The unintended consequences of removing the 457 visas

The unintended consequences of removing the 457 visas

One of my concerns that I have written about previously is about loss adjusting being caught up in the whole debate of 457 visas and being removed from the job list. This is despite some very energetic efforts by a number of organisations and individuals. It remains impossible for the industry to offer an opportunity for a highly qualified loss adjuster to emigrate permanently to Australia.

Before I share the governments own findings I would point out that at the time of the removal of the visa, Crawfords, then Cunningham Lindsay, and LMI had combined over 40 qualified loss adjusters working in Australia on a 457 visa. 10% of the Chartered Loss Adjusters in the country were on the visa.

I know of no case where a loss adjuster has been exploited by their employer or where an Australian with the right qualifications and experience has missed out on securing a position.

Further, many of of Australia’s preeminent loss adjusters were born, trained and qualified overseas.

With the pressure on fees, the training of both claims staff and loss adjusters has fallen away and as an industry we are facing a crisis. While the major firms are working to invest more in quality training, the use of 457 visas was seen as an important stop gap measure.

The trouble is that it takes a great many years to adequately train a loss adjuster to the point that he/she can be entrusted to adjust a major and or complex claim. We have all seen the claims leakage that occurs when a claim is not well managed not to mention the poor client experience that goes with this.

The fact that claims are under the spotlight and there are anticipated changes to the licencing requirements for claims professionals shows the importance of having the right people handling claims.

I know I am not alone in my view that the insurance industry and the insuring public who rely on insurance for protection are worse off as a result of the government decision on granting access to overseas loss adjusters through a path to permanent residency.

The characteristics and performance of 457 migrant visa sponsoring businesses are set out below along with the top 10 industries that sponsored workers.

If you would like to read the entire government paper, here is a link.

While we continue to fight for a change in the current position, I and several of my colleagues at LMI are working on a course designed for all those in the claims process that will deliver quality training on everything from the basics through to advanced level.

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