Constitution

Constitution

1. NAME

The Association shall be known as: The Association of Life And Disability Underwriting & Claims Assessors of New Zealand, or LADUCA.

2. MISSION

The mission of this Association it to ensure that all individuals and organizations throughout New Zealand primarily, and other interested countries, who have an interest in life, disability or health underwriting claims assessment and in New Zealand specific practices and related topics, are informed of these in this regard.

The parties who are interested are typically regarded as, but are not limited to: direct insurance company underwriters, claims assessors and managers, medical directors and actuaries; insurance companies which do not have membership in this association; service companies or organizations who sell or provide services to life insurers; and related professional or governmental organizations.

LADUCA serves the professional information and continuing education needs of the membership of the association and any other associations that support it.

LADUCA may form, or participate in various joint (sub-) committees such as the Life Underwriting & Claims Education Committee, The Underwriting Experience Studies Committee and others. In addition, participation in and/or review of international underwriting meetings will be undertaken regularly.

LADUCA will also contribute speakers to selected insurance medicine, actuarial, technology, management and scientific meetings as appropriate.

Scholarly articles covering topics of importance to the members will be actively solicited and welcomed. These may include, but not be limited to, topics in medicine, non-medical risks, insurance law, insurance technology, underwriting/claims management, and related issues.

LADUCA is and will remain a fluid and dynamic medium which analyzes the present and anticipates the future.

LADUCA will provide:

  •        Networking opportunities with members and industry vendors
  •        Recognition and credibility by being a member of one of the leading financial services associations.

3. OBJECTIVES

LADUCA is a non-profit association of professionals who are currently working in the life and health insurance industry at large and who currently hold, or in the past have held, positions as life and health risk underwriters, claims assessors or claims managers.

The purpose of this Association is to:

  1.    keep abreast of all medical, claim and underwriting aspects of life assurance and permanent health insurance assessments,
  2.    develop a good understanding of the objects, methods and statistical bases of life assurance, and health and disability insurance assessment techniques,
  3.    encourage the exchange of information between underwriters and claims assessors,
  4.    offer support, encouragement technical advice to members of the Association in respect of business and professional difficulties,
  5.    enhance the education and awareness of the members in all matters relating to insurance risk management,
  6.    participate in debate with other industry bodies on all matters relating to risk assessment (underwriting), risk screening, claims assessment and claims management,
  7.    offer support to, affiliate with, and interact with any organisation for specific objectives not inconsistent with the objects of the Association, and
  8.    respond to life and health risk assessment, claims assessment/management technical issues and processes as these relate to all other life and health industry bodies.

The Association will provide a medium – as an official subsidiary body (as defined in the Appendices when appropriate) or otherwise – for official training and qualification of its members. This qualification is to be recognised as the industry approved qualification for underwriters and claims assessors and supported by LADUCA for NZQA recognition.

3. MEMBERSHIP

The Association shall have two classes of membership: Associate Members and Members. There is, additionally, a further class of membership – Corporate Members. The latter class does not have voting rights.

Individuals who do not meet the criteria for Membership, or corporations, may apply to be alternative membership classes.

Application for membership shall be made to the Committee in writing or in such electronic form as the Committee shall decide.

Every application for membership shall be accompanied by payment of the appropriate subscription. The Committee may in its absolute discretion refuse any application for membership.

Corporate Membership: Any corporate business, professional entity, sole trader or a partnership or any corporate business entity or person who in the absolute discretion of the Committee will enhance and further the objects of the Association, may apply to become a Corporate Member of the Association and receive the benefits offered by the Association to such members. All staff and employees of a corporate member shall be entitled to receive and exercise the benefits of membership.

4. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

A member wishing to resign from the Association shall do so by notifying the Secretary in writing of such intention at renewal. There shall be no refund of membership fee except at the discretion of the Committee for exceptional circumstances.

Any member shall cease to be a member upon their subscription remaining unpaid three months after the due renewal date.

If in the opinion of the Committee it is desirable in the interests of the Association and in the interests of the attainment of the objects of the Association that a member of the Association should cease to be a member, the Committee shall be empowered to resolve to expel that member.

PROVIDED THAT:

before resolving to expel any such member that member shall be given full opportunity at a meeting of the Committee to answer any charge or allegation made against that member;

that member shall be advised of the identity of and shall be entitled to examine any accuser;

no other salient factor which forms a basis for the resolution to expel that member is withheld from that member

5. GENERAL MEETINGS

There are two sorts of general meetings – Annual and Special.

General meetings are open to all members of the Association, but voting rights are restricted to paid up corporate and personal members. Only one vote may be cast of behalf of each membership.

An Annual General Meeting shall be held annually in the month of November or December at an exact date, time and place as set by the Committee.

The Annual General Meeting shall include the following business:

  •        Announcement of Elections to Committee
  •        Approval of Annual Financial Statements
  •        Appointment of Auditor, by discretion
  •        General Business as notified to the Secretary prior to the meeting
  •        Any proposed amendments to the constitution
  •        Annual Report from Committee

Notice of the Annual General Meeting shall be sent to all members at least 30 days prior to the AGM.

Special General Meetings may be called in one of two ways: By majority decision of the Committee; upon written request by 15% of the voting members of the Association.

Such meeting must be held within six weeks of the request with four weeks notice to be given to all members.

A special general meeting shall only consider the business for which it is convened which shall be specified by the Committee or by the members requesting such Special General Meeting.

6. THE COMMITTEE

The affairs of the Association shall be conducted by a management body, known as the Committee of the Association, in accordance with this Constitution and the resolutions of members of the Association in General Meeting. The Committee shall conduct its affairs using a set of By-laws.

The Committee of the Association shall consist of at least six members elected by the Association by postal ballot, and any co-opted members.

Members may be elected onto the Committee. For corporate members, only an individual person is elected as a Committee member, not the corporate.

Each person shall be elected for a term of two years and shall be eligible for re-election.

In addition to the six elected members, the Committee at its discretion may co-opt up to four additional members for a term of no longer than 12 months. Such co-options may be renewed at the Committee’s discretion.

If any elected member resigns from the Committee prior to the expiration of their term, the Committee may co-opt a replacement member for the remainder of the original Committee member’s term.

7. ELECTIONS

The election, supported by nominations signed by another member, for members of the Committee shall be conducted annually by a show of hands in accordance with the bylaws of the Association.

The results of the election shall be announced at the AGM and those elected will assume office at the conclusion of the AGM and remain Committee members until the conclusion of the AGM two years hence.

8. OFFICERS

The Committee shall annually elect from its own members the officers of the Association. These shall be determined at the first Committee meeting following the AGM, but may be reconsidered at a subsequent meeting with the consent of the majority of the Committee.

The officers of the Association shall consist of the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and any other officers as the Committee sees fit.

The LADUCA Committee may recommend to the Annual General Meeting a person or persons to be appointed as Patron (one) or Vice Patrons of LADUCA. Upon confirmation by the Annual General Meeting they shall be hold such office until the next annual general meeting and while Patron or Vice Patron shall enjoy all the rights of full membership.

9. QUORUM

The quorum for general meetings is 20% of the financial membership of the Association or 40 Members, whichever is the fewer. The quorum for Committee meetings is 50% of the Committee members. If a quorum is not present within thirty minutes of the appointed time, the person chairing the meeting shall adjourn the meeting. Unless those present at the meeting shall determine a date for the adjourned meeting (not earlier than five days from the date of the meeting) the adjournment shall be for a meeting at the same time and place one week from that day.

10. SUBSCRIPTIONS

An Annual membership fees shall be set by the Committee for the various categories of membership. Such level of fees shall remain in force until amended by the Committee.

Payment of the annual subscription will entitle the member to membership of the Association for twelve months from the day their membership is approved by the Committee. Any future renewals shall also start and end on the original membership date of joining. Renewal notices shall be sent out in the month prior to the membership falling due.

11. FINANCIAL YEAR

The financial year of the Association shall commence on 1st January and terminate on 31st December.

12. BORROWING

If at any time the Association at an annual general meeting or special general meeting shall pass a resolution authorising the Committee to borrow moneys, the Committee shall thereupon be empowered to borrow for the purposes of the Association such amount of money either at one time, or advances from time to time to the maximum so authorised, at such rate of interest and in such form and manner and upon such security as shall be specified in such resolutions.

The resolution shall be passed by a majority of fifty-one (51) percent or more of those members present and voting at such meeting.

The Association shall take all steps necessary to give effect to such resolution and for the execution by the Association of such agreements, mortgages or debentures as may be required for giving security for such loans and interest.

All members of the Association whether voting on such resolution or not and all persons becoming members of the Association after the passing of such resolution shall be bound by such resolution as if they had voted in favour of the same.

13. ASSOCIATION FUNDS

The funds and property of the Association shall be under the control of the Committee, who may invest, disburse and deal with the same in such manner and for such purpose (not being inconsistent with the objects of the Association) as they shall think fit.

The funds of the Association shall be deposited with such Bank as the Committee shall determine and all cheques of the Association’s Bank account shall be signed by the Treasurer in conjunction with one other member of the Committee.

14. DISCRETIONARY AUDIT

The annual financial statements of the Association must be audited at the end of each financial year and before the Annual General Meeting by a reasonable appointment of the Committee who is not a member of the Committee.

The Committee shall determine the remuneration of the auditor, and shall have authority to fill any casual vacancy of the position of auditor.

15. THE COMMON SEAL

The Common Seal of the Association shall be in the custody of the Secretary, who shall affix it to any instrument only pursuant to a resolution of the Committee and in the presence of two other Committee Members.

16. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

This constitution may be altered, added to, rescinded or otherwise varied or amended by resolution passed by a two thirds majority of members present at and voting at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting called for the purpose. The voting will be allowed by the assignment of proxy.

In the case of a Notice of Motion for amendment of this constitution to be presented at the annual general meeting of the Association, notice of the proposed amendment shall be given in writing to the Secretary of the Association no later than six weeks prior to the end of the financial year in which it is given and the Secretary shall set out such proposed amendment in the Notice of annual general meeting circulated to all members.

In the case of a Notice of Motion for amendment of this constitution to be presented at a special general meeting of the Association, notice of the proposed amendment shall be given with the requisition made in writing to the Secretary.

Any addition or alteration necessary to conform with any regulation or requirement of the Registrar of Incorporated Societies may be made by the Committee without reference to any meeting of members.

17. MANAGEMENT

Subject to limitations made by other clauses of this constitution the Committee shall have full power to manage the Association and all its affairs.

Any member of the Committee absent from three or more meetings of the Committee consecutively without due cause shall cease to be a member of the Committee.

The Committee shall meet regularly and shall record all business transacted. Minutes of Committee meetings shall be sent to all members of the Committee and will be available upon request to any member.

Subject to the constitution and any directions from General Meetings the Association shall be managed subject to a set of By-Laws which will be determined by the Committee from time to time.

18. CHAIR AND VOTING

At all ordinary general meetings, annual general meetings and special general meetings of the Association, the Chairperson, or in their absence a member appointed by the meeting shall take the chair.

On a motion or amendment every member shall be entitled to one vote to be exercised in person but not by proxy. Voting shall be by a show of hands, by voice, or in writing.

The meeting shall determine, and in the case of equality of votes, the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.

19. RECESS OR WINDING UP

The Association may go into recess or be wound up voluntarily if at the annual general meeting or at a special general meeting its members pass a resolution requiring the Association to wind up and go into recess.

A bare majority will be sufficient at any such meeting of the Association at any time for the purpose of winding up or going into recess.

The resolution shall be confirmed at a subsequent special general meeting called for that purpose and held not earlier than thirty (30) days after the date on which the resolution was passed.

20. PECUNIARY PROFIT or FINANCIAL GAIN

No member or person associated with a member of the Association shall derive any financial gain, income, benefit, or advantage from the Association where that person can materially influence the payment of the income, benefit or advantage except where the income, benefit or advantage is derived from:

Professional services to the Association rendered in the course of business charged at no greater rate than current market rates; or interest on money lent at no greater rate than current market rates.

Appendix 1

Guiding Principles for Underwriters

It is the responsibility of each underwriter to:

  •        Act promptly, while exercising sound, objective and consistent judgement in making underwriting decisions.
  •        Follow established risk classification principles that differentiate fairly on the basis of sound actuarial principles and/or reasonable anticipated mortality or morbidity experience.
  •        Treat all underwriting information with the utmost confidentiality, and use it only for the express purpose of evaluating and classifying the risk.
  •        Comply with the letter and spirit of insurance legislation and regulations, particularly as they apply to risk classification, privacy and disclosure.
  •        Avoid any underwriting action which is in conflict with the obligation to act independently and without bias.
  •        Act responsibly as an employee with scrupulous attention to the mutual trust required in an employer-employee relationship.
  •        Provide information and support to sales personnel to help them to fulfil their field underwriting responsibilities in selecting risks and submitting underwriting information.
  •        Strive to attain the Underwriting Qualification, maintain a high level of professional competency through continued education, and help promote the further education of all underwriters.
  •        Maintain the dignity and sound reputation of the underwriting profession.
  •        Increase the public’s understanding of underwriting by providing information about risk classification.

Appendix 2

COMPLIANCE POLICY STATEMENT

It is the policy of LADUCA that its meetings, opinions or any publications and website content must at all times be in compliance with both the letter and spirit of antitrust laws, the Human Rights Act and the Privacy Act.

Broadly stated, these laws prohibit any activities that might lessen or tend to lessen desirable competition between insurance companies, which might discriminate or reveal private personal data.

Any publication’s editorial content and editorial contributors meetings and all related activities involves coordination between and contributions from employees from competitor insurance companies and vendors for educational purposes only. These activities are intended to serve as forums for the expression of various points of view on the topics discussed. These activities are not intended to permit the formulation of any agreement, express or implied, which would in any way restrict competition.

It is the policy of LADUCA to avoid all activities that could or might appear to violate antitrust competitive law, the Human Rights Act or the Privacy Act. LADUCA will not suggest price fixing through its content, activities, policies, or practices, and strongly cautions each of the individual participants in any LADUCA-related activities to refrain from such activity. Prohibited actions include, but are not limited to, suggesting extra ratings or proposed business actions regarding insurance applications presenting certain risk profiles.