Editor’s Note – Summer 2016

Welcome to the Summer Edition of ReB!

The Conference

All reports are that the 2016 ALUCA Conference was an outstanding success!  Congratulations to the conference organising committee and all who attended. Refer to Jim’s Chatter from the Chair for more, and check out the photos to see if you made the cut!

 2016 – The Wind of [positive] Change Continues ….

 “By changing nothing, nothing changes” – Mark Twain

I was very pleased to see our industry continue to embrace change in 2016. Just five years ago can you recall frequently hearing about, or attending seminars on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Predictive Modelling, Straight Through Processing (STP), Big Data, Robo-Advice/Robo-Underwriting, Underwriting Rules Engines (URE), eClaims, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) or IBM Watson? Call it what you will – change or innovation but as an industry we need it to address the immediate concerns of customer affordability and Income Protection profitability – all while claim rates remain at record highs. Moving forward we also need to get much better at promoting the critical need for life insurance products, especially among our millennial customers. These are challenging times!

Last year the Australian Life industry paid approximately 89,000 claims worth $6.9 billion*and we should be an enormously proud of this. However this year our industry was reminded in no uncertain terms that we can get things wrong. This should be viewed as the perfect opportunity to improve our practices and work hard to regain any customer trust that has been lost.

The latest on the Life Insurance Reform (LIF) is that it will most likely to be implemented in 2018. The LIF promises to change the way that life insurance is sold in Australia and this may indirectly impact Claims and Underwriting when it arrives.

 There has been recent changes to the ALUCA Board. See the new 2017-18 ALUCA Board Members’ bios and photos in this edition.

 Summer Edition Articles

  • On the theme of automation in Life Insurance, Vanessa Dobson (Munich Re) explores greater efficiencies and faster assessment turnaround times in underwriting.
  • Have you ever defended your mental illness underwriting decision in court? Dr Doron Samuell (Behaviour Risk Management Expert) sets the scene. Get ready for a cross-examination!
  • Last days to complete the Employability Assessment TPD Claims Survey. Creator of the survey Margaret Black (University of Sydney) will present the findings over the coming months.
  • 2016 ALUCA Turks Scholarship – I am delighted to publish the winning papers of the 1st and 2nd Runners Up. A HUGE congratulations to the authors Christine Gan and Elizabeth Haddow-Allen – both from CommInsure.

ALUCA Victoria Sub-Group EOY Event

Last week I had the pleasure of attending our final event on the ALUCA 2016 calendar at one of Melbourne’s finest 3-Hat restaurants, Vue de Monde. Needless to say the 100 seat capacity was booked out in no time.  Apart from the 55 floor panoramic view, amazing food and service, there was also a highly engaging and interactive presentation by Dr Matthew Paul (Occupational & Environment Physician and SCOR CMO) on the utilisation of artificial intelligence tools and health data to find health risks and better predict outcomes. This was followed by an ALUCA Board update from Devi Uka and a thought provoking wrap-up of proceedings by our new Victoria Sub-Group President, Hashim Jiwani. Hashim asked the audience to reflect on how much we matter ….by the meaningful work that we undertake every day …..and the real people who we positively impact everyday – “Life Insurance matters”. A great closing message.

As the sun sets on 2016, I would like to sincerely thank you, our ReB readership. We have made significant ground over the last 12 months in readership numbers and global reach.  By continuing to source relevant and educational articles, I am hoping to repeat this trend in 2017. I would also like to thank the contributors, Jim, Amanda, Pat and Jamie who assist me in putting ReB together.

Look out for our next edition of ReB in March 2017.

Have a very happy and safe break.


Michael Reid
ReB Editor


*source – the risk store

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