07
Apr

WHAT IS THE LIFE INSURANCE CODE OF PRACTICE ?

The Life Insurance Code Of Practice, “The Code” (download here) is the life insurance industry’s commitment to mandatory customer service standards.

It has been voluntarily developed by the life insurance industry through the Financial Services Council to:

  1. Promote high standards of service to consumers
  2. Provide a benchmark of consistency within the industry
  3. Establish a framework for professional behaviour and responsibilities

Designed to protect you, the consumer.

WHICH COMPANIES ARE BOUND BY THE LIFE INSURANCE CODE OF PRACTICE?

Below are the FSC members which are bound by the Code from 30 June 2017 unless otherwise shown.

  1. AIA Australia Limited
  2. Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited
  3. AMP Life Limited
  4. Asteron Life & Superannuation Limited
  5. ClearView Life Assurance Limited
  6. EMLife Pty Ltd (Code subscriber since 14 March 2018)
  7. General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd
  8. Hallmark Life Insurance Company Ltd (part of the Latitude Financial Services Group)
  9. Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd
  10. HCF Life Insurance Company Pty Ltd (Code subscriber since 1 July 2018)
  11. Integrity Life Australia Limited (Code subscriber since 1 July 2018)
  12. MetLife Insurance Limited
  13. MLC Limited
  14. Munich Reinsurance Company of Australasia Limited
  15. NobleOak Life Limited
  16. OnePath Life Limited (a company of Zurich Australia Limited)
  17. Pacific Life Re (Australia) Pty Ltd (Code Subscriber since 19 February 2020)
  18. QInsure Limited (Code subscriber since 15 September 2017)
  19. RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia Limited
  20. SCOR Global Life Australia Pty Ltd
  21. St Andrew’s Life Insurance Pty Ltd (Code subscriber until 17 June 2020)
  22. St George Life Limited (Code subscriber until 20 September 2019)
  23. Swiss Re Life & Health Australia Limited
  24. TAL Life Limited
  25. The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited (trading as CommInsure) (Code subscriber until 31 March 2021)
  26. Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited
  27. Zurich Australia Limited

WHAT DOES THE LIFE INSURANCE CODE OF PRACTICE COVER?

The Code sets out the life insurance industry’s key commitments and obligations to customers on standards of practice, disclosure and principles of conduct for their life insurance services, such as being open, fair and honest.

It also sets out timeframes for insurers to respond to claims, complaints and requests for information from customers.

The Code covers many aspects of a customer’s relationship with their insurer, from buying insurance to making a claim, to providing options to those experiencing financial hardship or requiring additional support.

The Code is binding on life insurance companies; in its first iteration it is not intended to put obligations on financial advisers or planners or superannuation trustees. A list of the companies bound by the Code can be found on the FSC website and is pasted below.

The Code is monitored by an independent committee, to ensure effective compliance by life insurers.  Insurers can be sanctioned if they do not correct breaches of the Code.

KEY CODE PROMISES

  1. We will be honest, fair, respectful, transparent, timely, and where possible we will use plain language in our communications with you.
  2. We will monitor sales by our staff and our authorised representatives to ensure sales are appropriate.
  3. If we discover that an inappropriate sale has occurred, we will discuss a remedy with you, such as a refund or a replacement policy.
  4. We will provide additional support if you have difficulty with the process of buying insurance or making a claim.
  5. When you make a claim, we will explain the claim process to you and keep you informed about our progress in making a decision on your claim.
  6. We will make a decision on your claim within the timeframes defined in the Code, and if we cannot meet these timeframes you can access our complaints process.
  7. If we deny your claim, we will explain the reasons in writing and let you know the next steps if you disagree with our decision.
  8. We will restrict the use of investigators and surveillance, to ensure your legitimate right to privacy.
  9. The independent Code Compliance Committee will monitor our compliance with the Code.
  10. If we do not correct Code breaches, sanctions can be imposed on us.

Source : https://fsc.org.au/policy/life-insurance/code-of-practice