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28 Mar 2019

Lloyd’s has unveiled what it says is a “robust plan of action” to address reports of sexual harassment after several female employees alleged they have been victims of inappropriate conduct.

The plan includes strong sanctions and potential lifetime bans for individuals found guilty of such behaviour.

A confidential channel for whistleblowers and victims to report harassment will also be set up.

CEO John Neal announced the plan yesterday following a damaging Bloomberg Businessweek article last week that described Lloyd’s as a place where a “deep-seated culture of sexual harassment” runs deep.

The article is based on interviews with 18 women executives who d...

27 Mar 2019

The Bunyip bushfires in eastern Victoria have added another $20 million to a summer catastrophe bill that has now soared past $2.2 billion.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared three catastrophes – last month’s fires, December’s Sydney hailstorm, and the Townsville floods.

Insurance losses from the fires have reached $20 million from 365 claims, while Townsville losses stand at $1.041 billion from 25,770 claims.

Hailstorm losses have reached $1.189 billion from 130,000 claims, with more than 30,000 claims already closed.

Last night ICA hosted a second insurance policyholder forum in Townsville, giving an overview of claims progress, includ...

26 Mar 2019

Suncorp will sell its authorised representative (AR) network, Resilium, through a management buyout led by Adrian Kitchin, the company said today.

Mr Kitchin will continue as MD of the business after the sale, which is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.

Suncorp CEO Customer Marketplace Pip Marlow says the move to a standalone business enables Resilium to further invest in its products and services to better meet the needs of the network and customers.

“We’re committed to working with Adrian and his team to ensure a smooth transition for the corporate authorised representative network, Resilium customers and our people,” she said.

“W...

25 Mar 2019

Suncorp may be close to finalising the sale of its Resilium authorised representative (AR) network after commencing a review of the business last year.

The insurer has retained corporate adviser 333 Capital to examine options including a sale, joint ventures or partnerships, while also leaving open the possibility of continuing to invest within the current structure.

It now appears most likely the business will change hands through a management buyout in a deal worth about $25 million, according to the Australian Financial Review.

A Suncorp spokeswoman told insuranceNEWS.com.au the company does not comment on speculation.

Resilium was formed in 2011 from t...

22 Mar 2019

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today revealed a top-20 list of federal electorates most prone to flood risk as part of a renewed push for increased government funding of mitigation programs.

Queensland has 16 of the districts that have experienced catastrophic flooding and also cyclones in the past decade. The other four hotspots are in NSW, which is holding its state elections on Saturday.

The seat of Herbert in Queensland, which includes Townsville, topped the list with 55,460 land parcels seen as vulnerable to frequent and severe flooding.

All but one of the 10 electorates most at risk from flood are in Queensland.

Townsville is the ground zer...

21 Mar 2019

The ACT has introduced no-fault compulsory third party (CTP) scheme reforms into its Legislative Assembly following a contentious process and amid criticism from lawyers that the new model remains flawed.

About 600 more people a year will be able to receive support under the new scheme compared with the current fault-based arrangements, a Government spokeswoman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Injured people will be entitled to up to five years of medical care and lost wages, as long as they were not breaking the law at the time of the accident, while those with a whole person impairment of 10% or more will retain the right to pursue damages through the legal...

20 Mar 2019

If a town is being constantly wrecked by floods because it’s situated in the middle of a floodplain or on the banks of a river, why not simply move it to higher ground?

Managed relocations of towns that are too exposed to flood should be considered as climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, says Suncorp.

The insurer says there are dozens of examples of such moves in the US, and after the 2011 Queensland floods the township of Grantham was relocated from a floodplain to higher ground via a council land-swap scheme.

While it may seem extreme, Suncorp Acting Executive Manager Government, Industry and Public Policy Josh...

18 Mar 2019

Steadfast has acquired 100% of Macquarie Pacific Funding from Macquarie Bank, as it looks to take the business “to the next step”.

The broker network already owned 50% of the operation, which will be rebranded from Wednesday as IQumulate Premium Funding.

Macquarie Pacific Funding was formed in 2003 and offers more than $1.5 billion in premium funding loans each year to more than 60,000 clients.

In October former Zurich CEO Raj Nanra was brought in to lead the business, after previous CEO Rachael Lavars decided to pursue other opportunities.

Steadfast MD and CEO Robert Kelly says Macquarie Bank will continue to fund the rebranded operation.

“Both parties hav...

18 Mar 2019

New Zealand will review the funding of its fire and emergency services after acknowledging problems with using an insurance-based levy.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) was formed in 2017 through the amalgamation of rural and urban authorities. Revised levy arrangements due for later introduction were set to remain based on insurance.

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin says there are a number of different funding regimes for fire services internationally, but there appears to be a trend away from insurance-based levies and four Australian states have moved away from that model.

“FENZ, like the fire service before it, is funded by a levy on prope...

14 Mar 2019

Claims that climate change could see parts of the country become uninsurable are “scaremongering” that does little to help the country manage the environmental threat, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said today.

The council’s strongly worded comments came amid new warnings that Australians living in areas prone to global warming-fuelled weather hazards face a future of having to do without essential home insurance coverage.

“ICA does not believe any part of Australia will become uninsurable, though risk-rating may mean high premiums for many property owners,” spokesman Campbell Fuller told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“We don’t feel that scaremongering...

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