October 6, 2018
Clearview has pushed back on claims that it breached anti-hawking provisions more than 300,000 times stating that figure was only the number of calls made by its direct life insurance business.
In its written response to the life insurance round of hearings of the Financial Service Royal Commission, ClearView stated the assertion that it had breached the provisions was based solely on correspondence between the insurer and ASIC over 13 months from April 2016 over the potential number of problematic calls.
In the submission, ClearView wrote that the correspondence informed ASIC that it had not been able to verify that all of the anti-hawking requirements had been met in high number of calls between July 2014 and 20 March 2017, and that by May 2017 the figure was reported as up to 303,000 calls.
ClearView stated that it accepts there had been some breaches of the anti-hawking requirements but the figure of 303,000 represented “…not the total number of breaches but rather the total number of calls in respect of which it could not verify positively that there had not been breaches”.
“…the Commission could not make a positive finding that as a matter of fact there had been a breach in each and every one of those telephone calls…”
“An inability on the part of Clearview to establish positively that in every call there had not been a breach does not, however, establish that in every call there was a breach,” the submission noted.
The insurer also highlighted that a breach could only occur if a financial product was offered in an unsolicited call that contacted a person on the ‘no-call’ register, or failed to provide relevant information or options for recontact, and only at the point the product was offered.
ClearView’s submission stated the identified calls were likely to include those where a product was not offered, or where a lead generator had obtained consent, and some may have been compliant.
“In the circumstances, the Commission could not make a positive finding that as a matter of fact there had been a breach in each and every one of those telephone calls or indeed that there had been any specified number of breaches (let alone identifying which deficiencies in which calls led to a breach having occurred),” the submission noted.
“The logic of that proposition on the evidence reflects the fact that the Commission did not seek to establish those breaches independently, but relied upon the correspondence between ClearView and ASIC,” it added.