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IBA International: Australia
With NIBA CEO Dallas Booth
Since 1982, the National Insurance Brokers Association of Australia or NIBA has been a driving force for change in the Australian insurance broking industry. The organization has supported financial services reforms, encouraged higher educational standards for brokers and introduced a strong, independently administered and monitored Code of Practice for its members. They represent close to 450 brokerages and over 4,000 individual Qualified Practising Insurance Brokers (QPIBs), representing approximately 90 percent of Australia’s insurance brokers.
Most people purchase their domestic insurance (home, contents, private motor vehicle, travel) directly from insurers in Australia. Insurance brokers service the Commercial insurance sector but do quite a lot of domestic where needed. Overall, insurance brokers process around 50% of the general insurance (Property and Casualty) insurance premium in Australia with Australian-regulated insurers, Lloyd’s and overseas insurers. The amount processed by brokers is approximately AUD$21 billion.
What are the biggest challenges brokers face?
The market is very challenging in Australia, with significant changes to the risk appetite of insurers in the past 12 months. Right now, our major challenges are weather related events. The past 10 years have seen several cyclones, especially in the State of Queensland, floods across many areas of the country and more recently bush fires that have affected millions of hectares of forest areas, many towns and other facilities. We’ve lost over 2,000 homes since the beginning of November, and the fires continue.
How have brokers been affected by the wildfires?
Some insurance brokers in eastern Victoria had to evacuate their offices in early January, but most have returned and are concentrating on helping their clients with bushfire insurance claims.
What percentage of the market do brokers hold in Australia?
What initiatives have NIBA and its members taken on to assist those affected by the fires?
We’ve established a Bushfire Community Support Initiative where our member brokers advise and assist victims of the recent bushfires with their claims. The intention is to support members of the community who have suffered loss as a result of the recent fires, who don’t currently have an insurance broker and who need assistance with their insurance claim. The support and assistance of participating brokers is provided free of charge.
How can brokers in Canada contribute to the relief effort?
There are a number of fundraising initiatives to help people and communities recover. The best way to help is to donate to the Australian Red Cross. Australians are well aware of the help we’re getting from overseas—we’re so grateful for the assistance.
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