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27 Sep 2018

Claim Central will manage IAG-backed insurer IAL’s property and motor claims as part of a three-year agreement announced last week.

IAL, formerly Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Australia, creates home, motor and landlords insurance products for the broker market.

Claims will be handled via the digital claims management specialist’s ClaimLogik and Hello Claims platforms. The arrangement will begin over the next few months.

The platform links insurers, brokers and customers to assessors, motor repairers, insurance builders and emergency services.

“As we continue to grow nationally, we needed to digitise our claims management function to make things faster, sim...

26 Sep 2018

The Federal Government has passed a parliamentary bill that will beef up the power of the corporate regulator.

Under the legislation, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is now able to compete for staff more effectively by removing the obligation to engage staff under the Public Service Act. This will allow it to tailor staff arrangements as it needs.

This brings it into line with the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Reserve Bank.

ASIC is now also required to consider how the exercise of its powers will affect competition in the financial sector.

The bill was in response to key recommendations from the Financial Sy...

25 Sep 2018

Insured businesses who receive delayed payouts from their insurer after a natural disaster fare no better in their economic recovery than uninsured businesses, research has found.

Research into New Zealand’s Canterbury earthquakes by research group Resilience to Nature’s Challenges also found that insured businesses that were paid promptly recovered much better than those without insurance.

“This highlights the importance of timely [claims] payments,” the research team says.

Separate research into residential insurance payments made by the Earthquake Commission (EQC) found that for every 1% increase in payouts for building damage, economic recovery increa...

24 Sep 2018

Four general insurers face possible misconduct findings after appearing before the Hayne royal commission last week.

In closing submissions, Counsel Assisting, Rowena Orr, said it is open to the commission to find Youi, Suncorp, IAG and Allianz all engaged in misconduct and behaviour falling below community standards and expectations.

Youi may have engaged in misconduct in relation to the handling of two natural disaster claims outlined to the commission, Ms Orr said.

She believes the insurer breached the General Insurance Code of Practice by not handling the claims “in an honest, fair and transparent manner”, by failing to respond to a catastrophe in “an...

23 Sep 2018

The Hayne royal commission has finished examining general insurers, but the industry cannot afford to relax just yet.

The executives will breathe a sigh of relief to be out of the spotlight, but further reports are still pending, and the commission’s findings could yet inflict further pain.

In closing submissions, Allianz and IAG were warned they could be found to have engaged in misconduct, while remarks on Youi and Suncorp were delayed and will be presented in writing due to the complexity of the case studies.

Earlier in the day Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan came under fire over the lack of sanctions taken against members who breac...

20 Sep 2018

Suncorp was full of apologies at the Hayne royal commission today, after leaving a vulnerable family in an unsafe property and trying to fob them off with a cash settlement way below their proper entitlement.

Worryingly for Suncorp, the sorry saga is unlikely to be a one-off. The commission heard that in 2016 the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) determined Suncorp had “definite systemic issues” with complaints handling, claims handling and responding to FOS determinations.

Bernadette Heald, whose home in NSW’s Hunter Valley was damaged in a severe storm in April 2015, told the commission she was insured with Suncorp and filed a claim by telephone the da...

19 Sep 2018

Youi’s deficient claims-handling after natural catastrophes was laid bare at the Hayne royal commission today.

Two of the insurer’s customers detailed a disastrous series of events that left them vulnerable and exposed.

Repairs to the claimants’ properties were botched, with incompetent builders used and complaints brushed off as “over-dramatising”.

COO Claims Services Jason Storey admitted that in both cases Youi failed to comply with the General Insurance Code of Practice, as well as the duty to act with “utmost good faith”.

He also confirmed that an internal review of Youi’s complaints process found it to be non-compliant and requiring significant impro...

18 Sep 2018

Marsh & McLennan Companies says it will buy UK-based rival broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group for a cash consideration equivalent to $US5.6 billion ($7.8 billion).

Under the terms of the deal, JLT shareholders will receive £19.15 ($35.03) cash per share.

“The acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson creates a compelling value proposition for our clients, our colleagues and our shareholders,” Marsh President and CEO Dan Glaser said.

“The complementary fit between our companies creates a platform to deliver exceptional service to clients and opportunities for our colleagues.”

Mr Glaser said JLT CEO Dominic Burke would become Marsh & McLennan Vice Chairman and...

17 Sep 2018

Allianz this afternoon became the first general insurer to face the Hayne royal commission as Chief GM Retail Distribution Michael Winter was questioned about “incorrect and misleading statements” regarding travel insurance on its website.

Mr Winter agreed the website should have been properly reviewed in the form it would be seen by consumers and the company had failed to quickly rectify disclosure issues raised shortly before a revised version went live.

The royal commission will later turn to add-on insurance sold through car dealerships, with IAG EGM Business Distribution and Group Executive Ben Bessell scheduled to take the stand.

The remainder of th...

16 Sep 2018

Former Munich Re Australasia MD Heinrich Eder has been appointed an independent non-executive director of Integrity Life.

Mr Eder spent 36 years at Munich Re and was MD of the Australasian business for 10 years.

He also served as president of Munich Re Japan for eight years and as a director for the Insurance Council of Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance.

Integrity has also appointed Mark McCrea as Operations Manager and Jacqueline Little as Head of Product.

Mr McCrea was previously head of operations at ClearView Wealth, and Ms Little was national manager for product policy at ANZ.

Next month Integrity will cond...

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