Insurance Council of Australia news

Everything you need to know about the Insurance Council of Australia

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is an organisation that represents Australia’s general insurance industry. The group claims that its members represent around 95% of total written premiums of private sector general insurers in the country.

As of September 2019, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority statistics showed that the general insurance industry generated a GWP of $49.5 billion annually, and had assets totalling $128.3 billion. Australia’s general insurance industry employs about 60,000 people and pays out about $155.1 million in claims each working day, on average.

The members of the Insurance Council offer a wide range of products ­– catering to individuals, such as with home insurance and motor insurance, and businesses of all sizes, such as with professional indemnity, public liability, and directors & officers’ insurance.

According to its website, the Insurance Council of Australia was established on July 01, 1975, as a successor to the Fire Accident and Marine Underwriters Association, which dated back to 1867. The ICA aims to represent general insurance business conducted in Australia by companies licenced under the Insurance Act 1973.

The Insurance Council represents its member companies by  handling issues and developing industry positions through government lobby, public affairs, industry forums, issues management and consumer services. It also conducts technical research and pools resources to achieve these objectives.

Insurance Council of Australia in the news
2016: ICA declares bushfire catastrophe in WA
2016: Anthony Day of Suncorp appointed ICA director
2016: ICA welcomes NSW review of insurance law
2016: ICA chief executive Rob Whelan welcomes move to boost ASIC powers
2016: ICA calls for increased federal funding for natural disaster mitigation and community resilience measures
2017: ICA pushes for reforms to the sale of add-on insurance through car dealerships
2017: Insurance Council hosts forums for cyclone and flood-affected policyholders
2017: ICA welcomes details of new Australian financial complaints authority
2017: Richard Enthoven appointed president of ICA board
2018: ICA expresses concerns over government proposal paper on unfair contract terms
2018: Gold Coast mapping not affecting premiums, says ICA
2018: ICA supports five-point plan to help drought-affected farmers
2018: Helen Troup of Commonwealth Insurance resigns from the ICA board
2019: Insurance Council of Australia hosts two-day insurance recovery hub for victims of hailstorm
2019: ICA welcomes national approach to reforming building sector
2019: Gary Dransfield appointed president of the Insurance Council
2019: ICA board approves industry’s new general insurance code of practice

Need to know
Type of company: Industry representative body
Service areas: General insurance
Headquarters: Sydney, NSW
Employees: 11-50

Key people as of 2020
Rob Whelan, executive director and CEO
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Whelan joined the ICA in 2010, having held several senior roles in the insurance and banking industries. He has managed corporate affairs and policy functions at several major insurers, including AAMI and Suncorp. He is well-versed in developing public policy, and has extensive experience working with regulatory bodies, government, and consumer groups.

Gary Dransfield, president and chairman
Dransfield has been CEO of Suncorp since 2017, and has been with the insurer since 2009. In 2019, he was appointed president of the Insurance Council of Australia. Earlier in his career, he played a key role in the conversion of St George from a building society to a bank. He also led the IT team at IAG during the demutualisation of NRMA.

Richard Enthoven, immediate past president
Enthoven is the founder and current CEO of The Hollard Insurance Company and the co-founder of Greenstone Ltd. He served as president of the Insurance Council of Australia from 2017 to 2019. He is also part of the advisory board of Head Over Heels, a not-for-profit organisation that supports several promising women-owned businesses.

Culture:
The organisation has stated the following objectives:

  • Represent members’ interests in both domestic and international issues
  • Represent the general insurance sector to government and the community
  • Anticipate and assist the industry to meet the needs of consumers and the community in general
  • Improve the industry’s image
  • Promote community awareness of the role and benefits of insurance
  • Encourage improved service standards across the insurance sector and promote appropriate self-regulation
  • Promote private-sector provision of insurance services
  • Effectively and efficiently manage Insurance Council of Australia resources

The Insurance Council also works closely with all levels of government and consumers to spread awareness and educate the public about natural disasters such as cyclones, bushfires, and floods. It engages in several programmes to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather. These include the National Flood Information Database, the ICA Data Globe, engineering inspections in North Queensland, and the Property Resilience Exposure Program (PREP).