What is the Life Insurance Code of Practice?
The Code is the life insurance industry's commitment to mandatory customer service standards.
It has been voluntarily developed by the life insurance industry through the Financial Services Council to:
- Promote high standards of service to consumers
- Provide a benchmark of consistency within the industry
- Establish a framework for professional behaviour and responsibilities
Designed to protect you, the consumer.
What does the Life Insurance Code of Practice cover?
The Code sets out the life insurance industry's key commitments and obligations to customers on standards of practice, disclosure and principles of conduct for their life insurance services, such as being open, fair and honest.
It also sets out timeframes for insurers to respond to claims, complaints and requests for information from customers.
The Code covers many aspects of a customer's relationship with their insurer, from buying insurance to making a claim, to providing options to those experiencing financial hardship or requiring additional support.
The Code is binding on life insurance companies; in its first iteration it is not intended to put obligations on financial advisers or planners or superannuation trustees. A list of the companies bound by the Code can be found on the FSC website.
The Code is monitored by an independent committee, to ensure effective compliance by life insurers. Insurers can be sanctioned if they do not correct breaches of the Code.
Key Code Promises
- We will be honest, fair, respectful, transparent, timely, and where possible we will use plain language in our communications with you.
- We will monitor sales by our staff and our authorised representatives to ensure sales are appropriate.
- If we discover that an inappropriate sale has occurred, we will discuss a remedy with you, such as a refund or a replacement policy.
- We will provide additional support if you have difficulty with the process of buying insurance or making a claim.
- When you make a claim, we will explain the claim process to you and keep you informed about our progress in making a decision on your claim.
- We will make a decision on your claim within the timeframes defined in the Code, and if we cannot meet these timeframes you can access our complaints process.
- If we deny your claim, we will explain the reasons in writing and let you know the next steps if you disagree with our decision.
- We will restrict the use of investigators and surveillance, to ensure your legitimate right to privacy.
- The independent Code Compliance Committee will monitor our compliance with the Code.
- If we do not correct Code breaches, sanctions can be imposed on us.