A global insurer has flown a United States-based senior executive to Australia to deal with an impending crisis, it has been reported.
first broke the news that Combined Insurance, a subsidiary of ACE Group, was to be investigated by ASIC
for a host of severe complaints against the company.
In light of the news, ACE Group has flown the global president of Combined, Brad Bennett, to Australia for “high-level talks with local executives” following the alleged infringements.
With around 65,000 policy-holders in Australia, the Fairfax
allegations relate to the mis-selling of insurance policies across the country thanks to revelations from company whistle-blowers.
The Sydney Morning Herald
report that an ASIC
investigation is pending as the regulator has conducted “lengthy interviews with former Combined Insurance employees” with a view to court action.
In a statement, Chris Carey, head of Combined Insurance – Asia Pacific said that the insurer is “troubled and concerned to learn” that customers may have been treated inappropriately by its representatives.
“Combined has extensive compliance systems and processes in place to protect its customers and to ensure that we treat every customer fairly, fulfil our obligations to pay claims and remain fully compliant with both the letter and the spirit of the law,” Carey continued.
Carey noted that the insurer receives fewer complaints than the Financial Ombudsman Service average and the company takes all complaints seriously.
“We take seriously and investigate every complaint we receive. When we find that a complaint has merit, we take prompt action to resolve it, such as refunding premiums or paying the claim. When we determine that a Combined representative has acted improperly, we take appropriate action, which may include termination or other discipline.”
Carey noted that while the company does not comment publicly on specific complaints, the company has a good relationship with the regulator.
“We can say that we work to provide an appropriate resolution for every complaint.
“We do provide full information on complaints to the FOS and believe we have had a productive and constructive relationship in the past with ASIC
“We have recently enhanced our compliance processes and will work with ASIC
to determine whether any additional changes may be necessary.”