Professions face "new industrial revolution"

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Risks and roles will change as professionals experience upheaval equivalent to the Industrial Revolution, QBE Insurance Australia Head of Professional Lines Jill Stewart says.

The health, accounting, legal, education and property sectors are among those affected by technological change, while new roles and ways of working are also emerging, she told the Australian Professional Indemnity Group conference in Sydney last week.

“I believe technology really is having the same effect on this group as the Industrial Revolution had on craftsmen, but they are not going to disappear,” she said. “The risks and roles will change.”

The transformation presents challenges for professional indemnity insurers to provide cover that keeps up with new demands, she told the conference.

“We need to evolve to retain our relevance as risk-takers supporting this dynamic sector of our economy.”

A study by the NSW Government has highlighted jobs at risk in 10-15 years, with accountants, actuaries, architects, civil engineers, conveyancers and insurance intermediaries among them.

Information and advice traditionally provided by professionals has become more broadly available for lower costs, and there is increasing trust of alternative sources.

Ms Stewart says changes also include moves away from physical workplaces, more short-term and contract-specific projects, and blurring of traditional roles.

The shifting environment could make it more difficult to assess risk and provide policies based on previous experience and actuarial data.


7 September 2016
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