Following political pressure about the number of home invasions and other crimes being committed by immigrants and the routing of the visa system by far too many, the Australian Government have done away with the 457 Visas, and as part of this have removed insurance loss adjusting as an occupation/profession that is able to come into Australia.
From what I gather, this is not for any other reason other than a statistical analysis looking at the the number of visas that have been issued and due to the low number it is not required.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Looking at the AICLA diary it shows that there are around 350 qualified loss adjusters in Australia. At the time of writing I understand that there are 47 loss adjusters in Australia operating under a 457 visa.
Another statistic that I have heard is that the Australian Bureau of Statistics has around 3,500 people who record their occupation as loss adjusters. This, I can only assume, is in house adjusters, builders, forensic accountants or investigators who are doing primarily loss assessing. Also, some loss adjusters have moved into claims management due to the pressure of the job and or better salaries.
There are a couple of issues that need to be considered by the government. First up, there has been a 35% increase in complaints against general insurers in the 12 months of 2016-17. The fastest growing problem according to the Financial Ombudsmen Service (Source: ABC News).
The number of brokers complaining about claims service to me is at present at an all time high. This situation is likely to only to get worse with this change.
Secondly, like many sections of the insurance industry, loss adjusters have been caught up with generational change. The number of adjusters that have retired or sadly passed away has been more than most anticipated.
Thirdly, it takes at least 5 years for the brightest of people to be adequately trained to handle larger claims, particularly ones involving complex issues around business interruption, extra costs of reinstatement and the like.
Fourthly, we need to build our base of experienced adjusters to handle catastrophe situations. This is on top of the requirement to bring quality people in from overseas so that business as usual claims can continue to be handled fairly and promptly.
Fifthly, no one that I know who has come into Australia as a sponsored loss adjuster has committed any crime, been a burden on the government and there has been no exploitation by any employer. Everyone has paid their taxes and those that have come have been great for our economy and the communities they live in.
Finally, with the offshoring of many claims roles, the talent pool where those that want to become loss adjusters is reducing and with the pressure on adjusting fees the investment in training and education has put a strain on those firms committed to the profession.
The answer for as long as I can remember has been for the profession to attract quality adjusters from overseas to compliment the local team. Some of Australia’s most talented and respected adjusters working in the industry today fall within this category. What I would say is that many who have immigrated to Australia have participated most in the education process of younger adjusters.
If the government continue down the path of just looking at the numbers and not the important service that highly trained loss adjusters provide to both the insuring public and the insurance industry, then I see a perfect storm approaching for our industry.
If you would like to have your say, please go to https://employment.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eLq4aYmgAmqEDad
The deadline is this Wednesday, 20 June. The occupation is insurance loss adjusting.
I appreciate you are all busy but I do urge you to please take a few minutes and help get the message across that loss adjusting needs to remain on the skilled migration program. It is only if enough people in our great and important industry complain can we over turn this.