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Check out the latest insurance news, opinions, trends and innovations in the Australian Insurance industry and financial services community from experts, agencies, media and associations on Top4 News.  
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The Industry Not Pulling Its Weight On Climate Change Action

The Industry Not Pulling Its Weight On Climate Change Action | Insurance Agencies |

A new report has found that Australian insurers are lagging behind in recognising the financial risks created by climate change, and that they don’t appear to be on-board with the globally agreed goal of limiting the rise in average temperatures to less than two degrees. The release of the World Wildlife Fund report this morning comes as Labor heavyweights, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his Deputy Tanya Plibersek, tour the Pacific to investigate how climate change will impact the vulnerable region. They’re likely to come under renewed pressure to side with Pacific leaders in arguing for a global goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees rather than 2, with forecasts indicating Pacific nations will be left acutely at risk from climate change.

Closer to home it appears Australian insurance companies are not factoring in the implications of commitments made by 195 governments to work towards the two degree goal. The report analysed publicly available statements and policies for mentions of climate change from Australian insurers — IAG, QBE and Suncorp — and compared them with those of three international firms, Allianz, Prudential Financial and AXA. Four Australian banks — Westpac, ANZ, CBA, and NAB — were also analysed, and were found to be more vocal and transparent about their position on climate risk and the two-degree target.

“Given the insurance industry’s expertise in risk management, weather-related impacts and prominent position in the business community, insurance companies have a responsibility to reduce risks and costs to consumers,” the report said.

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Westpac to offer refund on dodgy insurance

Westpac to offer refund on dodgy insurance | Insurance Agencies |

Westpac bank will offer more than 10,600 insurance customers refunds for premiums paid for cover they did not need.

Westpac had charged some customers for loan protection when they did not have a loan or did not want to be covered, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission said on Thursday.

ASIC in particular was concerned that Westpac may have been collecting insurance premiums before a loan was drawn down, after it had been repaid or where a customer did not go ahead with the loan.

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Value For Money Drives New Private Health Insurance Review

Value For Money Drives New Private Health Insurance Review | Insurance Agencies |

CANBERRA -- Health Minister Sussan Ley has launched a seventh review into Australia’s health care system, this time private health insurance, acknowledging increasing consumer concern about "value for money or lack thereof" in the system.

Ley flagged the move, which follows six other health care reviews, during an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.

She announced the Health Department will conduct roundtable discussions on private health insurance with key industry and consumer representatives, while consumer feedback will be sought online.

The Minister said “everything is on the table”, meaning the future of rebates, greater competition in healthcare, and controversially, possibly allowing private healthcare providers into general practice will be part of the discussions.

“This is essential to ensure we can find inefficiencies and unnecessary regulatory burdens in the system that will free up private health providers, offer consumers the best value services available,” Ley told the National Press Club.

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Insurance Agencies monitor your driving to determine the price

Insurance Agencies monitor your driving to determine the price | Insurance Agencies |

Insurance companies will now start to use the internet to analyze driving habits of consumers. This is made possible by On Board Diagnostic, a system that is used in millions of cars. By assessing the details of their (potential) client, they can see how the person drives and determine the rates for that person.

Top4s insight:

Maybe another good reason to drive carefully and maintain the speed limit. As insurance agencies can see your driving skills.

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Insurance Australia Group searching for Chinese activity

Insurance Australia Group searching for Chinese activity | Insurance Agencies |

The Insurance Australia Group announced on Friday, that it wants to explore for a bigger presence in Chinese markets. They would scale back their investment in regional Chinese insurer.

These actions have been implemented, as a result of the dropping profit and slashed dividend.

Top4s insight:

IAG is looking for opportunities to expand their business more into Chinese markets.

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New flood maps could save Port Stephens residents on household insurance bills

New flood maps could save Port Stephens residents on household insurance bills | Insurance Agencies |

Port Stephens Council says a new floodplain policy and flood hazard maps could save households money on insurance premiums.

The Floodplain Risk Management policy and the maps will go on public exhibition next week until the end of January next year.

The policy and maps are designed to assist current and future residents understand the risks of living on a floodplain.

Council's Assets Section Manager John Maretich said community feedback is welcome.

"Anecdotally we've heard some of the insurance companies do see the Port Stephens area as high risk," he said.

"Sometimes they may have put their insurance premiums up quite high so what people can do is use these maps and take them to the insurance companies and say we are not actually part of the flood affected areas, can we please review our policies?"

It is hoped the flood hazard maps will ensure the SES and local emergency organisations have the most up-to-date information.

Mr Maretich said residents should offer feedback.

"We are looking at doing a large rollout of these maps during the community consultation," he said.

"The SES are very interested in seeing these maps and they are forewarned in the event of a large flood, they know where the areas of interest are."

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For Nippon, people are important in the life insurance game

For Nippon, people are important in the life insurance game | Insurance Agencies |

It's a self-evident point that lies at the heart of Nippon Life's $2.4 billion investment in Australia's life insurance sector: "In an insurance business, population is quite important."

"We could explore other areas in the Japanese market but looking ahead 10, 20 or 30 years we needed to diversify income resources," Nippon Life's managing director of international business, Hiroyuki Nishi, told the Australian Financial Review after the 126-year-old insurer penned a deal to buy an 80 per cent stake in NAB's Life insurance business.  

Mr Nishi outlined three reasons why Japan's largest insurer was keen to build a presence in Australia, adding to foreign operations in India, Indonesia, China, Thailand and the United States.  

"The Australian economy is expanding and it has relatively high growth. The population is also increasing; the birth ratio is higher than Japan's and there is immigration. On top of this is superannuation. This is a great system and that is a driving factor to further expand the insurance business." 

NAB also announced plans to invest $300 million into the MLC wealth business which reported a 27 per cent rise in cash earnings over the year to $464 million. 

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5 insurance tips social service

5 insurance tips social service | Insurance Agencies |

Social service organizations provide services of low value to their operating communities. These social organizations do a splendid job, they have other risks than other organizations. That is why social service organizations have different insurance conditions than other companies. This is to help the organization grow and sustain.

Top4s insight:

when operating a social service, there are 5 tips as an insurer you should take in consideration, to get the best coverage.

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A new insurance agent? remind these tips

A new insurance agent? remind these tips | Insurance Agencies |

It doesn't matter if you are new, or overloaded with experience, starting a new business is hard. Especially an insurance agency.

Yet being the "boss" provides enormous opportunities by putting the chains of success in your own hands.

Lucky for you, there are many tools available to help you master an insurance agency.

Nowadays technology and organization are key to the industry. Therefor this article will focus on which technologies should be in your possession.

Top4s insight:

There are 2 types of agents, Hunters and builders. which one are you?

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