News in Brief: Expo pairs up with insurance law guru

News in Brief: Expo pairs up with insurance law guru | Insurance Business

News in Brief: Expo pairs up with insurance law guru
Expo pairs up with insurance law guru
The Auckland expo put on by the Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) Expo next month will now be paired up with a free seminar presented by insurance law expert Professor Rob Merkin QC.

Prof Merkin will discuss the duties of brokers and agencies at Auckland’s Crown Plaza Hotel in Queen Street at 2pm on Thursday, 11 February, after which attendees can browse agency stands until 6.30pm.

UAC general manager William Legge said the combined seminar and expo was a perfect opportunity for UAC member agencies to showcase their products and services to New Zealand brokers and concurrently provide an opportunity for professional development for brokers and agency staff.

“While this is a great chance for our New Zealand-based members to demonstrate their products and services directly to brokers, there also will be several Australian-based members exhibiting,” he said.

“We expect to see a large turnout of brokers to this combined seminar and expo.”
Search for outstanding industry professionals is on
The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) is calling for the industry to nominate members of the Institute who have made an outstanding contribution to the insurance industry and promoting education and professionalism.

Each year, ANZIIF awards honorary life membership to a member who has demonstrated an extraordinary level of service to the industry.

It also recognises up to two nominees with service awards, which are offered to members who have made a significant contribution to professionalism and education on a national or international level.

ANZIIF said these honours are designed to acknowledge the role that ANZIIF’s members play in shaping the industry and supporting those working in it.

ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford said: “ANZIIF is fortunate to have many outstanding insurance professionals among its membership.

“Honorary Life Membership and Service Awards are an opportunity for us as an organisation to recognise the contribution our members make to both ANZIIF and the industry as a whole.”

Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 12 February 2016. Awards will be presented at the AGM on Thursday 19 May 2016.
Insurer appoints wellbeing ambassador
Cigna New Zealand has appointed columnist and blogger Rachel Grunwell as its first wellbeing ambassador, in a bid to help both policy holders, staff and the general public with health advice.

As a marathon runner, yoga teacher, ambassador for Achilles charity and mum of three young boys, Grunwell was thought to be an ideal candidate to provide tips and inspiration on fitness, nutrition and wellbeing via videos, blogs and Q&A sessions on social media.

Cigna NZ CEO Lance Walker said: “Rachel’s wellbeing expertise is a great match with Cigna’s aim to empower Kiwis to live well and stay well, physically, emotionally and financially.”

A company spokesperson added: “We’ll be sharing her content on our social media channels and via customer communications so it will be primarily our policy holders and social media followers, many of whom are the general public, who will benefit from her advice.”
Ratings assigned to Hollard
AM Best has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating of “a-“ to The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (Australia) with the outlook assigned to both as stable.

The ratings agency said: “The ratings mainly reflect HIC’s adequate risk-adjusted capitalisation and good operating performance.

“The ratings also take into consideration the financial support provided from its parent entities, which includes capital infusions, hybrid capital and contingent capital facilities.”

AM Best the major offsetting factor in HIC’s rating assessment was its relatively high underwriting leverage. With a net premium-to-capital ratio of around 2.5 times, the company’s premium leverage was generally higher than its peers and made its return on capital relatively more sensitive to unexpected adverse shocks in underwriting results.

“Key factors that could lead to negative rating actions include incorrect underwriting decisions and inadequate product pricing that result in material deviations from the expected improvement in operating performance or risk-adjusted capitalisation,” AM Best said.

“Additionally, the ratings may experience downward pressure if there is diminished support from the company’s parent entities in terms of capital.”