A brief summary of the key insights and panel highlights from the seventh annual Group Insurance Summit.

More than 300 industry professionals gathered at the Four Seasons in Sydney this August for the 2018 Group Insurance Summit. Attendees travelled from across the country to hear from industry leaders on the current state of group insurance, where we’re headed with innovation in restorative health, technological advancements and proposed regulatory change, and what we could be doing better in order to provide greater value to our members.

Damien Mu, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Australia and New Zealand opened the summit by reflecting on how far the group insurance industry has come in the last seven years. When discussing the proposed changes to insurance for low balance and inactive superannuation accounts and for under 25s, he urged the audience to not become complacent. He said now is the time to stand up for our members, to continue to raise any concerns and keep the lines of communication with government open.

The morning sessions covered the importance of mental health, why we should be investing in restorative health management and a review of the Code of Practice amid a Royal Commission, providing valuable insight into some of the key challenges the industry faces.

With one in two Australians experiencing mental health issues at some point in time, attendees were reminded of the importance of looking out for not only our members, but for one another too.

Donna Thistlethwaite, Principal Consultant at Career Vitality shared her moving and at times confronting personal story of a non-fatal suicide attempt, along with some strategies to assist with mental wellbeing, while Margo Lydon, Chief Executive of SuperFriend told the audience of their ambitious and exciting plans for the future.

“We’re working very hard to create a national initiative for workplaces, where every business in this country will have a single source of truth about creating a mentally healthy workplace,” said Lydon.

On the topic of restorative health – an academic, an insurer, an employer and a super fund discussed pain, rehabilitation and how we can better support members who are returning to work post illness or injury.

Professor Lorimer Moseley commenced the discussion by providing a brief but informative background on pain and how it works. He also highlighted the impact that chronic pain has on many Australians each day, and the importance for our industry to stay informed so we can better support our members back to health and wellness.

Group Strategy Manager, Rehabilitation and Claims at AIA, Simonie Fox addressed the importance of looking at the entire cancer recovery journey, highlighting that this doesn’t just stop at medical treatment.

In the final session of the morning, Nick Kirwan from the Financial Services Council and Glen McCrea from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia voiced their concerns around the 1 July timeframe for implementing the changes to superannuation, stating that it remains problematic and may have unintended consequences.

“I can’t help but feel we’re pulling the wrong lever,” Kirwan said.

“The real issue is multiple accounts, not insurance. You fix the multiple accounts, this problem all goes away – and nobody gets a bad outcome.”

An informative panel discussion on transforming customer engagement in insurance kicked off the jam-packed afternoon agenda.

The panel comprised of representatives from Rice Warner, Australian Super, Sunsuper and Deloitte discussed the value of a multi-channel communications approach, and an increased appetite from members for more than just their statement in the mail each year.

Members are looking for a greater frequency of contact from their superannuation providers and insurers, it’s just a matter of doing it in the right way, at the right time, with a clear, concise and relevant message.

International guest Yannick Even, Director and Head of InsurTech Solutions Asia for Swiss Re discussed how insurtech and smart analytics is transforming the insurance industry from a global perspective. The day concluded with a panel discussion of industry leaders including Chief Executives from AIA, Sunsuper and TAL to discuss the all-important question – is the future of group insurance secure?

For more information on the Group Insurance Summit visit https://www.groupinsurancesummit.com/


Don’t forget to save the date for next year’s Group Insurance Summit – 13 August 2019.

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