Australian bushfire losses at least $38 million
While winter weather is causing havoc in parts of North America, on the other side of the world it is extreme summer conditions that are in focus. Australia has been hit by wildfires along its southeastern coast with estimated losses of at least U$38 million. The Insurance Council of Australia says that the areas affected by the fires on Christmas Day have been declared a catastrophe. The declaration means the implementation of the ICA’s disaster hotline; the establishment of a taskforce of senior industry officials to assess issues that arise; and ICA staff being sent to the areas affected. ICA CEO Rob Whelan says the industry is acting to mitigate the impact for those whose homes and businesses have been devastated: “Insurers are focused on assisting their customers as quickly as possible, and the catastrophe declaration means claims from this bushfire will be given priority. Staff at some companies have volunteered to return from their holidays to ensure inquiries and claims can be handled swiftly.”
Insurers announce consolidation
California’s JLK Rosenberger and the Ewbank Insurance Group of Texas have announced that they will combine to form the largest insurance specialty firm in the West. The tie-up will be effective Jan 1 and Bill Rosenberger issued a statement praising the Ewbank team who will be joining the firm: "The Ewbank Group is well-known and respected in the insurance community. Their professionals are extremely knowledgeable and talented."
Meanwhile, NFP, a leading insurance broker and consultant that provides employee benefits, property & casualty, retirement, and individual insurance and wealth management solutions, has acquired Absolute Advantage Insurance Services. The Arizona firm will continue to operate from its Lake Havusa City offices with boss Brian Castle assuming the role of Account Executive at NFP.
Employee benefits rank highly for job switchers
Finding a new job is high on the agenda of many people as the New Year begins and a new poll shows that employee benefits are the third most important factor that job-seekers want. CareerBuilder found that 1 in 5 workers will be looking to switch jobs in 2016 and ‘affordable benefits’ ranks just behind salary and job stability. Benefits beat location, work culture and having a good boss.