A key feature of the World Insurance Congress Australia (WICA 2023) is sessions of the AIDA working parties.
The 12 working parties (WPs) are a cornerstone of the international insurance law association AIDA’s activities. Each examines a specific area of insurance, promoting research and in-depth discussion on the topic.
The Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA) will host WICA 2023, AIDA’s flagship event, on 30 August to 1 September 2023 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Wednesday 30 August is devoted to WP sessions and participation is included in delegates’ registration fees. The WPs supplement and complement the plenary sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Chris Rodd, AIDA Presidential Council representative for Australia and chair of the dispute resolution WP, says the WPs examine key insurance issues and explore how different jurisdictions around the globe manage with them.
Ray Giblett, a Sydney-based Norton Rose Fulbright partner, who will co-chair the financial lines and cyber WP at WICA 2023, says the WPs provide opportunities to delve deeper into specific topics. “They are smaller, targeted and more interactive so you can get the detail you want and have burning questions answered. The discussion time is often the most valuable learning experience.”
The WPs meet at least twice a year at AIDA events and Presidential Council meetings.
Mr Rodd says they are more casual than formal conference presentations, with opportunities for audience participation, discussion and interaction.
Their work can lead to ground-breaking research, for example, the dispute resolution WP conducted a survey of insurance ombudsman schemes globally to illustrate how they differed.
“All delegates, and insurance law scholars in particular, have much to gain from attending WP sessions in their specific fields of interest,” he says.
AIDA’s current working parties examine:
|Civil liability insurance
|Climate and catastrophic events
|Distribution of insurance products
|Financial lines and cyber
|General principles of insurance law
|New technologies, prevention and insurance
|Personal insurance and pensions
|State supervision of insurance
Not all WPs will meet at WICA2023, but the organising committee has included two other topics for discussion on Wednesday – workers’ compensation and building industry liability.
“The WPs create resources that are available free on the AIDA website for the public, academics, lawyers, and insurance industry representatives globally to access,” Mr Rodd says.
He expects a large contingent of students to participate in the WPs, which gives them opportunities to enhance their personal brand and CVs by writing papers for presentation at WPs. “Presenting at a working party enables connectivity with insurance law people globally and enhances presenters’ international profiles.”
Tim Hardy, chair of the climate and catastrophic events WP, says the session will provide an overview of climate-related litigation occurring and evolving globally and how that affects insurers and their clients. “We’ll examine some of the commercial and conceptual conflicts that arise and how insurers are being advised to respond.”
Prof Sara Landini, from the University of Florence, and a member of the supervisory board of Assicurazioni Generali, will co-chair a joint WP on motor insurance and general principles. She says that session will focus on new technologies in motor insurance and their impact on general principles like transparency and consumer protection, for example, guidelines for autonomous vehicle distributors and insurers to ensure they act fairly.
Mr Giblett’s advice to delegates is simple: “If you don’t attend the WPs, you are missing half of what WICA2023 has to offer.”
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