Suncorp Makes Acting CEO Permanent

Suncorp has appointed acting CEO Steve Johnston as the new permanent head of the company.

Chairman Christine McLoughlin says Suncorp weighed the merits of global and local candidates before confirming Johnston as CEO and Managing Director.

Johnston was Chief Financial Officer until May, when he switched roles following previous CEO Michael Cameron’s sudden exit.

Announcing an 83.5 per cent fall in full-year profit last month, Johnston admitted his predecessor’s so-called ‘marketplace strategy’ had confused customers and halted its rollout to refocus on banking and insurance.

Deputy Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Robson, who has been acting CFO since May, will continue in the role while Suncorp considers internal and external candidates.

IAG To Pay Increased Dividend To Shareholders

Insurance company IAG will pay a final fully-franked dividend of 20 Australian cents per share following the release of its results for the financial year ended 30 June 2018. The company says this brings the full year dividend to 34 cents, representing an increase of three per cent over FY17 and a cash payout ratio of 77.9 per cent.

IAG has also announced a A$592 million capital management initiative to distribute surplus capital to shareholders. The initiative, which is subject to shareholder approval at the AGM, amounts to 25 cents per ordinary share, and is expected to comprise of a capital return of 19.5 cents and a fully franked special dividend of 5.5 cents.

The 19.5 cents per share capital return will be accompanied by a related share consolidation, which is expected to reduce the number of shares on issue by approximately 2.4 per cent.

Suncorp Simplifies Quoting For Non-Recommended Repairers

Suncorp has launched a new online portal to simplify quoting by non-recommended repairers (NRR).

Executive Manager, Assessing and Repair at Suncorp, Brett Wallace, said the new AudaBridge portal provides opportunities for a more robust and consistent approach to NRR assessments.

“We currently receive quotes through various channels and formats, some of which require us to manually input the information into our system. This is time consuming and often means our assessors don’t have all the details needed to properly compare repair method, quality and costs,” said Wallace.

“The new web-based platform will give repairers access to relevant claim information, enable them to upload or input quotes, view real-time assessment information and submit invoices. These enhancements will help our team deliver a better customer experience, and ultimately provide the best repair solution for each vehicle. The method repairers currently use to construct quotes won’t change and Suncorp will continue to accept all estimate formats,” he added.

“We remain committed to working closely with NRRs to create a seamless process focused on delivering the highest quality repairs, best service and the greatest value for our customers.”

Repairers can register to use the AudaBridge portal by emailing [email protected].

GPs Take The Title For Britain’s Most Accident-Prone Drivers

A study by GoCompare Car Insurance (UK) has found GPs are the most likely to make a claim due to an accident that was their fault, as more than one in every eight GPs has made at least one ‘at-fault’ claim in the past year – more than double the national average across all occupations. Interestingly, 11.6 per cent of these claims involved no injuries, with GPs not actually making the top 20 for claims involving persons injured.

The research shows that overall, health and medical professionals are the most likely to cause a collision on the road. Along with GPs, hospital doctors, surgeons, optometrists and speech therapists feature in the top 10 drivers by occupation, who are most likely to be in a no injuries collision that was their fault.

At the other end of the scale, those least likely to make at-fault claims were barmen/barmaids, pickers, packers, carpet cleaners, despatch drivers and car dealers at just three per cent.

“It may seem ironic that those working in the medical profession are those potentially causing the most accidents, but these are all roles which carry a significant degree of stress and usually long hours, potentially leading to a lack of concentration on the road,” said Matt Oliver, spokesperson for GoCompare Car Insurance.

“Further to this, another reason we could be seeing these occupations in the top 10 is because of where these health professionals are driving. Typically, they will be driving for short periods at peak times in highly built-up areas, increasing the risk of an accident.

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) For Collision Repair University

As the USA settles into the middle of hail season, collision repairers around the country are being approached by Paintless Dent Repair companies and insurance teams.

How does a shop choose the right company? What are the OE requirements for hail repair?

Shawn Mueller, from Hail Strategies joins the Repair University team to discuss the ins and outs of PDR, scanning and diagnostic requirements and use of OEM procedures.

IAG Unveils 2016-2017 Quality Report

IAG today released its fifth Quality Report, the insurance industry’s only report that provides annual data on property and motor repair standards.

The IAG Quality Report gives insight into the monitoring, assessment and quality of repair standards across the company’s nationwide property and motor repair network.

IAG said it has been investing in its Partner Repair Network since 2012 to deliver safe, quality repairs and a high level of customer service across all its brands. The company added that the motor and property repair businesses IAG partners with have the skills, technology, equipment and resources to deliver efficient, high quality repairs for its customers across the country.

In 2016-17, IAG undertook 43,478 quality inspections of motor vehicle repairs. Quality issues were identified in 0.51 per cent of authorised repairs and potential safety issues in 0.01 per cent of authorised repairs.

IAG also undertook 6200 quality inspections of property repairs. Quality issues were identified in 2.56 per cent of authorised repairs and potential safety issues in 0.05 per cent of authorised repairs. Where an issue was identified during an inspection, IAG worked with repairers to rectify them.

IAG Executive General Manager of Short Tail Claims, Steve Fitzpatrick, said IAG is focused on continually supporting its partner repairers to further enhance their ability to deliver the highest quality repairs and service for customers.

“Over the past financial year, we increased the number of inspections across all brands underwritten and backed by IAG, with just under 50,000 motor and property inspections completed,” Fitzpatrick said.

“We will ensure our Partner Repair Network continues to evolve to provide the best possible experience for our customers, with the delivery of high quality repairs and excellent customer service.”

IAG has also introduced the Road to Gold I-CAR Certification for Motor Partner Repairers. This training will take approximately 24 months for partners to complete and is currently being rolled out progressively state by state.

The company said the certification will further enhance the knowledge of motor partner repairers and give customers more peace of mind that their vehicle is being repaired to the highest quality standard by a repairer with the highest possible accreditation in Australia.

The I-CAR programme complements the range of initiatives IAG has put in place to ensure quality of repairs, including the 10 Point Quality Repair Plan, Partner Repairer National Standards, and IAG’s attainment of I-CAR Gold Class Insurer status.

IAG said it is also using the latest technology to help its customers recover from incidents as quickly as possible.

“We are using drones which allow us to more quickly and safely assess a property after a fire, storm or flood. This means we can get the claim process underway for our customer as quickly as possible,” Fitzpatrick said.

To view the report, visit

Allianz, Suncorp Refund $62.8 Million In Add-On Insurance Premiums

Allianz will refund $45.6 million to 68,000 customers and Suncorp will refund $17.2 million to 41,428 MTA Insurance customers for add-on policies, both of which were bought through car dealerships that provided little or no value to consumers.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said it had a number of concerns about the design and sale of a range of Allianz add-on insurance products sold through car dealerships across Australia between 1 December 2010 and 30 November 2017. The Allianz refund programme will cover four Allianz add-on insurance products sold between the seven-year period. These were Motor Equity Insurance, a Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance that pays the difference between the amount owed on a car loan and the amount the car is insured for if written off; Loan Protection Insurance (LPI), a form of consumer credit insurance; tyre and rim insurance; and extended warranties.

ASIC expressed several concerns with these products, including the unlikelihood customers could claim on their GAP policies because of these policies’ design, as well as customers being over-insured or not needing the policies they were sold. Life cover (under LPI) was sold to young people who were unlikely to need it, while customers were sold extended warranties they were unlikely to need because it might have been up to seven years before they could make a claim (as the car had a manufacturer’s warranty for that period).

MTA Insurance was pinged over its own GAP insurance policy offered to dealership customers between 2009 and 2017. Like Allianz, ASIC found it unlikely that the customer could claim on the insurance, because they may have paid a large deposit on the car loan so that the insured value of the car was more than the amount borrowed. ASIC also noted that the GAP policy cover was unnecessary as it duplicated replacement vehicle cover held by customers under their comprehensive car insurance policies, while customers were often sold a more expensive level of cover than they needed. Finally, many customers did not receive rebates under their GAP policies when they paid out their loan early, even though cover under those policies had ended.

Both companies will offer rebates as well as partial or full refunds depending on the policies customers held. Allianz will also make a community benefit payment of $175,000 to a financial literacy organisation, while MTA Insurance will make a similar payment of $50,000.

“The refunds offered by Allianz, together with those from other insurers, make up one of the largest compensation programs achieved by ASIC, with over $120 million in refunds to consumers as a result of ASIC shining a spotlight on these poor consumer outcomes,” said Acting ASIC Chair Peter Kell.

“Add-on insurance has been under the spotlight for some time now. Insurers should be taking active steps to ensure their customers are not being sold products that provide little or no value.

“Our message to insurers is simple: the needs of your customers must come first in the design, price and sale of your products.”

ASIC said it acknowledged Allianz’ cooperation and Suncorp’s engagement in both matters.