News in Brief: Insurer appoints expert to head surety portfolio

News in Brief: Insurer appoints expert to head surety portfolio | Insurance Business

News in Brief: Insurer appoints expert to head surety portfolio
Insurer appoints expert to head surety portfolio
ACE Group has appointed Rachelle Lanham to the role of Surety Manager – Australia & New Zealand.
Rachelle joins ACE with a strong reputation as one of the leading surety experts in Australia.

In her previous role, she was responsible for a significant portfolio of surety clients from the construction and engineering sectors.

Rachelle has over 13 years of experience in issuing bond facilities, leading underwriting teams and developing new surety business.

Rachelle’s appointment follows the creation of ACE’s Surety Practice Group in November 2013.

Under the leadership of Brian Reynolds, Regional Manager of Surety, ACE serves the surety needs of domestic and multinational companies throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Country President for ACE in Australia & New Zealand, John French said, “I am delighted that Rachelle has decided to join our team.

“With her breadth of experience and depth of expertise, we are in an excellent position to capitalise on our early success and continue our work in establishing ACE as a leading insurance provider of surety bonds.”
Fire levy on insurance premiums must go: ICNZ
The Insurance Council of New Zealand is calling for the fire levy on insurance premiums to be transferred to either direct taxation or property taxes, as reported in their latest newsletter.

CEO Tim Grafton said: “Many reviews over the years have been critical of the free-riders who don't pay insurance but benefit in having a levy on insurance pay for the Fire Service when everyone benefits from the public good it provides.”

A survey conducted for the Insurance Council last year showed most New Zealanders supported shifting the levy from insurance premiums to property rates.  Applying the levy at that point would make it difficult to avoid and would be in-step with what happens internationally.

"The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) has also determined this is the way to go. It has concluded that in terms of equity, efficiency, simplicity, certainty of revenue and most measures of what a good tax should do, the current levy on premiums fails when compared to applying it to a property tax or general taxation," says Grafton.

The levy applies to insurance premiums paid on contents, house, motor and commercial insurance.

"Keeping insurance affordable is critical and having outdated and unfair taxes loaded onto premiums works against this," Grafton said.
Broker pitching new scheme to developers and builders
Horrified at New Zealand’s leaky building crisis, British ex-pat broker Duncan Colebrook of Auckland’s Stamford Insurance has launched a new building warranty insurance scheme, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The scheme, which he hopes will capture about 15,000 houses annually, or around half the new-build market, could boast having heavyweight Lloyd’s as the underwriter behind it.

"Most of New Zealand's builders presently use the Master Build Guarantee, but ours is an insurance policy issued by Lloyd's, an insurer licensed in New Zealand with an 'A' rating which means it has substantial reserves. Our 10-year policy will be honoured for the full 10 years and backed by Lloyd's," he said.

Colebrook said the insurance would protect against defects due to design or specification, meet the costs of alternative accommodation if a place has to undergo major repairs, give technical advice and a professional claims management service.
Rural insurer puts out free booklet
FMG has put out a free booklet featuring the tricks of the farming trade and common pitfalls for lifestyle block owners.
The rural insurance company has worked with agricultural scientist and communicator Clive Dalton, who runs a website for lifestyle block owners, to put out the manual.
Mr Dalton says it's full of handy advice for people starting out on a lifestyle block.
''There's property and buildings, there's fencing, there's equipment, what are you going to need, what about the water? Water is the first thing they should look at, they say before you have a look at the house go and see where the water is."
The booklet also has tips on keeping animals: such as warning lifestyle block owners that horses can open standard latches on gates by licking them and that tamper proof latches should be bought.