The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has asked for more guidance on proposed hawking reforms in its feedback to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
In July, ASIC sought industry feedback on proposed reforms to its regulatory guide on the prohibition of the hawking of financial products.
In a letter to ASIC, ICA chief executive officer Andrew Hall said that, while the council supports the updates, “further guidance” is required in relation to the consent provided by consumers in several situations, particularly relating to calls to and by insurers’ contact centres.
The scenarios Hall outlined in his letter include situations where a consumer initiates a call to an insurer’s contact centre to enquire about a particular type of insurance; a consumer provides their consent to receive a call from an insurer’s contact centre to discuss a particular type of insurance; a consumer attends an insurer’s branch or other face-to-face setting to discuss product options; and a consumer calls an insurer’s contact centre for roadside assistance.
“Without that guidance, uncertainty regarding whether discussion on an insurance product can proceed could lead to considerable inconvenience and frustration by consumers,” said Hall.
Hall said that guidance was also needed around “the facts and circumstances that will break the ‘causal nexus’ between an unsolicited contact with a consumer and a subsequent offer, request or invitation in relation to an insurance product; the offer of bundled or related insurance products which may be ‘reasonably within the scope of the consumer’s consent’; and how the prohibition applies to the purchase of insurance products based on information in an advertising pamphlet.”
ASIC will publish its final guidance in September 2021, ahead of the revised hawking prohibition commencing on October 05, 2021.