July 3, 2017
Life Insurance members of the Financial Services Council (FSC) will be required to comply with the its Life Insurance Code of Practice (LICP) which came into effect on 1 July 2017, including a number of minimum standard medical definitions which have now been appended onto the Code.
The FSC said the LICP will be strengthened by the addition of the minimum standard medical definitions for cancer, heart attack and stroke for use in trauma/critical illness policies, which were first announced in October 2016 (see: Standard Trauma Definitions Announced).
According to the FSC, the definitions were developed with the assistance of medical professionals and will be continually reviewed to keep pace with changes in medical science.
FSC Chief Executive, Sally Loane said the minimum standard medical definitions would apply to all new policies issued by FSC Life Insurance members from 1 July, as they were part of the Code, which Loane described as a demonstration of “…the life insurance industry’s commitment to improving standards and strengthening consumer protections,”
“This document is a clear declaration of the level of service consumers can expect from life insurers in language they can understand,” Loane added, saying “As part of the second iteration of the Life Insurance Code of Practice we are committed to considering ASIC registration.”
The FSC also announced the make-up of the independent, three-member Life Code Compliance Committee (LCCC) which will oversee compliance with the LICP.
The LCCC will be administered by the Financial Ombudsman Service and includes an industry representative – David Goodsall, a consumer representative – Alexandra Kelly and an independent chair – Professor David Weisbrot AM.
Weisbrot is an Emeritus Professor of Law and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and has been President of the Australian Law Reform Commission and Chair of the Australian Press Council.
Goodsall has worked in financial services for more than 30 years across a range of actuarial, management and independent director roles with life insurance companies and is currently an independent director and co-founder of governance and risk management advisory firm Fiduciary Dynamics and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
Kelly is the principal solicitor of the NSW-based Financial Rights Legal Centre and has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Psychology from Australian National University and Master of Laws from Sydney University.