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Insurance companies ‘getting away with murder’

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Insurance Business | 28 Aug 2012, 12:03 AM Agree 0
A former minister for Bob Hawke’s government has taken aim at the insurance industry, stating there is “much more to be done” to improve an industry which is “getting away with murder”.
  • George Chabvonga | 28 Aug 2012, 11:16 AM Agree 0
    Members of the public need to take time to read and understand a few things in their Insurance policy documents. Most of the time all the details are in the policy document and no one bothers to read, thus we cannot expect Insurance companies to unjustifiably folk out money. There are ocassions when members of the public have been unfairly treated, but I must say we would have a disfunctional economy if we expected these big Insurance companies to be a source of compensation for those that experience misfortunes if not adequately insured.
  • Damian Scantlebury | 28 Aug 2012, 11:27 AM Agree 0
    Mmmmmmm bought his policy from a direct insurer would be my educated guess. Not bad coming from an "educated" ex politican. You get what you deserve when you go direct to a direct insurer rather than getting advice from a broker. The stats tell the story. 80% of complaints about insurers come from customers of direct insurers or where the customer has gone direct to the insurer. 20% are from broker, but of that 20% of complaints about insurers/brokers, 60% of these are resolved by the brokers leaving only 8% of real complaints going through to the ombudsman to sort out.
  • Joel Ruig | 28 Aug 2012, 12:01 PM Agree 0
    I suspect that the problem here is two fold. 1. The client is too busy to bother with the actual workd needed to confirm the proper product or to create a personal inventory. 2. His expectations grossly exceed reality. Of course this lefty purchased the cheapest product he could find and then blames everyone except himself when reality intrudes into his little fantasy world. It is a typical problem that people like this have. All the entitlements in the world and no personal responsibility. And when someone calls them on it they have a ranting tantrum.
  • George Chabvonga | 28 Aug 2012, 12:28 PM Agree 0
    I guess the heading should have read "Insurers getting away with involuntary manslaughter". We all have the option to be adequately insured before disaster strikes. It is high time we have responsible talk from people with influence in scociety, not to just churn out misplaced statements that cause unnecessary animosity towards a vital service such as the Insurance industry.
  • Kay Jackson - Simplex | 28 Aug 2012, 12:29 PM Agree 0
    Should have used a Broker and sorry but you get what you pay for :) - The public needs to be educated that not all insurance policies are the same and to ask questions specific to their needs, this is what a Broker would do to make sure the Policy they choose on behalf of the client is suitable
  • Robert Cooper | 28 Aug 2012, 01:39 PM Agree 0
    Another naive politician once again. The Principle of Insurance is you must prove your loss. If he has not kept recent valuations, or full descriptions including specific photos, what does he expect? In regards to his books, is he relying on memory or does he have them all listed and catalogues with the information stored off site? Does he keep receipts of all his purchased items including all the instruction books so he can prove the loss of any electrical items that may ever be stolen in a Burglary along with such jewellery? No you would not get such advice like this from a direct insurer, as they do not give personal advice or even this as general advice.
    Like all my colleagues, he should be using an Insurance Broker and be willing to listen to their advice. Bill Shorten gave the same advice.
  • Angela Fitzpatrick | 29 Aug 2012, 10:51 AM Agree 0
    It's a shame that the industry has not done enough to educate you Barry. We'll try harder if you will !!!
  • Scott Reid | 29 Aug 2012, 12:03 PM Agree 0
    In the interst of fairness let me state at the outset that Barry Cohen is a long time & valued friend. So, with that in mind let me clear up a few things here. Barry is not a "lefty", being a member of the ALP does not automatically make you so. Next, yes, he was with a direct insurer and regets that fact now, in fairness though he did submit quite extensive lists and descriptions but some kid in a call centre is in no position to advise properly on these things as we all know. A receipt for an engagement ring that he bought 53 years ago? You must be kidding!! I have some sympathy for the insurer in question but this matter has not been handled well by them at all.
  • Elizabeth Rainford | 29 Aug 2012, 12:03 PM Agree 0
    The extreme measures taken by Mr Cohen - "blowing up photos"indicate the issue at hand. Insurance is about specifically describing the parameters of the cover in the PDS. As many have stated not only do you get what you pay for... but you also need to use the correct words and be able to understand them in the context of insurance documents. Hence the need for a Broker. The "dumming down" of language and the mass marketing of direct insurance means that many instances of "not understanding a policy" can arise.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say is an excellent addage.
    I think the photos will have been enlarged.
  • Jamie Forster | 04 Sep 2012, 11:09 AM Agree 0
    I can accept that your average punter might be able to claim that they weren't informed but a former federal politician? Actually, even the most financially illiterate punter understands what an excess is.

    Happy to pay discounted premiums but whinges when he gets a discount product. Happy to spend only 15 minutes establishing a policy but not happy when his lack of effort and diligence results in a poor outcome.

    I'm confident that my GI broker would have appropriate cover for me - the discussion took a lot longer than 15 minutes. If not he would have some serious questions to answer.
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