Independent Review: Initial Consultation Paper, April 2024

Financial Rights Legal Centre has drafted this submission on behalf of the Consumers Federation of Australia. The following organisations have contributed and are signatories to this submission:

• Australian Consumers Insurance Lobby
• The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society
• Consumer Action Law Centre
• Council of the Aging
• Eros Association
• Financial Rights Legal Centre
• Financial Counselling Australia
• Owners Corporation Network
• Mob Strong Debt Help
• South Australian Financial Counsellors Association
• Westjustice

Since the last review of the General Insurance Code (the Code) in 2018, there have been 17 extreme weather event catastrophes and a pandemic all of which have tested the sector and found it to be wanting.

A surfeit of evidence is available in multiple reports with accompanying recommendations delivered during this period on a range of topics from claims handling failures and pricing practices to poor data handling and disclosure practices. All of these demonstrate that the general insurance sector is falling short of community expectations and failing insurance customers – particularly those experiencing vulnerability.

While a range of reforms arising out of the Financial Services Royal Commission have been implemented to address some of the problems identified in the legislative framework, they have not addressed many critical, on-the-ground matters that negatively impact consumers in their everyday engagement with insurance.

The insurance sector needs to life its game and the Code needs to be strengthened.

Read the full submission and recommendations (PDF).

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