bi

Floods predicted for Australia this spring and summer

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that above-average rainfall and flash flooding could occur in Australia this spring and summer. 

Atmospheric and oceanic observations have yet to consistently reach La Nina levels, but there’s still a 70% chance of a La Nina system developing. 

“Regardless of whether La Nina thresholds are met, a La Nina-like pattern in the Pacific may still increase the chances of above-average rainfall for northern and eastern Australia at times during spring and summer,” the bureau said in its latest update. 

Various other weather systems are combining to point to wetter than average conditions across much of Australia. 

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has weakened, but cloud patterns in the eastern Indian Ocean suggest the atmosphere is still responding to warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the region.

A negative IOD increases the chances of above-average spring rainfall for much of southern and eastern Australia.

Meanwhile, a Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecast by some climate models to strengthen and move eastwards into the western Pacific over the coming fortnight. If the MJO strengthens this would increase the chances of heavy rain across northeast Australia, the bureau says.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has been positive for the past three weeks and is forecast to remain at positive levels to the end of the year.

A positive SAM during summer typically brings wetter weather to eastern parts of Australia, but drier than average conditions for western Tasmania.

It’s more important than ever for Australians to prepare for the oncoming storm season. 

The QLD Get Ready campaign, supported by Suncorp and featuring representatives from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Lifeline urges Queenslanders to prepare for the risk of flooding, torrential rain and other severe weather events. 

Get Ready recommends three steps: prepare an emergency plan, pack an emergency kit and make sure insurance is up to date. 

Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston says the insurer is committed to helping encourage Queensland households and businesses to be weather-ready as “waiting until a storm is bearing down is just too late”.

“Each summer, we see homes and communities destroyed by natural disasters, with much of this damage avoidable,” he said. “Even small-scale events can have a big impact, financially, emotionally and even physically, so it is critical Queenslanders undertake home preparation and maintenance now.”

Queensland has been hit by almost 90 significant natural disasters and weather events in the past decade, leaving a recovery and reconstruction bill of more than $16.8 billion. Last season, it was hit by 11 natural disaster events across 50 local government areas including hailstorms, bushfires, floods and cyclones.

Credit: 

https://www.insurancenews.com.au/regulatory-government/queensland-launches-suncorp-backed-get-ready-storm-campaign
https://www.insurancenews.com.au/daily/la-nina-holds-off-for-now-but-floods-still-feared
bc

IAG and Suncorp raise peril costs expectations after storms

Storms in South Australia and Victoria have been declared a catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). These extreme weather events have elevated claims within the insurance industry, and Suncorp and Insurance Australia Group (IAG) have raised their outlooks for financial-year natural peril costs. 

IAG increased its full-year natural perils forecast by 36.6% to $1.045 billion and lowered its reported insurance margin guidance range to 10-12% from 13.5-15.5% previously.

IAG says its net cost for the storm’s catastrophe is anticipated to be $169 million, the maximum retention for the first loss under its catastrophe program.

The full-year figure includes $535 million for the first four months. In addition to the recent storms, that comprises $204 million for the September quarter, $142 million for other weather events across eastern Australia in October and $20 million for attritional events last month.

Suncorp expects natural hazard costs of $1.105-$1.130 billion for the fiscal year. That’s $125-150 million above the previously announced $980 million allowances, divided equally between the first and second halves. 

There have been six declared weather events in October. Suncorp says costs for the half have also been inflated by the 2021 Victorian earthquake and other storms in both Australia and New Zealand. 

Suncorp expects the total cost from the recent storm events could reach $225-250 million, which led to a revised year-to-date estimate for natural hazard costs of $597-702 million. 

Earlier in the year Suncorp had begun issuing grants for remote, rural and regional Australia in the hopes to rebuild resiliently in preparation for any future disasters.  

Credit

https://www.insurancenews.com.au/corporate/iag-suncorp-raise-peril-costs-expectations-after-storms
tree

Over Four Decades Natural Disasters Are Projected To Cost Australia $1.2 Trillion

Natural disasters costs are set to almost double over the next forty year period. $1.2 trillion is the projected cost to the Australian economy according to the Deloitte Access Economics estimate. They have estimated that natural disasters will drain the Australian economy of at least $73 billion per year by 2060.

The three main cost drivers are climate change, rising property values and population growth. Two thirds of these costs will be incurred in Queensland and New South Wales due to the rising temperature of oceans. Creating tropical cyclones and floods further south. 

This figure projection was presented in Deloitte’s “Update to the economic costs of natural disasters in Australia” report, which was commissioned by the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities. 

As the population grows major flooding from extreme weather events are forecast, increasing costs and social impact further. According to the report “coastal population centres in South East Queensland and North East NSW will experience some of the highest increases in costs as they become more exposed to tropical cyclones and floods.”

It also warned that a high emissions scenario introduces an additional $125 billion in costs over the same timeframe. It expressed that a low emissions future is imperative to offset climate change impact on natural disaster risks. 

“Delaying action will ultimately mean paying more later as the costs from natural disasters increase.” the special report update mentioned. 

The roundtable has released five independent research reports that include the financial and social costs of disasters. Each report recommends investment in disaster resilience and mitigation activities in response to natural hazards. 

IAG MD and CEO Nick Hawkins says the action to limit climate change must be used in conjunction with interventions and creating resilient communities. Mr Hawkins said “the Roundtable members are seeing firsthand the impacts of more extreme, more frequent weather events on Australians, and this latest report provides further evidence that we must all continue to invest in increasing resilience to protect communities and ultimately, save lives.”

The report takes into consideration the smaller natural disaster events that aren’t always recorded by insured-loss data. These are utilised to consider how costs vary under various future temperatures scenarios. 

BI

Buy Now, Pay Later Option For Insurance Introduced By Coverpay

From next month “buy now, pay later” company Coverpay will offer a general insurance product. This will be aimed at consumers and SME’s after raising $2.5 million in launch funding to establish the platform. 

Managing Director Steve Gilbert shared that the company has taken inspiration from “buy now, pay later” in the retail sector when developing this product. A product that is aimed at insurance that will offer customers another policy payment option.

The platform is embedded into a merchants existing transaction process and can be used at the checkout for online policy sales. It can also be used in conjunction with payment portals, on invoices or utilising embedded links. The bill can be split over 12 fortnightly payments for the customer and Coverpay pays the merchant in full. 

A management fee of $7 is applied to each instalment. Customers are also given three days to make up a missed payment. After this time a default fee of $40 is added to any outstanding payment. 

The fees that they charge are fixed, which according to Mr Gilbert, “aligns with our guiding principles of fairness and transparency.”

“Underinsurance continues to be a significant issue in Australia and we know that affordability is a key aspect of coverage choice,” he said. “We believe Coverpay can play a part in addressing underinsurance by directing more funds into a customer’s insurance budget.”

Coverpay will initially provide payment plans for up to $2500. Mr Gilbert has over 20 years in the insurance and finance industries. Rosalie Lau, Lisa Woodley, Vibul Imatarnasan and Kiersten Lethbridge also make up the core team at Coverpay.

awards

Insurance Awards Finalists Named By ANZIIF

The finalists for the Australian Industry Awards have been announced by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). 

ANZIIF will reveal the winners on October 26 via a free “online movie” production due to the current COVID-19 situation. The event was originally intended to be held at the Star Event Centre in Sydney. 

The CEO Prue Willsford said, “whilst it would have been lovely to frock up and celebrate it is just not possible, so this year a professionally produced online movie will celebrate the incredible achievements from individuals and companies, and their contribution to raising the standard of professionalism for the insurance and financial services industry”. 

The ANZIIF awards celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and companies within the insurance industry. The annual affair to highlight the accomplishments of those in the general insurance industry was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The following are the insurance provider finalists:

Small General Insurance – Adica Insurance, Guild Insurance, Lawcover Insurance, RACT Insurance

Large General Insurance Company – Allianz, CGU, Hollard Insurance, QBE Australia Pacific, Zurich General Insurance (Australia & New Zealand)

Excellence in workplace diversity and inclusion – Allianz Australia, CHU Underwriting Agencies, Hollard Insurance, Marsh, MetLife Australia, QBE Insurance Australia Pacific

Both the Insurance Leader and ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award winners will be announced on October 26.

Credit 

Free Image – Canva.com

ANZIIF Names Insurance Awards Finalists – insurancenews.com.au

prof

Profitability Improves For Global Industry As Rates Increase

According to a report on the results of global firms, insurer and reinsurer combined operating ratios improved in the first half, as rate increases outweighed claims. Double-digit rate increases were reported by six of the 18 tracked. QBE led with a 26% increase due to rising commodity prices in its North American crop business. 

Pricing in commercial lines increased premiums, whilst rate growth for reinsurance also supported the momentum. Favourable pricing is expected to continue this year according to Willis Re. Some management teams have mentioned that further rate increases are likely to be less significant and portfolios have started to ease. 

The increased profitability was supported by lower than expected personal lines loss frequency and some reserve releases were achieved despite higher natural catastrophe losses. The average combined ratio for the half was 93.7% with every company below 100%. Experiencing higher profit performance compared to the same period the previous year, which included substantial COVID losses. 

Willis Re discussed the long term outlook of rating the environment and the current cyclical upswing as well as if profit margins are set to continually increase. Inflation impacts many areas in the short term as well as longer-term. Potentially including loss ratio deterioration, due to lags in pricing response, loss development increases above-booked levels and reductions in the market shares according to the report. 

The report states that “In the current pricing cycle, companies appear to be proactively taking pricing action, but it remains to be seen whether it is sufficient”. 

There are a number of companies included in the report such as QBE, Chubb, AIG, Aviva, Liberty Mutual, MS&AD, Allianz, Axa, Zurich, Travelers, Mapfre, Hannover Re, Swiss Re, Munich Re, Generali, Sompo. Tokio Marine and Scor. 

Credit

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/international

building

Suncorp Offering Grants To Rebuild After Natural Disasters

Suncorp pledged 1 million in grants to assist with the rebuilding in remote, rural and regional areas within Australia. In the hopes to rebuild resiliently in preparation for any future disasters. The first round of grants is now open and currently available to communities within NSW and South East Queensland impacted by severe flooding in March.

NSW experienced record rainfall within a 7 day period since data began being collected in 1900. The rainfall in the area of the state that drains into the Tasman Sea averaged 252.9 millimetres in the seven days leading up to March 24, breaking previous records. 

Suncorp has partnered with Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) to conduct the Suncorp Rebuilding Futures program. Individual grants of up to $15,000 are being offered to local community groups and not-for-profit organisations to support the long term recovery and resilience building of vulnerable communities. The first round is open until September 15 with successful applicants being named in November.

10,000 insurance claims were received by Suncorp following the flooding in rural and regional communities. More than 60% of the total claims have now been finalised, assisting the community to recover from natural disasters. 

CEO Steve Johnston said “I’ve seen firsthand the devastation and emotional toll of natural disasters, which is why we are supporting communities to not just build back but to make themselves more resilient than before. We are working closely with our building partners to progress repairs as fast as possible”. 

Suncorp’s Rebuilding Futures grants aim to empower locals to collaborate and design local solutions. They understand that recovery is a marathon but communities are best placed to steer their own future. 

The CEO of FRRR, Natalie Egleton mentioned that “This program, with a focus on the medium to long-term needs and building back better, will mean that when there are significant disasters support will be available to local groups’”. 

The first round of funding consists of $200,000 in grants and applications are open until September 15 to help support the long term recovery of flood-impacted communities. 

Credit

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/daily/suncorp-offers-1-million-in-grants-to-rebuild-after-floods

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/local/suncorp-flood-rebuilding-grants-open-until-mid-september

covid

Insurance Companies Join COVID Vaccination Push

Some of Australia’s largest insurance companies are urging eligible staff members to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. With the possibility of offering an employer-assisted vaccine roll-out. The government is currently assessing a policy that could allow vaccinated employees to return to work. 

Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston stated the insurer is “strongly advocating” for vaccines as “our ticket to a more ‘normal’ existence”. Mr Johnston has himself been fully vaccinated after receiving two doses of AstraZeneca. He encouraged “doing everything possible to support and encourage our employees to play their part and get vaccinated”. 

They are currently working with chief medical officers to answer any queries employees may have and to continue the vaccination program. Members of staff have access to paid leave to attend vaccination appointments during work hours and Suncorp is actively considering playing a role in employer-assisted vaccine roll-out. 

Allianz mentioned that it is “actively encouraging” all of its employees to receive the vaccine and is offering flexible work options to attend their appointment during work hours. A spokesman said that they have “also registered their interest with Australian Vaccine Services to participate in a corporate vaccination program”.

Allianz has recently introduced a pandemic leave policy giving their employees access to paid leave if they have exhausted all of their normal leave and are unable to work due to COVID related restrictions. 

IAG introduced measures, in June, to support their employees, including leave to attend COVID-19 vaccination appointments. A spokesman mentioned that “employees can take a half day paid leave for each of their vaccination appointments”. 

Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon including Broker Marsh who says it is encouraging all eligible staff to get vaccinated, while Willis Towers Watson believes vaccination protects “family, friends and colleagues”. 

The Head of Australasia and Head of Corporate Risk and Broking Simon Weaver says “WTW is strongly encouraging all colleagues to get vaccinated once eligible”. Recognising the importance of slowing COVID-19 cases. Understanding the difficulty to secure appointments they are offering flexibility for employees to attend appointments. 

Credit

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/daily/get-jabbed-insurers-join-covid-vaccination-push

ED Insu

Estimated ASIC Funding Levy Tops $24.7 Million

The estimated levy recovered by The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) totals $24.7 million. These funds will be recovered from the general and life insurance industries to cover the cost of regulating the sectors in the last financial year. $16.1 million is projected to come from the cost recoveries levy whilst the remaining $8.5 will be obtained from statutory levies.

It is projected that overall funding levies of $359.6 million will be collected from the financial services sector to support ASIC’s 2020/21 regulatory costs. ASIC released these estimates last week as part of their draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement, seeking feedback on how these funds will be recovered as industry levies under the industry funding model. 

The corporate regulator expects to publish the final levies in December and invoices to be issued in January. ASIC has created a draft cost recovery statement annually since the government introduced the industry funding model for the corporate regulator in 2016.

The insurance focus areas for the 2020/21 financial year include claim handling, mis-selling, hardship assistance, small business insurance cover, Hayne royal commission reforms and unfair contract terms review. 

In the draft statement, which can be found here, the ASIC says “we continue to consult and develop information for industry on our expectations of fair and transparent behaviour. We will review specific market sectors and products, we will take regulatory action…where necessary”.

August 13th is the closing date for submissions.

Credit: 

ASIC Australian Securities & Investments Commission – https://asic.gov.au/

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/

Training

Increased Training On Premium Funding Suggested By Broker Code Committee

The Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee, which assists insurance brokers to deliver high quality service standards to consumers, has recently suggested training should be increased for premium funding. Including ways to assist clients in financial difficulties as a result of the events experienced within the past year. 

Regular training provides brokers with up to date information regarding premium funding arrangements, according to an Own Motion Inquiry. Allowing clients to spread out instalments and consolidate their premiums, from numerous policies, into one payment. 

More in depth training can also lead to early identification of financial difficulty triggers. Policies and procedures can then be put in place to ensure appropriate response and aqedate assistance. 

The inquiry report mentioned “we have seen businesses of all sizes suffer financially due to the pandemic and, in some cases, extreme weather events such as bushfires and flooding”. 

With that said it is projected that financial difficulty will be an ongoing issue for Australian businesses and the insurance industry needs to respond. Brokers should establish that clients are entering a third-party arrangement with a premium funder. As well as ensuring the client understands the risks associated if insurance premiums are missed. 

The inquiry report states “ensure the client understands their mutual obligations to the premium funder and should financial difficulties arise work together to find solutions so that all parties are appropriately informed”. 

The Insurance Broker Code Committee continues to monitor compliance and provides guidance to stakeholders to enhance professionalism and high standards of practice within the insurance broking industry. 

Credit:

Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee – https://insurancebrokerscode.com.au/

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/

calculator-calculation-insurance-finance-53621

$600 Million Dollar Mitigation Program Announced In Budget

The Federal Government Budget included a $600 million mitigation program that will support resilience projects. Prime Minister Scott Morrison identified that the Preparing Australia Program will provide assistance for locally identified risk as well as assist with risks outside community control. 

“The introduction of this new program will allow the Commonwealth to fund projects that reduce risk and minimise the impact of natural disasters including; bushfires, floods and cyclones” Mr Morrison mentioned to the Townsville Chamber of Commerce recently. 

The program will be separated into two parts including Preparing Australian Communities and Preparing Australian Homes. The Home Program will be conducted by the Government working closely with the insurance sector to identify projects of paramount importance. This will support beneficial reductions in insurance premiums. 

An Australian Climate Service will also be established to collate information from Government bodies including the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, Geoscience and the Bureau of Statistics.

Led by Shane Stone, The National Recovery and Resilience Agency will work closely with Emergency Management Australia and the climate service. Supporting emergency response in regards to decision making after a crisis. This will also help to target where the relief funds are spent under the Preparing Australia Program. 

This program is on top of the five year $130 million Disaster Risk Reduction Funding Package and the $50 million in additional funding from the Emergency Response Fund. Funding that is specifically for long term risk reduction, preparedness and resilience.

Derived from the Former National Drought, Flood Response and Bushfire Recovery Agency, the new agency will also support communities affected by recent floods in NSW and Queensland as well as cyclones in WA. 

The insurance industry has been calling for a large scale investment in this area for quite some time according to the Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall. “It is pleasing to see that the Morrison Government has heard these calls with this action,” Mr Hall said. 

The Government also announced their support for local governments to provide disaster recovery scenario training to assist regional communities to prepare for unforeseen events. These announcements are a step in the right direction to ensure a national response to disaster management. 

Steve Johnston, Suncorp CEO, mentioned that the new agency is a vital part of delivering the recommended reforms from last year’s Natural Disaster Royal Commission. He welcomes a national approach to ensure Australia is adequately prepared in the case of disasters. 

Australia has a high risk of extreme weather events and levels of financial and physical resilience and therefore requires extended funding for natural disaster mitigation projects. 

Credit:

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/

Climate Change

Climate Change Guidance Draft Released

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is also known as the APRA has recently released a draft of their climate change guidance. 

This guidance is directed towards the banking, insurance and superannuation industries for managing the risks of climate change. This release came in response to industry requests for clarification on expectations. 

The guide includes APRA’s best practices in areas such as governance, risk management, scenario analysis and disclosure. It does not however implement additional requirements or obligations. 

APRA has developed their draft CPG 229 in response to industry requests including clarity of regulatory expectations and their view of sound practice. 

Since Australia became a party to the Paris Agreement, Chairman Wayne Byres has been consistently raising awareness around the topic of climate-related risks to the financial sector. 

Whilst the guide draft from the Prudential Regulation Authority, APRA, doesn’t create any new requirements in regards to financial risks CPG 229.

According to Byres “The guide is aimed at ensuring decisions are well-informed and appropriately consider both the risks and opportunities that the transition to a low carbon economy creates.”

Recommendations from the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, TCDF, influenced the CPG 229. With both domestic and international peer regulators assisting with the process. 

The APRA is actively seeking feedback for the CPG 229, Climate Change Financial Risks, draft and plans to release their final version prior to the end of the year.

The intended outcome of the CPG 229 is providing greater clarity of regulatory industry practice in regards to climate change financial risks. 

This clarity has the potential to lead to an increased size customer base and business strategy enhancements for relevant industries such as insurance, banking and superannuation.

Credit

APRA – https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-guidance-on-managing-financial-risks-of-climate-change

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/regulatory-government/apra-releases-draft-climate-change-guidance

Flood Damage

Flood Damage Extends To $438 Million With Clean Up Well Underway

The insurance costs from the Queensland and New South Wales flooding have extended to an estimated $438 million, as the focus shifts to the clean up and future impact of this natural disaster. Tens of thousands of people have already made claims to insurance companies customer support teams.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, an estimated 29,213 claims had been made, in regards to the floods, as of the end of March. More damage locations are being assessed as the conditions continue to ease and people return to their homes.

With the Bureau of Meteorology stating that no further flooding is projected, assessors have been visiting affected regions as soon as it is safe to do so. Although there has been cause for concern, in regards to flood insurance transparency in the terms and conditions and whether it has in fact been selected by those who are affected by the flooding. Including the sum insured for and the ability to cover the cost of damage and any business interruption.

The Federal Emergency Management Minister, David Littleproud has asked insurers to “show a little bit of humanity and have a social conscience to [the people affected by the floods]” when appearing on Sky News Sunday Agenda last week. 

Also making a point to mention that “people entered into these contracts in good faith, and we would expect insurance companies to act in good faith”. Littleproud also sees this as a great opportunity for the insurance industry to improve their reputation amongst consumers. 

Support teams have been deployed in flood affected areas and are assisting with the arrangement of emergency repairs as well as organising temporary accommodation for customers, according to Suncorp CEO Steve Johnson. Mr Johnson also commended the Federal Government’s swift response in urging state governments to insurance workers and tradespeople as essential workers. 

Giving insurance workers as well as tradespeople the confidence to cross borders with the intention to support flood affected communities. They have also committed to getting customers back on their feet as soon as possible. Therefore it is incredibly important that assessors and repairers have access to these areas. 

There has been additional support from NSW Land Registry Services who are making title searches, replacement Certificates of Title and plan images free for property owners affected by the flooding. These documents not only provide peace of mind to owners but also help landholders with insurance claims and development applications to council.

Disasters such as flooding are a good reminder to check your insurance cover in order to protect your business or home against adverse events. Craig at Business Insurance Consulting may be able to assist in finding the optimum cover when it comes to business or home and contents insurance cover.

Credit:

Insurance News Website

Insurance Business Magazine
Image – NSW SES through 7 NEWS

Insurance

Positive Opportunity For Insurers To Embrace Change

EY Global released their 2021 Global Insurance Outlook report where they suggested there is an opportunity for general insurers to change their business models as we approach a post-COVID world. 

The pandemic encouraged numerous changes that were slowly being implemented prior to the outbreak we experienced last year. We saw a substantial investment in digital methods including IT innovation, to stay in touch with consumers. There is a clear preference to communicate through mobile devices such as phones, tablets and laptops. 

“The global insurance industry is facing a truly unique moment in its long history,” the report stated.

The disruption faced over the past year has provided a positive opportunity for insurers to embrace digital transformation. The industry has the potential to improve itself to align with modern times and market needs.

Although it is the responsibility of individual insurance companies to reposition or even reinvent themselves, EY believes the insurance industry has notable advantages and the ability to achieve growth and opportunity. 

EY Sector Leader Grant Peters wants Australian insurers to connect more with their customer base and explore digital opportunities available to them.

The digital trend is becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers and is likely to continue. Mr Peters mentioned that “some of these trends existed pre-COVID but have been accelerated.”

A trend that is already prevalent and will continue is more flexibility in product terms and offerings that insurers have for consumers. Tailoring products for different consumers need to improve the overall customer experience. It is projected that we will see more innovation and competition in the area of insurance. 

The EY report also mentions there will be a greater need for individual and commercial insurance solutions with the current economic recovery. 

With the introduction of stricter regulations and reporting requirements, insurers will need to review the way in which they manage performance and share their strategies with capital markets. 

Insurers have demonstrated their ability to adapt efficiently to a digitalised world. They now have a unique opportunity to embrace change and enhance their reputations in a customer-centric approach. 

Credit:

Insurance News – https://insurancenews.com.au/local/pandemic-gifts-industry-opportunity-to-remake-for-future

2021 Global Insurance Outlook Report – https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_gl/topics/insurance/insurance-pdfs/ey-2021-global-insurance-outlook.pdf

Construction industry insurance

How The Construction Industry Will Be Impacted By The Capacity Crunch?

The Australian construction sector is facing increasing pricing, higher excess levels and restricted insurance cover due to natural disasters and project failures. There is a looming potential for insurers to shift away from long term construction risks, instead replacing them with annually renewable risk exposures. 

At the beginning of the year treaty renewals experienced an increase in reinsurance costs. This lowered profitability and led to multiple insurers completely withdrawing their cover from the construction industry, decreasing the supply chain.

The construction market recap report from the past few years outlined “the construction industry is not immune to major events”.

This has created implications for long term contract periods, with capital reducing long term risk and alternatively opting for short term risk exposures. 

A sequence of high profile construction project failures globally, in combination with an array of natural disasters as well as COVID-19 has impacted the construction industry greatly. So much so that insurers are considering insurance coverage restrictions for the construction industry. 

A number of insurance companies have placed their construction books into run-off and in the last 12 months or so, 15 global leading markets withdrew from underwriting construction risks. This resulted in a $1.27 Billion loss in market capacity. 

These losses have led multiple insurers to review their long term participation in the construction industry. Insurance premiums increased by 30-35% last year, with construction liability insurance and excesses also rising significantly. 

The report suggests that insurers will become more selective with the terms and conditions that they offer for construction risk. Other areas of insurance including property and casualty are also on the increase, as major markets avoid risks that don’t adhere to strict underwriting guidelines. 

Head offices are adopting an underwriting approach that focuses on practicality and profitability. Many underwriters are waiting for lead terms to be finalised before considering their participation in the industry, as they are restricted to the original approved terms. 

An example of a key area for concern is water damage. Insurance companies have experienced high volumes of claims for residential and building projects relating to water damage. This has led to increased premiums and cover being limited or excluded completely.

Businesses within the construction industry weighing up their insurance cover options may achieve a more positive outcome by investing in an insurance broker. Demonstrating lower risk and associated capital spend will optimally position businesses to obtain the best cover available. 

Despite the challenging entrance into 2021, insurers have the ability to position themselves to improve outcomes and navigate the market optimally in order to limit cost increases. 

Craig from Business Insurance Consulting is a highly experienced insurance broker that can assist with finding optimal cover for businesses, within the construction industry, that have been impacted by the capacity crunch. Get in touch with Craig for more information in regards to adequate cover for your business.

Credit:

Insurance News – https://www.insurancenews.com.au/local/capacity-crunch-hits-construction-sector