Wednesday, 20 October 2021
The Insurance Council of Australia yesterday convened the first meeting of the Business Advisory Council, which was established last month to find solutions for the issues impacting affordability and availability of commercial insurance products for the small and medium-sized business sector.
Representatives from key industry groups attended yesterday’s meeting of the BAC, focusing on how insurers and business can work together on meeting market gaps and lowering risk drivers, particularly in relation to professional indemnity and public liability cover.
The BAC was established in response to recommendations contained in the final report of the Independent Strategic Review into the role of the private commercial insurance market undertaken by industry expert John Trowbridge.
The representatives of the small and medium-sized business sectors, insurance brokers, underwriters and the ICA engaged in a productive and constructive meeting with all parties afforded the opportunity to ventilate issues around the affordability and accessibility of insurance faced by some SME sectors.
The representatives outlined the current difficulties small businesses are facing in accessing affordable insurance. Concerns were also raised about the role of state and territory governments in mandating insurance for licensing requirements and accessing government procurement, which puts more pressure on small business which can’t afford such high levels of cover.
The meeting was chaired by respected industry veteran and outgoing CEO of the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) Dallas Booth and was attended by representatives of the ICA, NIBA, the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, Consult Australia and the Underwriting Agencies Council.
The BAC will provide its recommendations as they are developed directly to the ICA Board, which includes the CEOs of Australia’s largest insurers.
Comment attributable to Andrew Hall, CEO Insurance Council of Australia:
Insurance is an important part of any business operation, and we hope this council can provide an effective mechanism to have constructive engagement between insurers, brokers, underwriters and advocates for small and medium-sized businesses.
We thank participants for their engagement on these issues and the goodwill from all parties to explore all commercial solutions within the current hardened market for insurance.