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3 May 2019

A Victorian insurance brokerage that is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched a structural review.

Griffiths Goodall is understood to be working with a former insurance industry executive to explore a range of options, including a sale of the business.

The business’ Shepparton headquarters was raided in March by officers from ASIC and the Australian Federal Police, and a number of files were seized. ASIC is believed to be examining invoices to clients and the amount of premium charged.

Director Ben Goodall told the company is “undertaking a review of its structure, including tak...

1 May 2019

Some brokers are risking failure by neglecting underwriters’ needs as the market hardens and capacity tightens, an underwriting agency principal has warned.

Underwriting Agencies Council Deputy Chairman and Lion Underwriting MD Kurt Nilsen has published an online message on his company’s website outlining a robust “personal view” on current market conditions and how brokers need to adapt to them.

What do you think? Leave a comment at the bottom of this article.

He says underwriters are fed up with seeing a “scattergun approach” whereby potential insureds engage multiple brokers or multiple underwriting agencies to “cover all bases”.

“The issue from this ap...

30 Apr 2019

AIG’s Good2Go The Works policy has gained the highest score in a Choice survey of travel insurance.

“This has one of the highest ratings for policy benefits and is among the best-value travel insurance for the seventh year running,” the consumer group says.

The policy has an overall score of 74%, putting it ahead of Mitsui Sumitomo’s InsureandGo Gold policy on 72%.

The Mitsui Sumitomo policy has an age limit of 100 and an online approval process for existing medical conditions, which Choice says would make it a good option for many travellers.

Choice also recommends Mitsui Sumitomo’s Tick Travel Insurance Top, which it says competes well on price without o...

24 Apr 2019

Insurers support moves to prevent “excessive” broker commissions, but are against calls for a new fee model, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says in a submission released today.

Extending the ban on conflicted remuneration to brokers is one of 15 recommendations the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants Canberra to quickly take up to alleviate the premium affordability problem facing consumers in the north.

The competition watchdog issued the to-do list in its interim report in December as part of an ongoing pricing inquiry that will end next year.

But ICA does not believe axing commissions will remedy the problem, although...

23 Apr 2019

Johns Lyng Group has been added to a QBE building repair services panel for work on commercial and domestic properties in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the NT.

The agreement, for a three-year period with an option to extend for a further two, follows a tender process launched last year.

Johns Lyng says the new contract is the fourth it has signed with a major national insurer in the past six months, continuing a strong period for the group.

“QBE has been a leading insurance provider on a global scale for quite some years and so to be confirmed as one of their preferred suppliers is another big win for us,” CEO Scott Didier said.

“This contract will form a...

22 Apr 2019

A Perth businessman has been jailed for more than seven years after a major insurance scam was foiled.

Hossean Pourzand, 65, pleaded guilty to arson and attempted fraud after arranging for an accomplice to torch a Welshpool factory that he owned.

The WA Supreme Court heard this week that Pourzand did not have enough funds to refit the building, so planned an insurance swindle instead.

In February 2017 he took out a $20 million policy with Chubb Insurance Australia. Weeks later, on March 14, an accomplice set fire to the property in return for promises of payment.

The court heard that significant damage was caused, rendering the building “unstable, unusable...

19 Apr 2019

Farms, abattoirs and other food-chain producers targeted by animal rights activists may find they are not covered for potential impacts on their businesses.

Protesters have chained themselves to equipment, invaded farms and abattoirs, stolen livestock and blocked a major Melbourne intersection as part of a wave of activity that culminated in simultaneous demonstrations last week.

Gallagher National Head of Food Production Stephen Elms says the brokerage has been talking with clients about the risk, with more vegan protests likely to remain a possibility.

“While we have seen it this last month in Australia, it is a global push as well and I don’t think the...

18 Apr 2019

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has joined forces with international colleagues to defend commissions and promote broker value.

CEO Dallas Booth briefed his global counterparts on the impact of the Hayne royal commission at the annual meeting of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries in Rome.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report recommends general insurance commissions form part of a further review in 2022. Brokers have warned that outlawing commissions would “decimate” the industry.

Mr Booth told other jurisdictions are facing similar regulatory pressures, and broker organisations across the globe hav...

16 Apr 2019

Reforms to prevent hawking following Hayne royal commission revelations could create “turmoil” for the general insurance industry, Finity has warned.

While all unsatisfactory sales conduct highlighted in last year’s hearings was related to life insurance and funeral cover, that might not stop general insurance being caught up in changes to the law.

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report recommendation 4.1 specifies “hawking of insurance products should be prohibited”, and the government pledged to act.

But Finity warns outlawing “cross-selling” could be a particular problem.

“If you arrange car insurance on the phone, can an insurer ask about your home...

15 Apr 2019

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) will examine Vero SME Insurance Index results that show declining trust levels and more businesses buying some cover in the direct market.

The survey results also highlight opportunities for brokers to be more proactive as advisers, with only 14% of respondents saying they undertake a risk analysis when prompted by an adviser such as a broker or accountant.

“The report has a number of important messages for brokers, and we are giving very careful consideration to these and to what we might do in response to the report,” NIBA CEO Dallas Booth told

The index shows the Hayne royal commis...

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