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Ron Shorter Award expands south to Victoria

The Ron Shorter Memorial Award, which has been operating very successfully in NSW since 2012, has now broadened into Victoria.

The award is a public-speaking competition for young professionals across all insurance industry disciplines.

Ron Shorter was a loss adjuster, liability claims supervisor, claims manager and legal practice manager. Throughout his career, he inspired and mentored many young professionals.

Before his February 2012 death, Ron had conceptualised this competition and the inaugural NSW Ron Shorter Award was presented in July 2012.

AILA Victoria, with the support of CBP Lawyers and Unisearch, is now offering Victorian insurance industry young professionals the opportunity to participate, thereby improving their public speaking skills.

To apply, prepare a summary of no more than 250 words explaining why you would benefit from public speaking coaching and a one-line description of the topic you would speak on if selected.

Applications close at 5pm on Friday May 1 and must be emailed to: caa@cbp.com.au.

Successful applicants will attend a public speaking workshop with Polaris Coaching on Wednesday June 3 at CBP’s Melbourne office, after which each will deliver a two-minute presentation on their nominated topic to a panel of judges. Three finalists will be selected.

The finalists will attend a second coaching session at CBP on July 21.

The final will be at CBP’s office on Thursday, July 30, from 5pm. Each finalist will speak for 15 minutes on their topic to an audience of industry professionals. They will be judged by senior insurance personnel.

The final will be followed by drinks and canapés. It is free to attend and anyone interested is welcome to come along and support the finalists.

The winner will receive the Ron Shorter Trophy, a $500 Westfield voucher and the opportunity to speak publicly against the NSW winner at the AILA National Conference.

Runners up will each receive $200 Westfield vouchers.

The benefits of participating are:

• building confidence and the skills to speak publicly;

• networking with peers and colleagues;

• developing your brand in the insurance industry;

• building your company/firm's brand in the industry; and

• the prizes.

I urge all young professionals in Victoria to consider nominating and participating in this exciting initiative.

Nominations for the NSW award closed on February 13 and training sessions are in progress.

Thanks to CBP Lawyers and Unisearch for their support.                  

Steadfast participation

AILA is, for the first time, participating as an exhibitor at the annual Steadfast conference in Adelaide on April 18-21.

The aim is to generate greater AILA membership within the broker community and to forge closer ties with the large Steadfast cluster group. With 1,800 delegates expected to attend, it is a great opportunity for AILA representatives to meet brokers face to face and promote what we offer in the insurance law education arena.

Expert evidence lectures

AILA this year launches a series of lectures on expert evidence, in association with Unisearch and Sparke Helmore.

The speaker is John Arneil, group executive of Unisearch Expert Opinion Services. His career spans education, international development, economics and management consulting. Since 2006 he has overseen a team of Unisearch staff who manage up to 900 matters a year, producing expert evidence and reports.

The events are at Sparke Helmore offices in SA, WA, NSW and Victoria. In Tasmania the seminar will be at M&K Dobson Mitchell Allport Lawyers’ office. Check the AILA website for dates and locations. The SA and WA events have already been held, with NSW, Victoria and Tasmania to follow.

Attack of the Drones

On March 17, AILA NSW and the Aviation Law Association of Australia & New Zealand combine to present a panel discussion and a live demonstration of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) in Sydney.

Speakers for Attack of the Drones are Simon Hooper, underwriter at QBE Aviation;  Campbell Bridge SC on liability; DLA Piper partner Alec Christie on privacy; and former CASA executive Jim Coyne, who will discuss the regulator’s perspective.

Holman Webb is providing the venue and McLarens Aviation Loss Adjusters is the sponsor.

This is one of several AILA initiatives to present education programs in association with like-minded organisations.  Due to the popularity of this event it has reached capacity and registrations are now closed.

Geoff Masel memorial lectures

AILA’s successful series of annual Geoff Masel memorial lectures continues in 2015. Locations and dates will be available on the AILA website soon.

This year’s lecturer is Ian Enright, Sydney-based senior vice president and international counsel at RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia Ltd.

Ian is an author, a regular speaker at industry forums, and is consulted by regulators on developments in the law and changes in regulation.

Impact of Highway Hauliers

On September 10, 2014, the High Court handed down its much awaited clarification on the effect of s54 of the Insurance Contracts Act.

The Highway Hauliers decision (cover story in the March issue of Resolve)  overturned the Qld decision of Johnston v Triple C Furniture and Electrical Pty Ltd [2012] 2 QDR 37. The court instead adopted the broader application of s54 taken by the WA Court of Appeal in Maxwell v Highway Hauliers Pty Ltd [2013] WASCA115 and the NSW Supreme Court in Prepaid Services Pty Ltd v Altradius Credit Insurance NV [2013] NSWCA 252, holding that an insurer cannot deny cover for breach of a policy term that occurred after commencement of the policy, which did not cause the loss or prejudice the insurer’s interests.

The High Court emphasised that an insurer could not use drafting mechanisms in an attempt to frustrate the purpose of s54. In other words, it makes no difference if the relevant policy term sought to be relied on by an insurer was framed as an obligation of the insured; a continuing warranty of the insured; a limitation on the defined risk under the policy; or an exclusion.

In Highway Hauliers the policy included an endorsement (effectively an exclusion) providing that indemnity would not be extended for an accident involving an insured vehicle if the vehicle was operated by a driver who had not achieved a PAQS score of at least 36.

In this case, the accidents involved drivers who had not sat a PAQS test. The underwriters conceded the drivers’ status did not cause the accidents.

The case highlights the importance for insurers to lead evidence that the breach of the particular term caused or contributed to the loss or altered the insurer’s position. In such cases s54 will not enable an insured to completely overcome the term sought to be relied on by the insurer to limit exposure

Another aspect of interest in Highway Hauliers was that the court awarded the insured consequential loss of profit flowing from not having received payment under the policy earlier. Insurers beware.

AILA goals

During my term as AILA President my aim is to see initiatives implemented on a national basis, which is why I take so much pleasure in seeing the Ron Shorter Memorial Award expand into Victoria and, potentially, to other states later.

The board is committed to exploring ways to broaden membership among the broking fraternity and wants to work with other, synergistic associations to develop seminars of interest to our combined memberships.

I will work with the national board to increase AILA’s membership to ensure our association remains strong and vibrant, which will ensure our ongoing viability in a competitive market.



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1300 699 140 office@aila.com.au



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