Regulator alleges IAG misled customers

Alleged pricing failures

Regulator alleges IAG misled customers

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

The Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has started civil penalty proceedings against subsidiaries of the giant Australasian insurer, Insurance Australia Group (IAG). The regulator alleges that Insurance Australia Limited (IAL) and Insurance Manufacturers of Australia (IMA), misled customers about the loyalty discounts available for certain types of home insurance.

“We allege that IAG subsidiaries, IAL and IMA, misled their customers about the extent of the discounts they would receive,” said ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court (pictured above) in a media release.

ASIC alleges loyalty discounts encouraging customers to renew their home insurance policies were misleading because these customers may have had their premiums increased before the discounts were applied.

The way they operated their pricing algorithm meant that some longer term or more loyal customers were allocated, or may have been allocated, higher premiums before the promised discounts were applied,” said Court.

The release said the policies involved are the SGIO, SGIC and RACV brands. The release also said that between 2017 and 2022, IAL and IMA renewed over one million home insurance policies.

“Where insurers make discount promises to renewing members they need to have robust systems and controls in place,” said Court. “Insurers should not promise discounts unless they are confident that they can and will deliver them in full.”

Court said the failure by insurers to deliver on pricing promises is “a key priority” for ASIC and she said the regulator will continue to take enforcement action to hold insurers to account.

The release said ASIC is “seeking declarations of contravention, pecuniary penalties and adverse publicity orders against IAL and IMA from the Court.”

A date is yet to be scheduled for the first hearing in the Federal Court.

The release also said that earlier this year, in a separate matter, IAL was penalised $40 million for pricing discount failures, “the largest penalty ever handed down against an insurer for breaches of financial services laws.”

General insurers, said the release, are also currently remediating over $815 million to more than 5.6 million consumers for pricing failures reported to ASIC since January 01, 2018.


IAG has published a media release on its website, authorised by the Group general counsel and company secretary, addressing this issue. The release acknowledged the civil penalty proceedings by ASIC and said IAL and IMA will defend themselves against the allegations.

“The proceedings allege contraventions of the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act concerning the pricing of, and certain disclosures about how premiums are priced, for renewing customers of SGIO, SGIC and RACV home insurance products,” said the release. “IAL and IMA maintain they have delivered on loyalty promises made to customers, do not agree that they have misled customers about the extent of the discounts they would receive, and intend to defend the proceedings.”

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