Kirwan scores head of protection job at the ABI

Mortgage Strategy columnist Nick Kirwan is to take over from Richard Walsh as head of health and protection insurance at the Association of British Insurers.

Walsh will be leaving the role at the end of June.

Kirwan, who is currently chairman of the ABI’s protection committee, will take over the position on a six month consultancy basis, pending a formal recruitment process.

Kirwan says: “I’ve enjoyed working with the ABI as chair of the protection committee and I’m really looking forward to joining the team.

“The ABI has achieved a huge amount in the health and protection arena but there is still a lot more we can do. It promises to be an exciting challenge.”

Walsh says: “I have enjoyed my stay at the ABI immensely but after six years, have decided it is time to move on.

“I would like to thank all those who have enabled me to achieve so many good things.

“I am particularly proud of the genetics moratorium, the changes in the way insurers treat gay men and, most recently, the progress we have made on improving insurance applications to get better disclosure.

“This is now bearing fruit, with fewer declined claims.

“For the future, I am planning to work in collaboration with others in the health and protection sectors and beyond, both as a commentator and in developing policy and strategic thinking.”

Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance and health, says: “I would like to thank Richard for the hard work he’s put in during his six years at the ABI.

“The health, life and protection insurance industry has come a long way in that time, and the steps it has taken to improve consumer confidence in its products are already having a positive impact.

“The ABI now leads the policy debate in the life and protection field, as shown by the series of Health Dialogues launched this week. This is all due in large part to Richard’s efforts, and I wish him all the best for the future.”