Nationals Senator John Williams has vowed to continue his advocacy for further scrutiny into financial advice, saying he plans to reinstate an inquiry that would include life insurance companies.
Mr Williams told Risk Adviser he intends to set up a Scrutiny of Financial Advice inquiry and alter the terms of reference to include the life insurance industry.
“Once you go to an election, all those inquiries stop, so I intend to reinstate the inquiry into the life insurance industry,” Mr Williams said.
The senator said there have been plenty of reports of wrongdoing in the industry, adding that he has been receiving complaints from individuals regarding life insurance policies tied to their superannuation.
“I’ve been faced with a situation where millions and millions of Australians do not even know they’ve got life insurance automatically tied up with their superannuation,” Mr Williams said.
“They probably don’t know how much insurance there is or how much premium they’re paying.”
Mr Williams cited a case where an industry super fund rejected a claim from one of its members before they even went to the insurance company because the member didn’t have enough superannuation.
“If you’ve got life insurance, it should be regardless of how much superannuation you have,” he said.
“If I insure my house for fires and storms and it burns down, the insurance company will pay me for the house that’s been burnt down, regardless of how much money I have in my savings account.
“That is irrelevant.”
As for the role super funds should play in ensuring their members have adequate life insurance, Mr Williams said this would be unclear until the inquiry is approved by the new parliament.