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INMAG DEC 13:page layouts


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Superstorm flattens cities: home and left many inland neighbourhoods inundated with floodwaters”. AIR Worldwide estimates total damage to residential, commercial, and agricultural properties of $US6.5 billion-$US14.5 billion, with insured losses at $US300 million-$US700 million. The level of insured losses is due to relatively low insurance penetration in the area, it says. Haiyan was significantly weaker when it moved on to Vietnam and China, according to Eqecat’s CatWatch report. Initial reports indicated 13 deaths in Vietnam and nine in China, but neither country is expected to suffer significant insured losses. 10,000 feared dead in giant typhoon, 11 November

there is a 53% chance of an above-average cyclone season, according to the bureau. The northern region, including Darwin, has a 52% chance. The neutral state of the tropical Pacific Ocean reflects the absence of either El Nino or La Nina conditions. BOM predicts ‘typical’ cyclone season, 14 October

Suncorp warns on Sydney flood risk, 25 November

Grisly view: the Philippines city of Tacloban – where more than 4000 people were killed by Super Typhoon Haiyan – seen through a shattered window

Zurich dethrones QBE:

Pool gets new CEO:

Zurich Australia has been named the NIBA General Insurer of the Year, ending QBE’s 11-year stranglehold on the award. The company was chosen by members of the National Insurance Brokers Association, who were asked to nominate the general insurer they considered performed best overall on 10 major service and product factors. The ratings were analysed independently, with Zurich receiving the highest number of nominations from more than 800 votes cast. NIBA President David Wyner says QBE and Allianz provided “strong competition”. Former Austbrokers Chief Executive Lach McKeough, who retired from the company at the end of last year, after 27 years’ service, was awarded the Lex McKeown Trophy for services to broking and NIBA.

Chris Wallace will become Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation Chief Executive from December 9. Dr Wallace, currently General Manager Benefits Management with health insurer HCF, has more than 25 years’ experience in general insurance, workers’ compensation and health cover. He has a doctorate in economics, specialising in insurance pricing and strategy, and is a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance. Dr Wallace replaces David Matcham, who completed a three-year term on October 4. The Federal Government established the corporation in 2003 following the withdrawal of terrorism cover by insurers.

Zurich wins Insurer of the Year, Breaking News, 14 October

Reinsurance pool names new CEO, 25 November

Cyclones – average expectation: Australia is set for a “nearaverage” cyclone season this year, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual forecast. Neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean prevailed from July to last month and are expected to continue through summer, leading to a 57% chance of above-average tropical cyclone activity, the bureau says.

“There is currently nothing in the broad climate drivers to suggest anything but a typical tropical cyclone season for Australia and the sub regions.” A typical season runs from November 1 to April 30 and averages about 11 cyclones, with some likely to cross the coast. In the eastern region, including the Queensland coast, insuranceNEWS

Sydney’s giant hazard: The Greater Sydney area faces the greatest flood impact risk in the country and mitigation should be a priority, Suncorp Group Chief Executive Patrick Snowball has warned. “The risk is highest here because of the growing population concentration on the doorstep of the Hawkesbury and Nepean [river] catchments,” he told a Trans Tasman Business Circle meeting in Sydney. “These areas are high-risk flood zones, and the Warragamba Dam currently offers little ability to regulate water flow in flood. This has to be high on our agenda for mitigation.” Mr Snowball says investment in better understanding of risk, potential impact and mitigation options should be a priority. Increasing natural risk and rising recovery costs have pushed up premiums, which can lead to underinsurance or non-insurance and more costs pushed onto the taxpayer. “The only way to genuinely and sustainably tackle this issue is through mitigation of natural disasters and sensible planning and development.” Mr Snowball says Suncorp knew withdrawing cover from Roma and Emerald in Queensland would be unpopular “and we’ve taken a lot of flak”, but it contributed to construction of a levee and premiums will fall when this is completed. Better building standards and sharing data about risk will mitigate the impact of cyclones, protecting people from harm and reducing insurance costs, he says.


Super Typhoon Haiyan caused up to $US14.5 billion total economic damage, of which up to $US700 million was insured, according to catastrophe modeller AIR Worldwide. Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, hit the Philippines early on November 8. More than 2000 people were killed and 650,000 displaced as villages were swept away. Peter Sousounis, senior principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, says the islands of Leyte, Samar and northern Cebu suffered most. Tacloban, the capital and biggest city of Leyte province, was hit particularly hard “as storm surge depths as high as four metres destroyed every coastal

December 2013/January 2014


Profile for Insurance News (the magazine)

DEC/JAN 2013/14 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

The December edition of Insurance News (the magazine) contains our annual list of the 20 most influential people in the insurance industry....

DEC/JAN 2013/14 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

The December edition of Insurance News (the magazine) contains our annual list of the 20 most influential people in the insurance industry....