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31 Jul 2018

Suncorp is on the lookout for more partnerships that benefit brokers and customers.

“I think the opportunities for partnership are boundless,” CEO Customer Marketplace Pip Marlow told the Suncorp Synergy forum for intermediaries.

“There are no boundaries here if we think about embracing the technology and embracing the pace of change and doing things in the right way.”

Ms Marlow says a recent deal with financial advisory group Yellow Brick Broad offers another way to extend distribution, while the Suncorp Benefits program has teamed with a range of suppliers to offer discounts and rewards. “We are working with one of our [insurance] brokers right now to r...

30 Jul 2018

Insured losses from natural catastrophes fell 28% to $US21 billion ($28 billion) in the first six months of the year, Aon Benfield-owned Impact Forecasting says.

Economic losses declined 32% to $US45 billion ($60 billion).

“While first-half losses were lower than average, it is imperative to reiterate that this does not automatically correlate to a quieter second half,” Meteorologist Steve Bowen said.

“As last year proved on multiple occasions, even one… event can completely change the trajectory of a year from a humanitarian and financial cost perspective.”

There were no “mega” catastrophes – economic losses above $US10 billion ($13.4 billion) – during th...

29 Jul 2018

About 32% of shipping losses last year occurred in Asia, making it the most incident-prone region, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) says.

Bad weather and busy sea routes contributed to a 25% rise to 30 loss incidents.

The East Mediterranean and Black Sea region ranked second with 17 incidents, followed by the British Isles on eight.

Total shipping losses fell 4% to 94 incidents last year – the second-lowest figure in the past 10 years.

“The decline in frequency and severity of total losses over the past year continues the positive trend of the past decade,” AGCS Global Product Leader Hull and Marine Liabilities Baptiste Ossena said.

“Insurance cl...

27 Jul 2018

AIG has completed its $US5.56 billion ($7.5 billion) acquisition of Bermuda-based (re)insurer Validus Holdings.

Validus was established in 2005 and has a diversified business portfolio that includes Lloyd’s syndicate Talbot, which has an Australian operation based in Sydney.

“We are very pleased to welcome Validus to AIG,” CEO Brian Duperreault said.

“Validus’ experienced team and complementary businesses will help us deliver sustainable, profitable growth as we continue to build value for our shareholders.”

Talbot Underwriting’s UK-based CEO Peter Bilsby says the new ownership means access to deeper resources, wider geographic reach and new opportunities...

26 Jul 2018

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) is reviewing its code of practice, paving the way for a new version next year.

It says a discussion paper will be released after consultation with members, industry groups and regulators including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The code, which took effect in 2014, was due to be reviewed after three years to ensure it remains relevant and keeps pace with industry developments.

“We are not aware of any substantial problems within the code,” CEO Dallas Booth told “Nevertheless, it is appropriate to review its operation.

“Hopefully, we would be approving a new...

24 Jul 2018

Collective Insurance Brokers plans to tap rising demand for specialist expertise in the growing strata sector, using a shared-equity model.

MD Jason Starr-Thomas says the business will enter joint-venture partnerships with strata managers, which will then operate as authorised representatives of Collective.

“In that way, the strata manager has an interest in the brokerage servicing their clients,” he told

Collective started trading in May, with Steadfast as an investor. It has won customers in NSW, the ACT and Queensland. Mr Starr-Thomas was previously head of marketing at Steadfast-owned underwriting agency CHU, which specialises in...

24 Jul 2018

Building surveyors have been hit with professional indemnity policy exclusions and premium rises at the mid-year renewals, as insurers tighten policies following cladding-fuelled apartment fires.

The Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) says practitioners in most jurisdictions are legally required to have insurance for roles ensuring buildings meet national and state codes.

“Building surveyors or firms unable to obtain policies without exclusions may not be able to fulfil statutory requirements for registration,” CEO Brett Mace says.

He says insurers’ response to the cladding issue is “knee-jerk” and “will achieve very little other than to po...

22 Jul 2018

The Federal Government has extended a deadline for submissions on controversial proposals to make insurance subject to unfair contract terms legislation.

Its consultation now has a closing date of August 24, after requests were received for additional time. Submissions on the Treasury paper were initially due by July 27.

The Insurance Council of Australia says the proposed model could have profound implications for insurance contracts and lead to sharp price rises.

“This particular proposal would be detrimental and would lead to perverse outcomes that would actually harm the ability of Australian households and small business to buy insurance,” spokesman...

19 Jul 2018

RMS has updated its earthquake and cyclone models for Australia.

The cyclone model includes the most recent market and meteorological data from Yasi in 2011, Marcia in 2015 and Debbie last year.

It shows the number of at-risk dwellings has risen 15% between 2005 and 2016.

The quake model reflects the latest scientific views on seismic hazards, event rates and ground motion data.

The new models are among improvements to RMS’ catastrophe risk management software for Australia.

“The Version 18 release provides the latest modelling insights to drive growth across the varied markets of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in Australia,” MD Australia and New Zea...

18 Jul 2018

A review of this year’s fires in the NSW south-east coastal area of Bega Valley has recommended statewide changes to strengthen collaboration between different emergency agencies and departments.

It says NSW should establish a fully integrated call and dispatch service for all emergencies and possibly set up a multi-agency emergency management operations complex.

Better options for call and dispatch, telecommunications and information-sharing across the departments should be explored.

Boundaries between fire departments should be eliminated so the nearest available truck can be dispatched.

The review also recommends the fire service fleet be fitted with au...

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