Editor’s Note – Winter 2018

Welcome to the Winter Edition!

the theme ………     ALUCA Innov18 Life Changing

And just like that…..we are into the business end of 2018!  We are also just three months away from ALUCA’s flagship biennial conference.

Can you believe that the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) has been in operation for over six months? Last week, my team and I considered the changes that LIF has brought to our business operation since the 1st of January implementation and the consensus is that there has been little impact. In saying that, significant changes were integrated into our work processes and operating systems prior to January. How has LIF affected your business? Don’t be shy, write a comment below.

Moving onto the articles ….

As most of you are aware, income protection profitability has been a slow burning concern for decades in the Australian life insurance industry. At a Senior Underwriter Forum night in Melbourne, a retired underwriting manager explained to the members that he addressed this same issue as a matter of urgency from the late 70’s!  More recently, TPD and trauma profitability margins are also being squeezed. In view of all this, I found Shane Burdack’s article: Back to the Future – Financial Underwriting – A step back in history a very topical read. Shane reminisces on an article he published way back in 1999 that focused on the eroding prudent risk controls of Australian Group DI market. I’m sure you will agree that Shane’s recommendations from 19 years ago make a great deal of sense. Is now the time to introduce these controls? And if so, what is stopping us? Share your thoughts below Shane’s article.

In Hank George’s biannual instalment of Update From America, I found it surprising to learn that in this age of automation, only 55% of US life insurers currently have underwriting rules engines that facilitate “straight-through processing” of new applications and in this flexible working era, just two-thirds of US life insurers allow their underwriters to work from home. Hank explains the reasons behind these stats along with other interesting risk topics and study results.

In his article Influenza: The Insurers’ Perspective, Dr Daniel Zimmerman explores the increasing global burden of influenza that WHO estimates kills up to 600,000 people annually! Find out what impact Australia’s 2017 and 2009 flu pandemics have on our industry and the significant challenges ahead.

The 2018 ALUCA TurksLegal Scholarship is open. For those of you who are new to the life industry in Australasia, this is our acclaimed annual essay writing competition, designed to support the professional growth of ALUCA and its members by providing a significant career development opportunity for professionals working in the life insurance industry. See the flyer for more details and an application form. Having entered previously and supporting many staff over the years who also have, I can assure you that the short term investment of your time is well worth it. To drum-up participation in your workplace I’ve had success involving my L&D and HR teams, allowing a couple of study days, an incentive for each paper entered and if you have a few entries, consider an internal winning paper prize.

While on the topic of industry competitions designed to support the professional growth of ALUCA and its members – Swiss Re & ALUCA are excited to open entries for our third Excellence and Innovation Award. Claims and rehabilitation professionals working in-house across life insurers are invited to enter – the prize being a trip to Vancouver for the IFDM Conference; or to Hobart for ALUCA 2018. See the flyer in this edition for more details.

For those of you fortunate enough to attend the 2018 ALUCA Conference, I look forward to seeing you in Hobart and hopefully sharing a drink or two.

That’s enough from me…..as always a huge thank you to our contributors. I hope you really enjoy this Winter Edition of RiskeBusiness and please provide me with your feedback at Michael.Reid@aia.com.

I look forward to bringing you the Spring Edition (also the Conference Edition) scheduled for the end of September.

Take care

Michael Reid
ReB Editor


linked in group
Comment and discuss this article with other industry professionals in the ALUCA Linked-In group