The Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) has released its Insurance Premium Funding (IPF) Code of Practice after extensive consultation with key stakeholders.
AFIA members Arteva, Attvest, BOQ Finance, Clearmatch, Elantis, Hunter Premium Funding, and IQumulate developed the IPF Code of Practice after extensive consultation with key stakeholders. The customer-centric code supports consumer and business customers by:
- Enabling them to easily compare the features and pricing of different IPF products by using several standardised disclosures and metrics;
- Ensuring high standards of practice in the design and distribution of IPF products; and
- Supporting access to insurance and finance through a competitive and innovative market.
“The new IPF Code of Practice is an example of the finance industry proactively adopting industry standards that go above and beyond what is required by the law. The code has gone through an extensive consultation process to ensure insights from a broad spectrum of stakeholders are included,” said AFIA CEO Diane Tate.
The code's commitments require signatories to deliver clear disclosures to enable better comparison of IPF product features and costs, provide customers with access to internal and external dispute resolution, including through AFCA, provide financial hardship assistance, and promote continuous improvement of customer service and a culture of professionalism in the IPF industry.
Among the IPF members, Hunter Premium Funding and IQumulate are the first to be accredited by the IPF Code Compliance Committee as meeting the standards set out in the code. Meanwhile, other members are still seeking accreditation, expected to be completed in the coming months.
“This is an important milestone. The Financial Services Royal Commission made it clear it's not just what financial institutions do that is important, but how they do it, and firms are now required to embed a consumer-centric approach,” Tate said.
The new code of practice works alongside the updated Insurance Brokers Code of Practice, published by the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA).
“AFIA will publish further announcements as other IPF members complete accreditation. We will also ensure we continue to work closely with NIBA as they implement their updated code. There are significant changes happening in the financial services industry, so it is critical for industry codes to continue to keep ahead and set high standards of industry practice,” Tate said.