The industry has welcomed the passing of the Insurance Contracts Amendments Bill into law but criticised it for taking a decade to come to fruition.
As reported by Insurance Business yesterday, the bill became law last week, introducing a number of changes including allowing insurers to communicate with policyholders electronically.
While industry professionals have welcomed the move they also spoke of their disappointment that it has taken almost 10 years to be passed.
“The amendments contain some welcome changes in relation to insurers' ability to communicate electronically with their customers,” said a spokesman for Allianz. “However, other amendments relating to policyholder disclosure impose additional costs and regulatory burden on insurers for an arguable benefit. It is disappointing that it has taken the best part of a decade to enact some simple changes to bring customer communication into the 21st century."
OAMPS Insurance Brokers also praised the bill. Head of corporate broking, Ross Castle told Insurance Business: “Overall, OAMPS considers that the changes to the Insurance Contacts Act will be of significant benefit to brokers and their clients.”
The broker was particularly pleased that the duty of utmost good faith had been strengthened as it protected its clients; and the expansion of the duty of disclosure regime because it formalises the risk assessment process necessary for maintaining appropriate insurance cover at renewal; and the simplification of the rules regarding electronic communication to clients.