Nib banks on ‘strong recovery’ in international student market

Nib chief executive Mark Fitzgibbon has told investors the health insurer expects a strong recovery of international inbound insurance sales as it expects Australia to become a more attractive destination for students and workers in the wake of the pandemic.

Given the global volatility and new waves of infections ravaging markets across the northern hemisphere, “we do expect a strong recovery post-COVID-19,” Mr Fitzgibbon said at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday. “Not that we celebrate the conditions in Europe or the USA — but they are conditions that will likely encourage more and more students and international workers to consider Australia as a safer destination.”

NIB managing director Mark Fitzgibbon sees insurance sales to international students and workers recovering.Credit:Louie Davis.

He made his prediction after the $2 billion fund saw profits drop 40 per cent in August. The result included a “deferred claims” provision of $98.8 million in anticipation that members would make claims in the 2021 year that had been delayed due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

In a quarterly update at the company’s annual general meeting, Mr Fitzgibbon said hospital benefits paid in the three months to September showed an increase of 6.1 per cent excluding Victoria, while eligibility checks from members were up by 7 per cent compared with 2020, excluding the locked-down Victorian market.

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