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NIBA chief warns insurers over claims turmoil

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National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) CEO Dallas Booth says insurers are consistently failing to pay claims because of industry “turmoil”.

Mr Booth plans to address the issue in a speech to the Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA) at the end of next month.

He says he receives “regular complaints” from brokers of claims going unpaid “for no apparent reason”, and it is hard to get explanations.

Mr Booth told today this may be caused by “turmoil within the industry” that has seen insurers remove entire layers of management.

“I’ve had feedback from brokers for 12 months or more that claims that have been paid in the past are being challenged and in some cases denied,” he said. “Dealing with insurers on claims-related matters has also become very difficult – it is hard to have a conversation with an experienced claims manager.

“As companies have taken out layers of management, you lose knowledge and experience.”

Mr Booth says recent growth in specialist underwriting agencies is fuelled partly by brokers identifying insufficient “access and engagement” with insurers at the June renewals.

“That’s a concern brokers are telling me about, and it’s why Underwriting Agencies Council members are going gangbusters.”

A spokesman for the Insurance Council of Australia told that NIBA has not flagged its concerns.

"The Insurance Council of Australia meets regularly with NIBA representatives. This issue has not been raised."