Insurers Criticised Over Life Code Obligations


A number of insurers, especially the larger life companies, have been called on to strengthen their commitment to the Life Insurance Code of Practice, following comments that they have not been taking their Code obligations seriously.

This call has been made by Anne Brown, independent Chair of the Life Code Compliance Committee, whose task it is to monitor and enforce the FSC’s Life Insurance Code of Practice.

In its 2018-19 Annual Industry Data and Compliance Report, released last week, the Compliance Committee took aim at a number of key areas which it says the life companies must address. These areas span issues associated with the integrity of the reporting provided, cultural and training issues, claims breach reporting and other claims related complaints issues.

Life Code Committee Chair, Anne Brown …insurers need to strengthen commitment to their Code of Practice

In a statement, the Committee’s noted its key findings included:

  • Larger subscribers (life companies) need to improve their data quality assurance and reporting, while smaller insurers generally provided high-quality data
  • The corporate culture of many subscribers appears not to align with the standards set out in the Code, although recent improvements have been noted.
  • The effectiveness of companies’ staff training programmes and monitoring frameworks is questionable, as evidenced by the large volume of breaches caused by human error
  • The under-reporting of breaches relating to claims decision timeframes indicates that insurers lack sufficient processes for recording and reporting such breaches
  • Increases in claims-related complaints and claims handling timeframes show that insurers need to improve their claims management processes

…self-regulation is a privilege

In an observation that also acts as a potential warning to the life companies, Brown stressed that self-regulation is a privilege and with that privilege comes “…an obligation to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to comply with the Code…”

Click the image to read the 2018-19 Annual Industry Data and Compliance Report…


  1. This Code is a joke, an bigger joke than the FSC, which is just a (well funded) lobby group.There are breaches everywhere every day eg insurers with long running IP claims are still demanding COMPLETE MEDICAL FILES without specifying what they are looking for.

    I recall being asked to contribute to the AFA response to the proposal to establish the Code 2-3 years ago. Now, post Hayne and TAL’s appearance at the RC, the Code is NOT being enforced. It appears some claims operators have not yet been informed, particularly over at AMP. If the FSC wants to keep the Code in their hands, they need full time staff talking daily to ADVISERS and CLAIMS RESOLUTION SERVICES. Dont take the word of management!

    ASIC has to take over the Code NOW ! And levy the insurers, not the advisers !

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