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28 May 2018

Chubb has extended its broker-distributed business pack product, as it looks to become a significant player in the SME sector.

A year ago the global insurer identified Australia as a priority market for SME growth, and a six-month pilot was established last July, focusing on certain trades.

It was successful, and Chubb has now rolled out its SME platform across most trades. The expanded product covers 16 industry segments and 300 occupations.

Chubb says its business pack aims to provide broad coverage for property and liability exposures.

It includes standard coverage for business interruption, general property damage, public and products liability, machin...

27 May 2018

Australia has ranked 17th in a global index assessing the resilience of business environments, with cyber exposure and infrastructure quality emerging as concerns.

The FM Global Resilience Index ranking is down two places from last year, well within the six-place move that would be viewed as significant.

But the country’s inherent cyber risk ranking has slipped to 75 from 66 among the 130 countries and territories indexed. Australia is considered a wealthy country that is a natural target as the global potential for attacks rises.

“With the increasing connectivity of devices in the developed world, there is greater capacity for cyber attacks,” FM Global A...

24 May 2018

Infrastructure has topped an annual ranking of local government risks, while cyber jumps to fourth place after entering the list for the first time last year.

Financial sustainability and stability is in second place on the Aon-compiled ranking, followed by health and safety. Reputation, human resources, asset protection, funding, planning decisions and weather round out the top 10.

“Funding squeezes and rate capping, particularly in NSW and Victoria, twinned with rising ratepayer expectations, ensured infrastructure and financial sustainability and stability remain at the top of the list,” Aon says in its report on the survey.

“Health and safety, cyber,...

22 May 2018

An investment group led by former AMP CEO Paul Batchelor has taken a “significant minority interest” in Melbourne-based Insurance House Group.

Yorkway Partners says it will work closely with the Insurance House board and management led by MD Jay Fereday to drive further growth for the business.

Insurance House is a privately owned general insurance brokerage and underwriting business employing more than 180 staff. It has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as well as in rural NSW and Victoria. It also has a network of 50 authorised representatives. The annual premium income exceeds $250 million.

A statement issued by the parties last night says York...

21 May 2018

Millennials and Generation Z consumers offer the greatest growth potential for insurers because they will take out more cover as they grow older, research company Roy Morgan says.

Only 40.9% of Gen Z and 79.9% of Millennials have some type of insurance, compared with 90.6% for Gen X, 93% for Baby Boomers and 91.3% for Pre-Boomers.

Older age groups are close to saturation levels for general insurance, the research shows.

“The growth prospects appear to be greatest with the growing needs of Millennials and Gen Z, but at the same time there is a need to retain the customers in the three older age groups,” Industry Communications Director Norman Morris said.

“...

20 May 2018

The construction industry is facing rising risks from more frequent extreme weather events, Gallagher says in a white paper.

Population increases and the cost of building in the current economy are also adding to the impact of weather events and placing more importance on mitigation and preparation.

“Construction businesses should look to review their existing insurance cover before they are affected by an extreme weather event,” Head of Construction Australia and Asia Roger Irvine says.

“Ignoring weather warnings when it comes to obtaining insurance cover could expose local construction businesses to catastrophic losses.”

Weather events caused estimated l...

17 May 2018

The NSW inquiry into the future of the fire and emergency services levy will hold a hearing on August 13.

A parliamentary committee is examining funding alternatives after plans to remove the levy on insurance premiums and replace it with a council rates charge were put on hold last year.

The insurance industry believes taxes on insurance are inefficient and encourage underinsurance, and was hugely disappointed with the Government’s announcement last May.

The Insurance Council of Australia says the last-minute backflip cost insurers more than $40 million.

No agenda or further details about the hearing have been released, but the National Insurance Brokers...

16 May 2018

Insurers have warned that complying with regulatory requirements is increasingly taking up resources that could be used to improve business performance, including product innovation.

Robust regulation is important, but the process for reviews and inquiries is simply not conducive to effective or efficient policymaking, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says in a submission to a government inquiry.

“While not underplaying the issues being addressed by these reviews and inquiries, our experience has been that many of these activities have not led to genuine improvements to the regulatory framework or good policymaking,” it told the Standing Committe...

16 May 2018

The insurance industry has criticised the lack of disaster mitigation spending in the new federal budget.

A 2015 report by the Productivity Commission argued at least $200 million a year is needed, but the Government continues to ignore the recommendation.

“The federal budget again fails to deliver on much-needed and overdue nation-building investments in mitigation and resilience,” an Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“Though the Federal Government has spoken in the past year about the need for mitigation and improvements to how funding is allocated, including the development of a five-year disaster mitigation fram...

14 May 2018

Insurers have been warned against underestimating the gradual increase in natural peril costs due to climate change.

“They are at risk of always being in a position of playing catch-up with natural peril funding, unless more specific recognition is given to the gradual impacts arising from climate change,” Finity Consulting Principal Tim Andrews says.

But Australian insurers are waking up to the systemic risk climate change poses.

He says the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority is approaching insurers to see what actions they are taking in relation to climate risk.

Listed insurers will disclose climate risk in their financial statements within the n...

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