InsuranceLine, a direct insurance business of TAL, has been issued with an infringement notice for using “false or misleading” television advertisements to promote its income protection (IP) product.
According to ASIC, InsuranceLine has paid a penalty of $10,200 after being issued with the notice.
The television advertisements promoting the IP product depicted a couple in their backyard, with a voiceover saying, “This is Kylie. This is her hubby Tom. And this is the bite Kylie got in Bali which will lead to a nasty infection leaving her off work for five weeks. And this is Kylie and Tom’s Income Protection Plus that she took out last year just in case something like this happened. It’ll keep their bank balance healthy while Kylie’s recovering.”
The written representations on the screen stated:
“Illness and injury cover up to 85 per cent of income to $10,000 a month”
There were also a number of fine print statements at the bottom of the screen, including: “Waiting periods, payout periods, limitations and exclusions apply”.
ASIC said the fine print in the advertisement was insufficient to correct any misleading impression created on any viewing, due to its “lack of details, clarity and prominence”.
"In this case, the benefits portrayed by the advertisements could not be obtained by consumers due to the way the product operated,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
“Promoted benefits of a product must be consistent with what the product will in practice provide,” he said.
The regulator said that InsuranceLine has immediately ceased broadcasting the advertisement after being notified of ASIC’s concerns.
“The payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ASIC Act consumer protection provisions. ASIC can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws,” a statement from ASIC said.