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Friday, 30 November 2012

UN courts AustInsurance industry

What can the Australia insurance industry do to solve international problems? 'UN’ Butch Bacani has met with theInsurance Council of Australia’s Rob Whelan to discuss the future of sustainable insurance.

Bacani, the head of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) landmark sustainable insurance initiative has affirmed that though the industry faces global challenges, the solutions remain “utterly local”.

Butch Bacani, head of the UNEP’s Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI) initiative, said: “Promoting mitigation and raising awareness of the dangers of extreme weather is core to the purpose of insurance. 
“If you’re able to help communities cope and manage risk in a more resilient way then you’re also making communities and economies more resilient, and making insurance more accessible and affordable. 
“While many issues can be global, implementation will be utterly local ... so there is a key role for market associations, like the ICA, to play. This is one of the key reasons we’re here ... these principles apply to all lines of insurance and across geographies.” 
During a conversation with Bacani at the ICA last week, Rob Whelan highlighted the ICA’s work in developing a building resilience rating tool and explained the ICA’s own ’holistic’ financial literacy project, which aims to help consumers understand insurance and will be launched in 2013. 
“The resilience tool offers a way to physically measure how a given building or area is able to withstand known perils, so policyholders are able to quantify the extent to which it is resilient to flood, hail or storm,” he said. 
“This is a practical tool which has the support of local councils and building suppliers so people can help themselves to build more resilient communities.” 
Bacani added these initiatives were prime examples of how the regional expertise of Australian insurers could help to have a wider impact on global premiums. He said providing policyholders with the means to assess their own risk and educating them about the importance of insurance was essential.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Australian brokers stake regional claim with acquisition

Australian brokers has purchased a shareholding in Tasmania-based IBNA brokerage, BGA Insurance Brokers.

Founding BGA principals Brett Wilkinson and Grant Butters will continue as directors and shareholders in the business going forward which will now trade as Australian brokers BGA.
“We had been approached by a number of companies looking to gain a bigger presence in Hobart and Tasmania overall” said BGA director Grant Butters.
“When we sat down with Australian on said: “We will be looking for acquisition opportunities that will enhance BGA’s presence in the Tasmanian market. Not only business opportunities but also individuals who fit the character and hold the same values which have made our business successful.”
Fabian Pasquini, Australian brokers General Manager Acquisitions & Development, said: “BGA is a well-respected broking operation in the Tasmanian market. With Brett, Grant and the team, Australian brokers now has a formal flag in the ground in Tasmania which we will work on to grow in the future” said
“BGA will now be able to access a number of the client facilities and schemes from our other partner businesses around the country and market those into Tasmania. As we do with all our partners, we will work with Brett and Grant to gain improvements in their business so that they, and us, reap the future rewards together.”
Lach McKeough, CEO Australia brokers Holdings added that the broking firm has been wanting to get the right fit in Tasmania for some years and create a strong presence for the future in the local market.
“With Brett & Grant now as our partners, I’m pleased to say we’ve achieved our goal and we welcome them into the Australian brokers family,” said McKeough.

Former insurance broker is victimed by Mafia-style attack

A former insurance broker in Italy has $16m worth of wine destroyed in “Mafia-style act”; Rabbi arrested for insurance fraud; and mansion burned to the ground for insurance pay-out.

Vandals broke into the cellars at a Tuscan vineyard and sent an estimated $16 million worth of one of Italy's most celebrated red wines down the drain. 
Gianfranco Soldera, the estate owner who worked as an insurance broker in Milan before buying the vineyard in 1972, said he had no idea who might have been behind the raid. His family described it as "a Mafia-style act" but did not identify possible culprits. 
Some 80,000 bottles of wine were lost, each of which can sell for at least 170 euros. The saboteurs did no other damage to the estate's "cantina", nor did they steal anything, suggesting that it was less a random episode of vandalism and more an act of spite. 
"We cannot come to terms with what happened," Mauro Soldera, Gianfranco’s son, told the newspaper Corriere della Sera
"We've never been involved in controversy and we've never received threats. We've suffered a serious blow, not just in economic terms. But we will not give up, the estate will survive." 
Silvio Franceschelli, the local mayor, called the raid "ugly and cowardly" and expressed solidarity with the owners of the winery.