December 2021


Congratulations to new life members, AILA Prize winner

AILA President’s message – Cameron Roberts

Congratulations to AILA’s the two new life members, Kim Bradey and David Lee, and the AILA Insurance Law Prize recipient, Stanley Drummond.

All three are highly deserving and have made valuable, long-term commitments to advancing AILA. It was unfortunate that, given we had to postpone the 2021 National Conference until 2022, we were unable to honour all three in the usual way, at our gala dinner at the end of the conference.

I’d like to share some background on why each of these three AILA stalwarts so richly deserves the honours bestowed on them. 

Kim served on the National Board for 18 years, including 11 years as national secretary and two as acting treasurer. She was a member of AILA’s Victorian committee for 21 years. Kim is profiled in this issue

David, a partner at Clyde & Co, joined the NSW AILA branch in the mid-1980s, not long after AILA was launched, and then became NSW treasurer. He joined the National Board in 2007 and spent 10 years as a director, including three as president.

Stanley, a partner at Thomson Geer, practices in life insurance, superannuation and financial services regulation. Since 2016, he has been the driving force behind the highly successful Life@AILA program, which hosts events specifically for the life insurance industry.

Stanley is a prolific author and a frequent speaker at seminars and other events convened by AILA and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

Read more about Kim, David and Stanley here.

Welcome to new AILA board members

Following the AGM, the AILA National Board has two new members. Welcome to David Farmer, private investigator, from Tasmania; and Berren Hamilton, Stone Lawyers Group, Queensland.

We look forward to working with you as we advance AILA’s goals.

Many thanks to the retiring board members, Anthony Hillary, from HWL Ebsworth in SA; Damon Symes, Dobson Mitchell & Allport, Tasmania; barrister Chau Donnan, Queensland; and Lance Schmidt, AFA Insurance Brokers, Northern Territory. Thank you for your contributions to AILA’s ongoing success.

There is no change to the executive directors’ roles. I am proud to continue serving as your President, Melanie Quixley remains Vice-President; Scott Duell, Secretary; Jillian Pancott, Treasurer; and Angus Kench is the Immediate Past-President.

The full board is listed here and in the contacts panel of Resolve.

Reciprocal memberships

All paid and life members of AILA have the opportunity to become reciprocal members of NZILA and the Insurance Law Association of Singapore (ILAS).

The initiative aims to increase industry education, networking opportunities and build global relationships for AILA members.

The benefits include:

  1. member website access, including educational materials
  2. access to webinars at member rates
  3. attendance at conferences and seminars at member rates
  4. staying up to date with the latest association information.

This is an exciting opportunity for our associations as we move forward and work in partnership to build a stronger insurance and insurance law offering for everyone in the industry.

Please contact the AILA office if you are a paid AILA member and have not received a link to activate your reciprocal membership.

BI test case appeal ends

The Full Court of the Federal Court has finished hearing appeals in the second Covid-19 business interruption insurance test case.

The court has reserved its judgement, which we hope will be delivered by the end of the year or early in 2022.

Appeals were brought by both parties on issues arising from Justice Jayne Jagot’s judgement, delivered on 8 October 2021.

Policyholders filed appeals on five of the test case matters and insurers filed cross-appeals and notices of contention about those five matters. Five other matters in the test case were not appealed.

Insurtech investments continue

The latest Willis Towers Watson Q3 quarterly report on global insurtech investments is interesting reading.

While there is a significant amount of funds being poured into that sector, WTW points out that much of the venture capital funding is going into a few mega-deals, not spread across the sector.

Of 113 deals done in Q3, 11 were “mega”, accounting for 51% of the total amount of capital invested in the quarter. Two of the three largest deals were cyber insurance-focused start-ups.  

WTW points out that “cybersecurity continues to be a major challenge for corporate executives and small businesses alike as the threat and frequency of cyber attacks continue to grow”. Read the full report here.

Climate change impacts abound

With the COP26 talks now finished in Glasgow, climate change and its impact on our communities, and by extension the insurance industry, are at the forefront of most Australians’ minds.

While claims from the October 2020 Halloween storms in Queensland are finally close to being finalised; we’ve seen South Australian storms declared a natural catastrophe; and that was extended further as storms and flooding affecting Victoria and Tasmania. As I write, there has been another weekend of floods across Victoria.

There is no doubt, as we enter into the summer bushfire and cyclone seasons, that the insurance industry’s focus must be squarely on how to manage the increased natural disasters that inevitably follow climate change.

Season’s greetings

As this is the final issue of Resolve for 2021, I wish all AILA and NZILA members and their families and friends all the best for the festive season.

I hope you have a chance to take a break, relax and unwind and reboot ready for another hectic year in 2022.

Stay safe and well.

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Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and
the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.