The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has launched a communications campaign on the new and strengthened General Insurance Code of Practice.
Developed and produced by agency Visibility, the communications campaign aims to inform consumers of their rights under the Code. It will run primarily on key social channels and Sky News.
Commenting on the Code, ICA CEO Andrew Hall said: “The General Insurance Code of Practice sets the standards that insurers agree to meet when interacting with their customers and is insurers’ commitment to openness, fairness, and honesty in their dealings with customers.
“The new Code contains many new and updated commitments which put customers at the centre of dealings with insurers.”
The new Code commenced on July 01, 2021. However, it was further amended earlier this month to align with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulatory guide on internal dispute resolution.
Its new customer-centric provisions include:
- Sanctions for significant Code breaches of up to $100,000 in the form of Community Benefit Payments;
- Independent enforcement through the Code Governance Committee;
- Cost comparisons between new and previous policies on renewal notices;
- Responsibility for quality repair work undertaken on behalf of insurers;
- Streamlined complaints process;
- Mandatory standards for claims investigators;
- Clear timeframes to respond to claims, complaints, and information requests; and
- Better explained cash settlements.
Additionally, the new Code ensures that customers receive useful information to navigate key aspects of the claims handling process, such as understanding a scope of works and a cash settlement for a home building policy.
Hall said: “Insurers are committed to providing customers with information about their rights under the new Code, which is why, for the first time, we are undertaking a campaign of this scope.”