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Insurance Business | 06 May 2014, 08:30 AM Agree 0
The Australasian CEO of a leading brokerage has detailed the local impacts likely to flow from a global decision to streamline its business.
  • Bob | 06 May 2014, 09:04 AM Agree 0
    We all know an "offshore hub" means Mumbai where Willis have 100s of people stationed.
    I find it difficult that "level entry" insurance jobs for youth are shrinking in Australia at a rapid rate of knots. Many of us fell fell into insurance many years ago but we could not do that today. The jobs would not be there.
    If companies show the continued near sighted attitude to profit rather than continuity of their local insurance industry you would have to ask where the next generation of insurance managers is going to come from.
    The Federal Government should tax companies for every job that they offshore. This is recompense for the income tax that we have forgone as country and the cost of youth unemployment we have to bear.
    They then might think twice about doing it.
  • John | 06 May 2014, 09:38 AM Agree 0
    Correct - this is what they do in the UK. Believe it or not, minor tasks such as invoicing are bundled off the Mumbai to be processed. Problem is; any errors must then be re-done. Despite the rhetoric, it is cumbersome and NOT efficient, but Willis HQ have never worried about the "hidden cost" problem
  • Curious | 06 May 2014, 10:31 AM Agree 0
    Interesting point but as premiums (and brokerage) become ever lower and claims frequency remains steady but claims costs rise the only way to remain viable seems to be to cut costs. How else will the industry survive?
  • Damo | 06 May 2014, 10:36 AM Agree 0
    I know the situation from first hand experience, as I was personally involved in implementing procedures within Willis UK to outsource work overseas, and Willis actually have thousands of staff in Mumbai, rather than hundreds.

    John states that any errors have to be rectified, but if those same errors were carried out by staff employed within Australia they would still need resolving, and staff over here are probably being paid 6+ times as much. And I completely disagree that it is cumbersome and inefficient. The insurance sector still hasn’t caught up with other industries who have been carrying out this process for years, in both India and The Philippines, and it has worked for some of the largest companies in Australia, so just sour grapes to anyone who suggests otherwise.

    Another misconception is that the overseas staff are somehow inept, lacking the same skills as employees who have been carrying out information processing and invoicing tasks for years, when the reality is the majority are more intelligent with better academic qualifications than those who berate them.

    Like Bob, I came into insurance at an entry level position, which would unlikely be available nowadays, so as much as my comments may suggest otherwise, I don’t actually agree with the overall concept. But if companies don’t adapt they won’t survive, and maybe in 20 years time there will be a different but better type of broker starting from the ranks, who can spend more time learning the skills required rather than carrying out menial tasks
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