June 29, 2016
The Financial Services Council (FSC) has announced that it will release its new Life Insurance Code of Practice in October, pushing back the original release date by three months, after ongoing consultation with consumer groups.
The Code was due for release on 1 July 2016 with the FSC stating the delay stemmed from the need for the further development of a number of areas covered by the Code, including sales practices and claims handling, following consultation with stakeholder consumer groups.
In a statement released to media, the FSC said the additional three months would be used to develop a Code that was ‘robust, easy to understand and will genuinely assist consumers’.
“We have been working with consumer groups over recent months and believe our discussions will benefit from a further investment in ensuring the Code is as strong as it should be.”
While the first public release of the Code has been pushed back the FSC said the Code would still become compulsory for all FSC Life Insurance members from 1 July 2017 and the 12-month transition timetable for members would be shortened “to ensure that consumers are not impacted by the additional time taken by the FSC to finalise the Code.”
“We have been working with consumer groups over recent months and believe our discussions will benefit from a further investment in ensuring the Code is as strong as it should be,” the FSC stated.
“The broad range of parties being consulted by the FSC, including consumer groups, are seeking a Code of Practice that is easy for consumers to understand and reinforces trust in the life insurance sector.”
The FSC stated the Code was a key recommendation of the Trowbridge Inquiry into life insurance in 2015 which called for a guaranteed level of service for consumers when purchasing life insurance and plain English information in insurance.