and AIG says he brings deep commercial, operational and strategic expertise.
He reports to AIG Asia Pacific Regional President Chris Colahan, who says Mr Cairns is a strategic leader with extensive underwriting expertise across multiple lines, with established relationships and a deep understanding of the local market.
NIBA TWEAKS CODE ON COMMISSIONS
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has restricted new rules on remuneration disclosure to retail clients, after consulting with members and taking into account the Quality of Advice Review final report.
Section 6.1 of the 2022 Insurance Brokers Code of Practice was altered in April last year to expand the remuneration disclosure requirement to include all individual and small business clients, not just those that fall under the definition of retail clients.
However, some NIBA members were unhappy with the change because of the added complexity and impact it could have on systems and processes, and implementation of 6.1 was delayed until November this year.
NIBA has now confirmed that the wording will go back to focusing on retail clients, to align with the Quality of Advice Review report.
A note to members said 6.1 will now read: “If the client is a retail client, we will provide them with information about any remuneration (including commissions) or other benefits we will or expect to receive as a result of providing Covered Services.”
LENEY LEAVES MARSH FOR EVEREST
Marsh Head of Risk Management for Asia and Pacific Scott Leney, pictured, will leave later in the year after 37 years with the business.
Mr Leney is starting a new role in November at Everest Insurance as Head of Asia Pacific for its International Division.
Everest says Mr Leney’s appointment takes effect on November 6 and he will be based in Sydney, reporting to Everest Insurance International co-heads Adam Clifford and Jason Keen.
He will oversee the insurance division’s business strategy and growing portfolios both in Asia and the Pacific led by Head of Asia Ben Carey and Head of Pacific Christian Colombera. Everest Insurance is the insurance division of Everest Re Group, a US-headquartered general and specialty reinsurance underwriter.
RACQ INSURANCE EXITS CTP
RACQ Insurance is withdrawing from Queensland’s compulsory third party scheme, saying it is no longer viable to continue participating.
“The scheme’s design allows for all participating insurers to be profitable, however, this assumes an equitable distribution of risk,” Group CEO David Carter said.
“In recent years, RACQ’s risk profile has worsened through no fault of our own, resulting in significant losses for the club.”
RACQ has formally requested its licence be withdrawn ahead of ceasing offering CTP cover from October 1. The decision is pending approval from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC), which oversees the scheme and which is currently completing a review.
RACQ has been urging the Queensland Government to consider introducing “premium equalisation” to the scheme, given that under current arrangements an insurer can’t choose which risks to underwrite or refuse a motorist who selects them for the cover.
The insurer has argued it’s disadvantaged by a portfolio that has a greater portion of older vehicles, young or inexperienced drivers, shorter policy terms and re-registered vehicles compared to other insurers.