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QBE’s Australian jobs move delights union

The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has welcomed QBE’s decision to bring property claims jobs back to Australia from the Philippines, and urged other insurers to follow suit.

As revealed in a Breaking News bulletin last week, QBE is creating almost 190 jobs in Australia and New Zealand after deciding certain claims roles should not be undertaken offshore.

In 2013 the insurer moved about 700 positions from Australia to its Group Shared Service Centre sites in Cebu and Manila.

Now it is changing the way it manages its property claims, and 159 roles will be moved back to Parramatta and Newcastle, with a further 19 to be relocated to Auckland.

The FSU praised QBE’s “commitment to ensuring quality white-collar jobs are available to Australian workers”.

“We think it’s fabulous and insurers should stop sending jobs offshore,” National Industrial Officer Angela Budai told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“It is the right thing to do and it doesn’t surprise me that some roles are too complex to be carried out in the Philippines.”

Ms Budai says the move will help make up for the loss of 300 jobs due to QBE missing out on being a workers’ compensation agent in NSW.

QBE’s  decision will also be praised by brokers, many of which have been critical of the insurer’s “cumbersome” claims procedures.

“The issue has always been around understanding,” one senior broker, who asked for his name to be withheld, told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “There has been frustration around the fact property claims need to be sorted around local contacts, like loss adjusters and builders.

“All too often there was a misinterpretation brought about by Australian terms and procedures that don’t translate well to someone based in Manila.”

QBE appears to agree with that view, saying property claims “involve intensive interactions, negotiations and co-ordination with customers, brokers and suppliers, as well as deep knowledge and understanding of the Australian and New Zealand property context and issues”.

“In line with other changes being made in how we manage the end-to-end property claims supply chain, we have decided to bring these claims processes closer to where our customers are located in Australia and New Zealand, to enable a tighter connection with our loss adjusters, assessors, tradespeople and other household goods suppliers,” a spokesman said.

However, QBE says the Group Shared Service Centre in the Philippines remains a “critical component” of its Australian and New Zealand operations.

“Our short-tail claims teams [in the centre] will continue to service all other motor claims across both intermediary and consumer and retail channels,” the spokesman said.

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