Life insurers to launch "first ever" professional standards framework

Life insurers to launch "first ever" professional standards framework | Insurance Business Australia

Life insurers to launch "first ever" professional standards framework

Life insurers in Australia have collaborated with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to launch an industry-wide Professional Standards Framework to unify professional standards and enhance industry trust and confidence.

ANZIIF and insurers AIA Australia, AMP Life (part of the Resolution Life Group), BT Life Insurance, ClearView, MLC Life Insurance, TAL, and Zurich developed the Professional Standards Framework to formalise standards for professional excellence by implementing a consistent foundation requirement for all life insurance claims and underwriting professionals.

The framework comprises four Certificate IV competencies, including ethics, sustainability, products and services, and law and regulation – with the life insurers committed to achieving a Certificate IV level for claims professionals by December 2023 and underwriting professionals by December 2024.

ANZIIF chief executive officer Prue Willsford said the framework's launch is a significant step for the life insurance sector and the development of life insurance professionals.

“Competency Frameworks have been developed for Claims, Underwriting, Product, and Distribution functions and will provide life insurance companies with a measurement tool for their own existing internal training, while professional development for employees will provide a roadmap for long-term consistency across the industry,” Willsford said.

Senator Jane Hume, Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services, and the Digital Economy, welcomed the new framework.

“I applaud the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance and industry for their hard work putting together these standards and welcome industry taking a proactive approach to create codes and standards enhancing consumer outcomes,” Minister Hume said.

ANZIIF stated that it will continue to support the life insurance sector through its next phase of implementing the Professional Standards Framework. Key stakeholders in the development of the framework included the Financial Services Council and ALUCA.