New Fair Insurance Code inspires life sector

by IBO 13 Jan 2016

New Fair Insurance Code inspires life sector

Life insurance companies are supporting the idea of a code of conduct similar to the general insurance sector’s new Fair Insurance Code, which came into force on 1 January 2016.

Key players in the sector such as AIA’s CEO Natalie Cameron and former AIG and AIA boss David Whyte said a code for life insurance could be ‘useful’ and could drive good practice, financial adviser news site Good Returns reported.

Cameron said: “The ICNZ Fair Insurance Code is focussed on claims management, specific general insurance terms and things like catastrophe management.

“A code to regulate practice in the life industry would be most useful if it also addressed the issues most topical in the life insurance industry.

“However, I like common elements like the Fair Insurance Code to ethics, good customer service and prompt and fair complaints management.”

Whyte said if a code was drawn up it should be done so in consultation with providers, advisers and consumers.

However, life insurance blogger Russell Hutchinson, of Quotemonster and Chatswood Consulting, said one of the biggest issues in the life sector, that of incomplete application forms or undisclosed information, would not be directly translatable from the Fair Insurance Code.

“But it is an issue several insurers are keen to tackle,” he told Good Returns.

“Interestingly it is also seen as linked to reducing switches which are ‘unsafe’ because of poor disclosure, which many have been encouraged, or overlooked,” he said.