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Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC) this week launched its third annual Risk Radar. The report aims to capture the important legal, regulatory and socio-economic issues facing insurers in each country in which GILC operates. GILC member firm Sparke Helmore provided the commentary for Australia.

Jim Sherwood, Chairman of Global Insurance Law Connect commented, “The 2021 Radar Report has seen a marked globalisation in tone.  For the first time, many of the issues that our lawyers have reported as being currently critical in their markets have converged, with a truly universal focus on cyber, climate change and the impacts of the pandemic bringing new challenges to many markets. A subsidiary point, but one of much importance to all in our industry, is the follow-on impact of the ‘powering up’ of digital marketing, sales and claims processing, as insurance buyers around the globe move online permanently after a year of cultural change.

“In this environment, it is all the more important that different markets share approaches, regulatory challenges and stories of innovation.”

Gillian Davidson, Partner Commercial Insurance at Sparke Helmore and GILC Board Representative for Asia Pacific, reflected, “The global issues of cyber and the impact of the pandemic particularly, resonate in Australia.  Insurers and their customers have had to be quick to respond to enable business continuity and establish a stable position in the market.

“With advances in technology comes the potential for a disruptive threat landscape, characterised by significant privacy and cyber risks.  As regulators step up scrutiny on privacy and cyber-security-related issues, insurers find themselves facing increased compliance as well as cyber claim costs.

“Business interruption losses and the uncertainty around whether policies cover pandemic-related losses continue to be contentious issues in the local market.  The insurance industry recognises the importance of seeking clarity on the interpretation of further aspects of business interruption policies and is working with stakeholders and policyholders to provide resolution as quickly as possible. What has transpired as a result of the pandemic will potentially cause insurers to rethink their risk appetite, underwriting principles and policy wording construction with resultant long-term impacts across the market.”

The Risk Radar report covers Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Taiwan and the United States. Click here to access the full report.

About Sparke Helmore

We’ve come a long way since our doors first opened in the Hunter in 1882. We’ve had an office in Sydney since the ‘60s and we recently opened our ninth office in Darwin.

We cover five key areas of law – Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Insurance, Government, Statutory Lines of Insurance and Workplace – with more than 30 specialised areas of expertise. We’re a truly national, full service and proudly Australian firm that delivers results through deep collaboration with our clients. Wherever our clients need us, that’s where we’ll be.

Covering a big country needs a big team—we’re more than 800 people now and still growing. And in true Australian spirit, we’re friendly, approachable and easy to work with. And when you work with one of us, you get the expertise of all of us.

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