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12 Apr 2019

A class action has been launched against IAG and its subsidiary Swann Insurance, alleging “misleading and deceptive conduct” in relation to add-on insurance.

The litigation is conducted by Johnson Winter & Slattery in cooperation with Bannister Law, and IAG today issued a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange confirming that it is “aware of a representative proceeding”.

“The claim, seeking compensation, relates to misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the way the insurance products were presented and sold in car dealerships to purchasers of motor vehicles and motor cycles between 1 January 2008 to 1 August 2017,” Principal at Banniste...

11 Apr 2019

The insurance industry is standing by its response to devastating flooding in Townsville despite television reports focusing on residents’ complaints.

The north Queensland city was hit by unprecedented rainfall in February, which led to more than 25,000 insurance claims valued at more than $1 billion.

Channel 9’s A Current Affair last night reported on the victims “battling” insurers for payouts “months after” the event.

The show highlights businessman Mike Adlard who says QBE won’t pay because he didn’t have flood cover, and single mum Donna Lloyd who did not have flood for her home.

Comments suggest customers still don’t understand the difference between...

10 Apr 2019

Insurers and the Insurance Council have come out strongly in defence of their performance after a report showed a 32% rise in breaches of their voluntary code of practice last financial year.

There has been a “very marked increase” in the number of self-reported significant breaches since last July, according to General Insurance Code of Practice Governance Committee Chairman Lynelle Briggs, who questioned the industry’s commitment to the code.

But insurers disagree with her assessment. IAG, Suncorp and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) say the jump in the number of reported breaches reflects insurers’ efforts to improve their compliance framework...

9 Apr 2019

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says serious concerns it raised about the product design and distribution reforms that passed Parliament this week were not addressed, and could lead to higher costs being passed on to customers.

“It remains unclear how design and distribution obligations will apply to financial products that are mass-marketed, such as home and contents insurance and motor vehicle insurance,” spokesman Campbell Fuller told today.

“This causes a number of problems, but ICA is particularly concerned about the impact on the renewal process. If insurers are obliged to ask again for customer information obtained th...

5 Apr 2019

Product design and distribution laws that aim to boost consumer protections have passed Parliament in the final sitting days before the expected federal election.

“These reforms mean consumers will be better protected from being sold financial and credit products that are not suitable for their circumstances,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert said today.

The laws, flagged before the Hayne royal commission started and since amended to cover a wider range of products, require issuers including insurers to specify appropriate target markets, while distributers must take steps to ensure they are sold accordingly.

The Australian...

4 Apr 2019

Hollard Commercial Insurance (HCi) has launched a year-long campaign to support insurance brokers and “promote the good work they do”.

While Vero’s annual SME Index released today shows brokers are under pressure from technological advancements and increasing mistrust of the wider financial services industry, Hollard says intermediaries are more important than ever.

“In recent times there has been a lot of talk about how technological advancements in the industry mean that consumers have a far wider choice and more information at their fingertips than they have ever had,” HCi CEO Richard Heilig told today.

“Coupled with the growth of...

3 Apr 2019

Marsh & McLennan’s $US5.6 billion ($7.8 billion) acquisition of rival global broker JLT has taken effect after a final court order, with Australia a key market for the combined business.

The expanded group spans more than 130 countries and provides advice and solutions for more than $US100 billion ($139 billion) of annual property/casualty insurance and reinsurance premiums placed globally.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era with Marsh & McLennan and JLT coming together,” President and CEO Dan Glaser said last night.

“This is a combination of strength and strength, and the primary focus is growth – in talent capabilities, revenue and earnings.”


2 Apr 2019

HDI Global Specialty SE has recruited Jamie Bowes from QBE as Head of Aviation to spearhead its bid to become a major player in the aviation business.

He will oversee the new Melbourne-based Aviation team, which is expected to increase in headcount as the portfolio expands.

“We are extremely pleased that we could get [him] to head up our new aviation venture,” Head of Branch Mark Fleiser says.

“He has an excellent background in this market, and we look forward to leveraging his market knowledge and connections. We hope to launch our offering as soon as possible.”

HDI Global Specialty is a joint venture set up last year by Hannover Re and HDI Global SE. It...

1 Apr 2019

New Zealand-based insurer CBL Corporation has yet to pay any of its creditors who are owed at least $NZ173 million ($165 million), the voluntary administrators say in a new report.

The disposal of some offshore assets – including Sydney-based Assetinsure – in the past year has netted about $NZ207,000 ($198,295), with the bulk of the sale proceeds expected to come through at a later stage.

About $NZ1.93 million ($1.84 million) in fees has been paid to KordaMentha, who were appointed administrators in February last year, joint administrator Neale Jackson says in the report.

Legal costs have run up to $NZ2.1 million ($2 million) in the year since the company...

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...

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