The 15th Australian Insurance Industry Awards were held at the Big Top in Sydney’s Luna Park. Cunningham Lindsey — inTrust was selected as the winner in the category of Young Insurance Professionals Employer. Congratulations to the team on being the best in the industry and raising the bar for excellence.
SYDNEY– Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, announced the appointment of Diego Ascani to the role of chief executive officer of Australian operations.
Ascani joined Cunningham Lindsey (acquired by Sedgwick earlier this year) as chief operating officer and head of inTrust for Australia in 2017. In this role, he was responsible for driving the implementation of enterprise-wide strategy and improving operational efficiencies in a number of business and service lines. He has over 27 years’ experience in the insurance industry and is a qualified solicitor and company director.
Ascani holds Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Law and MBA degrees from Bond University. He is also an associate of the Insurance Institute of South Africa and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
As a key member of Sedgwick’s Asia-Pacific senior executive team—which also includes Darryl Cowan, CEO for New Zealand, and Wayne Cheng, general manager, Asia—Ascani will report to Ian Muress, CEO of international operations.
Ascani previously reported to Damon Bennett, former Sedgwick CEO of the Asia-Pacific region; Bennett recently made the decision to leave the company for an extended break before pursuing other opportunities.
“The Asia-Pacific leadership team is working together to bring the best of Sedgwick to our clients,” Muress said. “Damon was dedicated to building our business for 15 years, and we are grateful to be well positioned for long-term success in the region thanks to his efforts. In recent months, Diego has played a central role in the Australian management team, bringing his operational skills and third-party administration experience to overseeing the integration of Cunningham Lindsey and Sedgwick. He and the rest of the Asia-Pacific team are committed to our growth ambitions in Australia and the wider region.
“Our clients remain at the forefront of our business and central to our operations,” Muress continued. “Under Diego’s leadership, we will continue to develop and enhance our services to ensure they reflect their changing business needs and the evolution of the global risk landscape.”
Attendees of our presentation on Technology & the Future of Business Interruption Insurance Seminar presented by Matthew Griffin earlier this year were invited to enter a predictions competition.
Results for the first two predictions are now in. Steve Smith scored 142 runs in all Tests v South Africa and Australia won 80 Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games.
For rankings through the first two predictions – click here
FAS Global Australia hosted the Technology & the Future of Business Interruption Insurance Seminar in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane earlier this month. Matthew Griffin (Partner, FAS Global Sydney) presented on range of topics including how your garden sprinkler will help cure cancer and what it means for business interruption insurance, how advances in InsurTech are shaping the insurance market and what’s in store for business insurance and more.
7th and 8th March saw FAS Global’s Matt Griffin presenting the inaugural Predictions Event to inquisitive audiences in Brisbane, Melbourne and finally Sydney. The informative sessions saw Matt highlight recent enhancements in a range of technologies and speculate as to how future developments will impact the Insurance Profession, and, the way that Business Interruption Claims will be handled in the future.
There were countless talking points contained within the sessions and these was very much evident in the many conversations taking place in each City once the talk finished.
Some of the key take-home points were:
- Technology is moving faster than people expect, including experts in the field.
- Changes in technology will cause significant impact to how BI is underwritten and how claims are adjusted
- The most successful insurers in the commercial space will be the ones that don’t just provide insurance but provide value add services using the data they receive.
To ensure that all of the 100 or so external attendees across the three presentations were fully engaged, they were invited to enter a predictions competition. All were asked to estimate a number of future values, including the Australian Dollar and Bitcoin and even the number of runs that Steve Smith will score during the current Test Series. Some great prizes are offer for the best entrants and updates and results will be provided throughout the year.
Only time will tell which road technology will take us down, however on this evidence, it looks like it will be an enthralling journey.
In what was a remarkable Sunday, Cyclone Marcus descended upon the Northern Territory, whilst unpredictable bushfires were uncontainable in New South Wales & Victoria. Our offices across these states have already received calls from our clients to assist affected customers.
Tropical Cyclone Marcus
Having been building to the north of Melville Island for 3 days, Tropical Cyclone Marcus crossed the remote Kimberly Coast before making its way as a Category 2 Cyclone through Darwin at 11am. The accompanying rainfall was not as devastating as the Australia Day monsoon event in January, however winds gusted up to 130km/h. There are many trees down and we are seeing claims from tree impact damage, wind damage and wind driven rain. All of our staff in Darwin are safe, and as you can see by the photo below, having difficulty navigating the streets.
The main focus by authorities right now is to clear debris blocking roads, restoring power and making sure the drinking water is safe to use. As of this morning nearly 20,000 properties remain without power which could lead to many small business interruption claims. Our FAS Global team have increased their accountancy capacity in their Small Claims Team in anticipation of receiving additional volume of losses. We have additional Loss Adjusting staff flying over the next 24 hours to Darwin from Adelaide, with more resources planned ahead of the upcoming Easter break, with our CAT Team being managed by Bradley Johnson. The Cyclone continues to head across the northern coast, but is not expected to cause damage to any more large communities.
The small town of Tathra is a quiet coastal town approximately 100kms north of the Victorian border. On Sunday afternoon, unpredictable winds lead to bushfires changing direction, and rampaging through a number of streets where according to media reports up to 70 buildings were destroyed. Our local contacts have suggested that approximately 40 homes have been destroyed. As of Monday, it is believed that all residents are safe. Our Adjusters from Canberra and Wollongong will be supporting our clients.
The Rural Fire Service were busy on Sunday as they fought fires in the south of Victoria. The ‘fire zone’ covers four main areas between Hamilton and Port Campbell, with the worst being near Terang where 18 homes and 42 sheds have been destroyed. Sadly many livestock have been lost. The cause is thought be lightning strikes, but is still subject of further investigation. Overnight the fire appears to be contained – the fire service has 280 firefighters on the ground, supported by 29 aircraft – a great response and obviously the reason for the fairly rapid success achieved with no loss of human life. Our rural teams have already received claims from brokers in the affected regions, and will be supported from Melbourne if needed.
The 12th edition of The FAS Focus features an article on wide area damage, jointly written by Andy King, Head of FAS UK, and Mark Thompson, Global Head of FAS. With the various typhoons that hit the United States, South America and Asia in the last few months causing widespread damage, claim parties will need to have a look at policies from a wide area damage perspective.
The second article by David Gibson, Director, FAS Global Australia, discusses the impact of price spikes in the electricity market. Although David looks at the Australian market, the issues raised are universal and can make a big difference to the final claim settlement.
In our continued commitment to provide quality surveying services, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Philip Rock as a newly appointed Marine Surveyor in the Sydney team.
Philip has over nine years’ experience in the insurance industry. Prior to joining Cunningham Lindsey, Philip served in the Royal Air Force, RAF UK and worked at Halifax Vogel Group and CSL Global Ltd. He has also worked extensively as part of the project cargo team, which saw him gain further experience in loss prevention – notably the processes involved in the transportation of project cargoes around the world, as well as risk reductions.
Philip has a passion for the industry and actively furthered his education with a diploma in cargo surveying, specialising in project cargoes, heavy lifts, containers and general cargoes.
New capacity in Sydney complements our well established existing network throughout Australia, now covering all major Ports. Our Marine team can assist in a range of services including pre-loss surveys for underwriting purposes.
This morning a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the Solomon Islands triggering a tsunami warning. Local villagers were advised by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centres to find higher ground with ‘widespread, hazardous’ tsunami waves. After a few hours the tsunami warning was downgraded with no reports of serious damage.
The earthquake was reported at 6:38am AEST on December 9 (17:38 UTC on December 8 (US Geological Survey – http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us20007z80#executive) with the epicentre of the quake located 69km west of Kirakira, a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands. Electricity supplies have been cut off in some areas, with a powerful tremor causing blackouts and disruptions of the phone system on the Islands including the tsunami warning system in the capital, Honiara. Two provinces southwest of Makira and Temotu were also issued tsunami alerts. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) has since indicated that the threat of a tsunami had passed.
Cunningham Lindsey Response
We have the largest team of experts of any adjusting company in the world, dealing with major losses. Our Major & Complex Loss (MCL) Adjusters are supported by FAS Global, our team of forensic accountants who specialise in the quantification of business interruption and financial losses.
Our team across Asia Pacific is ready to respond, and will be initially overseen from Sydney, Australia should we be required to have additional staff on the ground in the Solomon Islands.
Right people, right place, right time
MCL ensures that you get access to the very best of our technical skills, industry specific knowledge and best practices to respond to losses of significant size and complexity. We know that managing small, large or complex claims requires a combination of ‘on the ground’ knowledge, specific experience of the risk – however complex the industry or the circumstances – and a set of best practices that delivers a consistent and effective response.
You can be assured of the highest quality of service with MCL. We have developed a set of standards and selection criteria to achieve this, with every member of the team meeting a minimum set of qualifying criteria. With MCL you can have total confidence that your large and complex losses will receive the utmost attention and technical expertise from the right people – no matter where the loss occurs around the world.
Should you require assistance please contact Mark Thompson.