Latest Poll – Publish Decline Rates?

Should ASIC publish details of individual life company claims decline rates?
  • No (46%)
  • Yes (42%)
  • Not sure (12%)

Our latest poll asks whether you think the proposed publishing of individual life company decline rates would be a positive for the industry and for the consumer.

Last week, we reported details of to ASIC’s life insurance claims industry review. In its report, the regulator indicated one of its future actions would be to link with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to establish a new public reporting requirement for life insurance industry claims data and claims outcomes.

ASIC noted the public release of decline rates would serve to inform consumers to assist them in their choice of insurer to cover their life insurance needs.

While this proposal appears to be well-intended, it has drawn immediate opposition from the risk store’s Sue Laing, who is one of the life insurance industry’s respected stakeholders and a best practice expert in all elements related to the life insurance claims process.

…this inevitable competitive environment will lead to insurers accepting some claims they might normally reject

The basis of Laing’s opposition to the public release of individual life company claims decline rates is that it will spark a race by insurers to the bottom to achieve the best (lowest) claims decline rates (see: Warning to ASIC on Danger of Releasing Insurer Claims Decline Rates). Laing says this inevitable competitive environment will lead to insurers accepting some claims they might normally reject, simply to achieve a better rating. This in turn would inevitably lead, according to Laing, to an affordability issue created by the necessity for insurers to increase premiums to accommodate a future in which a historically higher proportion of claims would be paid.

Laing’s ‘unintended consequences’ argument appears to make sense. But it’s now over to you to provide your own take on this question. Add your vote and make your voice heard…


  1. Will they also publish the reasons for the decline eg non-disclosure by the consumer of information in the medical questionnaire? The decline may not just be by the insurer to avoid paying out a claim.

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