The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has announced that its new Business Advisory Council (BAC) held its first meeting this week, attended by representatives from key industry groups.
The BAC aims to find solutions for the issues impacting affordability and availability of commercial insurance for the small- and medium-sized business sector.
During the first meeting, the ICA and representatives of the small and medium-sized business sectors, insurance brokers, and underwriters focused on how insurers and businesses can work together on meeting market gaps and lowering risk drivers, particularly those related to professional indemnity and public liability cover. Additionally, the representatives outlined the current difficulties small businesses are facing in accessing affordable insurance.
Concerns were also raised about the role of state and territory governments in mandating insurance for licensing requirements and accessing government procurement, putting more pressure on small businesses that cannot afford such high levels of cover.
The BAC was established last month in response to recommendations in the final report of the Independent Strategic Review into the role of the private commercial insurance market undertaken by industry expert John Trowbridge.
The first meeting was chaired by industry veteran and outgoing CEO of the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) Dallas Booth, and attended by representatives of the ICA, NIBA, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, Consult Australia, and the Underwriting Agencies Council.
Commenting on the first meeting, ICA CEO Andrew Hall said: “Insurance is an important part of any business operation, and we hope this council can provide an effective mechanism to have constructive engagement between insurers, brokers, underwriters, and advocates for small and medium-sized businesses.”
The BAC will provide its recommendations directly to the ICA Board.