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Presidents Desk - December 2023

Greetings, fellow AILA members.

I have taken on the role of AILA president and am proud and privileged to be given the opportunity to lead your association.

I’d like to thank my predecessor Cameron Roberts, a partner with Thomson Geer in Melbourne, who was president for five years and oversaw some magnificent achievements for AILA, including guiding us through the pandemic years.

Other board changes are Scott Duell, an underwriter at Strata Community Insurance in Adelaide, has moved from his role as AILA secretary to vice president and Andrew Lillico, government insurance division commercial claims section manager with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, is the new secretary.

Jillian Pancott, director of forensic advisory services at Sedgwick in Sydney, continues in her role as treasurer.

Cameron will continue to sit on the national board as the immediate past president.

Thank you to Matthew Harding, who has resigned from the board, for his many years of service to AILA, especially in the area of life insurance. He is replaced by Melbourne barrister and Victorian AILA president Darren Ferrari.

Other board members are continuing in their roles and I look forward to working with you all.

The new leadership team was finalised at a national board meeting following AILA’s annual general meeting on Friday 27 October.

I’ve been a board member for five years and witnessed AILA going through a pandemic-driven period of adapting to new ways of doing business.

I plan to consolidate that. We’ll be streamlining and modernising with a continued emphasis on providing value for members.

A new, more accessible website is about to come online which includes an improved membership management system to facilitate easier member communications.

I will continue to emphasise diversity, equity and inclusion throughout my presidency.

Like Cameron, I am keen to promote AILA as an association for everyone in insurance, regardless of their job description.

AIDA involvement

With the successful AIDA World Insurance Congress now behind us, I’d like to encourage AILA members to stay involved, or get involved, with AIDA.

The first day of WICA2023 was devoted to meetings of AIDA’s international working parties. They cover a wide range of topics:
Civil liability insurance
Climate and catastrophic events
Dispute resolution
Distribution of insurance products
Financial lines and cyber
General principles of insurance law
Marine insurance
Motor insurance
New technologies, prevention and insurance
Personal insurance and pensions
State supervision of insurance

If there’s a topic of interest to you there, as an AILA member you can be part of the global conversation by participating in the working groups, without having to attend a world congress or regional meeting. Taking part in AIDA will help you to build strong networks with insurance personnel overseas.

I now enjoy the camaraderie of a broad group of international insurance law proponents, simply from being involved in the AIDA working parties. It’s a great opportunity, so embrace it.

ICA releases flood report

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has released a comprehensive review of insurers’ responses to Australia’s largest ever extreme weather event, the floods that impacted on northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland in February and March 2022, known as Cat 221.

The review, commissioned by ICA and prepared by Deloitte, The New Benchmark for Catastrophe Preparedness in Australiasets out seven areas for action by insurers and ICA to improve responses to future events.

Deloitte examined the operations of eight insurers that together received about 99% of all home and contents, motor, and small business claims from the floods. There were more than 240,000 claims with a total value of $6 billion.

ICA said the review provides a clear roadmap for insurers on ways to meet the challenges of major cats and “move forward on areas that have been identified for improvement”.

ICA will review progress against the recommendations and report in the second half of 2024.

Flood losses

In a related report on floods, Perils, an independent Zurich-based organisation that provides industry-wide catastrophe insurance data, has released its fourth and final loss estimate for the southeast Australian floods in October 2022.

The floods that affected parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania are said to have cost the insurance industry $965 million. The figure is based on detailed loss data collected from affected insurers.

GI premiums to top $123 billion

new report from data and analytics company GlobalData shows the Australian general insurance industry continues to grow. 

It predicts direct written premiums will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% from $86.8 billion in 2023 to $123.1 billion in 2027.

GlobalData’s insurance database suggests the industry is expected to register annual growth of 9.5% in 2023 and 9.8% in 2024. It says the growth “will be supported by increasing healthcare awareness after the pandemic, rising demand for natural catastrophe insurance due to climate change, and a rise in property and motor insurance premium rates”.



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