An invitation from ICNZ chief Tim Grafton

An invitation from ICNZ chief Tim Grafton | Insurance Business New Zealand

An invitation from ICNZ chief Tim Grafton

After three years, the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ) Conference finally gets to make a comeback as an in-person gathering, and ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton (pictured) is inviting general insurance sector stakeholders to take part.   

“Come along – you will enjoy yourself immensely, you’ll be greatly stimulated by the discussion, you’ll meet some new friends and contacts, and you’ll be well fed and watered for the day,” declared the CEO when asked by Insurance Business what he would like to tell the industry ahead of the event.   

Expected to host more than 300 registered attendees at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland on November 8, ICNZ Conference 2022 will feature four panel sessions centred on our new operating paradigm, cyber risks, customer welfare, and climate resilience.   

“It is the key conference for the general insurance sector, so it’s definitely an important occasion to come back, network, meet old friends and colleagues, meet new ones, but also look at some of the critical issues that the conference is focusing on,” said Grafton. “We have a theme for the conference, which is wellbeing.

“We chose that partly because we are coming out of the COVID crisis, which has forced us, either directly or indirectly, to consider our physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve adapted to new ways of doing things, and we’re more aware of vulnerabilities and the need to be resilient. Our keynote opening speaker, Dr Lucy Hone, will be talking on the subject of resilience.”

Read more: ICNZ annual conference to feature array of guest speakers

A director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, Hone is a resilience expert whose work aims to help people struggling through change, uncertainty, or loss.

“That [morning keynote] will be followed by a panel that will include Geeke Feiter from the Dutch insurance association,” noted Grafton. “She will be coming to us from Holland and contributing with her expertise on disruptive technology … looking to the future to see ways in which technology can enhance not only insurance products but help our customers to be more resilient, while also looking at the pitfalls of what technology brings.

“We also have a very inclusive approach to our conference. A Māori perspective is brought to us as well in this panel, where we’ll be looking at the extent to which insurance can integrate the cultural aspects into the way in which we respond to customers. And, obviously, we have a leading insurer chief executive giving an insurance perspective.”

Meanwhile, the other panels will be zeroing in on three Cs – cyber, consumer, and climate.

“We have speakers and panellists that are addressing a cyber session and a climate change session,” highlighted Grafton. “And all of that speaks to the need for: How do we reduce risks? How do we close protection gaps, particularly in that cyberspace with small and medium enterprises? And what are some of the challenges and ethical issues that present themselves when we’re dealing with cyber issues?”

Read more: The challenge of assessing climate risk

The ICNZ chief continued: “And in climate change, how are some of the difficult decisions made around how we reduce risks – possibly managed retreat – and yet ensure that insurance plays its part in providing protection in an affordable way for consumers? And we also have a session on its own about the consumer.

“In these really tough economic times that everyone’s experiencing with very high inflation, where affordability becomes more pronounced when people are trying to put food on the table and take care of the basics of life, will they still be buying insurance? What are we doing in terms of our response to the vulnerable customers? So, there’s a lot in that panel as well.”

Grafton also cited economist Shamubeel Eaqub, the afternoon keynote speaker who the CEO said will be providing “that broader societal overlay of the socioeconomic challenges that present themselves, and in which insurers need to operate when they are providing cover against these big issues, whether it’s cyber or climate, and how to respond to customer vulnerability.”

In Grafton’s view, there’s enough for everyone at the upcoming event. He added that people can rock up on the day and attend.

“It’s a great opportunity, not only to come along to listen to a great set of speakers and panellists, but also to just network in ways that we haven’t had the opportunity to do as much over the last two or three years,” Grafton told Insurance Business. “So, it’s great to have an in-person conference again and a great opportunity for people to attend and get some really stimulating and thought-provoking discussions going.

“What I would hope from the conference is that people go away thinking about things a little differently from what they normally do. And that will be a test of the success of the conference. For some people, they’ll have a deeper interest in cyber or in climate or in the customer interface or technology. For everybody, there’s enough of an eclectic mix of perspectives that I think a lot of people will get a lot out of.”

Delegate registration for ICNZ Conference 2022 remains open at