Thank you to all ALUCA members who recently completed a survey designed to gather insights on the key challenges members are facing in the next 12 months. It also included perceptions about the current economic and industry environment, thoughts around professional development and the key capabilities required of future underwriting and claims professionals as well as what members value about their membership.
This was all designed to help ALUCA better understand its member’s needs and ensure the on-going relevance and value of ALUCA services.
The survey highlighted that the key priorities and opportunities facing Underwriting, Claims, CMO and Rehab professionals in 2017 continue to be complex and varied. Life insurance and re-insurance companies and their employees in Australia face an uncertain and changing regulatory environment, media and regulatory scrutiny and a bumpy business environment.
Optimism about prospects for the Australian life insurance business over the coming 12 months compared with the previous 12 months was good with 47% of respondents stating they were more optimistic. However optimism about the Australian economy over the next 12 months compared to the previous 12 months was weaker with only 26% of respondents stating they felt more optimistic.
Figure 1. Are you optimistic about prospects for the Australian life insurance business over the coming 12 months compared with the previous 12 months?
Figure 2: Are you optimistic about the Australian economy over the coming 12 months compared with the previous 12 months?
Survey respondents were asked to list the top three challenges they were facing in their role and business over the next twelve months. The top challenge identified by 52% of executive respondents was the incoming regulatory change. Comments about this included ‘Complying with regulatory change, particularly in the provision of appropriate data’, ‘Adapting and managing regulatory change in a controlled manner’ and ‘Managing regulatory compliance with increased profitability pressures’.
The other key challenges identified included;
– The skills shortage – recruitment and retention of skilled staff,
– Negative media scrutiny and lifting consumer confidence.
Others listed adapting to technology and big data changes, resourcing issues and claims handling.
Figure 3: Top three strategic challenges
Capabilities and Professional Development
The top 3 key capabilities for future underwriting and claims professionals besides technical skills included people/customer service skills, decision making skills and strong business acumen.
In addition 84% of survey respondents stated that they would welcome a professional accreditation program specifically designed for Life Underwriters and Claims Managers.
The results from exploring what members valued about their membership to ALUCA were consistent with what we had previously learnt – regular seminars, education, networking, professional development and being part of an association specific to Life Insurance, Underwriting and Claims. All of these are central to our association and are captured in our tagline.
Furthermore, suggestions made to ALUCA to improve the current foundation included; updating educational resources on the ALUCA website, driving change and increasing the professionalism of underwriters and claims assessors, education content via webinars and providing more value for senior colleagues in the form of senior Forums It was great to receive this feedback and we are happy to report that we have already kicked off projects that address this feedback:
- A refreshed and revamped website – to be launched in the middle of 2017
- An ALUCA working party are reviewing the current accreditation and CPD program to increase the professionalism of underwriters and claims assessors
- Several events are planned for Executive level members for this year. The first lunch was held in January, and we will be holding an Executive Leaders one-day Forum this year
- Webinars have been included as part of the website working group
Follow up surveys will be distributed in the latter half of 2017. However, we welcome feedback anytime and would appreciate your response. Simply drop us a note: e: firstname.lastname@example.org, e: email@example.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media
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