Life Insurance Successes Poorly Communicated

The life insurance sector fails to communicate its successes leaving it to be defined by poor examples of behaviour instead, a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee has claimed.

Member for Mackellar, Jason Falinski, MP

Addressing attendees at the recent FSC Life Insurance Conference, PJC member and NSW MP, Jason Falinski said the life insurance sector did many things well, but took those for granted, and did not communicate them to consumers successfully.

“I have not meet too many people in this market who are not earnestly trying to clean up messes left behind and I choose to believe it is not due to fact that there is a parliamentary inquiry, but it is a genuine attempt by those people to get things right,” Falinski said.

He also said the life insurance sector has not done enough to explain the benefits of insurance cover to consumers and has become stuck behind presenting products ahead of the benefits of insurance.

“…it was clear your knowledge was not generally understood across the community…”

“What many in this sector take for granted is not broadly understood by consumers. Among the criticisms of this sector is that it does not explain the benefits of insurance sufficiently, and when it does it comes from the point of view of producers of product rather than from the perspective of the consumer and why it is important for them to have life insurance,” Falinski told attendees at the conference.

“From the submissions we received at the Inquiry, it was clear your knowledge was not generally understood across the community and there was a great disconnect between the life insurance sector and demand from some for more prescriptive regulation across that market,” he added.

Falinksi also noted the life insurance sector had yet to pull together when presenting the benefits of insurance and there was a lack of a single voice in this area “…so when there is aberrant behaviour in the sector, those behaviours gets exaggerated as representing the entire sector and those actions live on longer than great actions taken in the sector”.

He also said that success in improving the behaviour and reputation of the life insurance sector would be when “…insurers have a viable business model and consumers get life insurance that suits them and circumstances, and they receive advice on what products best suit them and they understand that in a fashion they understand”.

  • Jeremy Wright

    Jason is correct and it appears that people who know little about the Life Insurance Industry, seem to understand it and it’s importance better than many who work within the sector.

    Thank you Jason for bringing some sense into the ongoing debacle that all this regulation and ridiculous red tape that is strangling the life out of an integral part of the economy, will end up doing, by causing the exact opposite of all the rhetoric and wiping out the retail Life Industry, that is the only segment that provides comprehensive, quality Insurance for all Australians.

    What we will end up with, is expensive rubbish that will not pay claims, which appears to be the ultimate objective of certain captains of the Industry and their serfs, who pretend to be concerned for the public, while undermining the fabric of what has been a successful Industry for centuries.

    We need more Jason’s in Parliament and in all Government entities who can influence outcomes in our Industry.

    • Squeaky_1

      Jeremy wrote: “We need more Jason’s in Parliament and in all Government entities who can influence outcomes in our Industry.” .
      . . . Ah, we actually need YOU in parliament Jeremy! 🙂 . . . you think I’m kidding, don’t you!

  • Ken

    It really is the old story of bad news sells newspapers
    It always seems that the whole industry gets tainted by one or two incidents that get widely reported and in most cases extremely exaggerated
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story
    If those so keen to run down our industry stopped to give the world some good news on how a particular client or firm was saved from liquidation because their adviser had the foresight to recommend and instigate the right insurances people might start to think differently about its purpose in their lives

  • Bob Angel

    Only been saying this to all that would listen for more than 20 years, however self interest within the bigger insurance companies allows them to continue to ignore this. I have never had a client complain when they are receiving the benefits of an insurance that they took out to protect them in the event of the unexpected happening, the big insurers continually tell us how much they have paid out in claims each year but it is a well kept secret from the people that are their clients. Instead of trying to flog a product they should be selling the benefits and perhaps advertise with testimonials, they are the most powerful weapon that they have but instead they would rather try to sell it on a feature.

  • John Galt

    He’s talking to you FSC!! Consumers need this not codes!

  • Squeaky_1

    Noble sentiments from Jason indeed. He’s to be commended for his insight and I thank him for his words. Sadly though, it will not make a difference. The life company execs have decided advisers have a ‘use by’ date so we are out by 2024 (most of us anyway, the rest a few years later).
    Irrelevant exams for pure risk advisers will be cleverly crafted to be as difficult as possible on subjects wholly unrelated to helping clients assess and action appropriate cover. They are going to make us do the FULL financial planning degree/exams. Go figure. Life company execs are rubbing their hands in glee as they know this will eliminate MANY pure risk advisers and free the way for their malevolent RoboAdvice systems. Believe it. It is fact. I know this.
    Further proof exists in that life coys did not champion our cause and fight for us against the 2 yr claw-back OR reducing commissions – they “welcomed” both of these draconian measures. So did FPA. So did AFA. Only advisers ‘tried’ to fight against it. Go figure. Those ‘lifeys’ who remain post-2024 may just have the insurance world to themselves, what’s left of it . . .