The FSC has reaffirmed a commitment to its own Life Insurance Code of Practice in strengthening consumer protections around life insurance, as it urges the government to prioritise financial services reforms.
The FSC says the code of practice will commit life insurers to strong standards of customer service and provide protection to consumers in areas of product design, sales practices, underwriting and claims.
The code of practice is expected to be launched in October and all life insurance members who are FSC members are required to be compliant with the code by 1 July 2017, the council said in a statement.
“The FSC’s Life Insurance Code of Practice is an important piece of self-regulation, and will be strongly complemented by legislative reforms in response to the Financial System Inquiry and Trowbridge Review,” FSC chief executive Sally Loane said.
Ms Loane wrote an opinion piece earlier this week saying a potential banking royal commission would derail reforms already in the pipeline.
“A royal commission into financial services would derail overdue reforms to life insurance and financial advice. A 16th review, inquiry or commission is unnecessary,” she said.
NOW Financial Group director and member of lobby group the Life Insurance Customer Group, Mark Dunsford, responded to Ms Loane’s opinion piece by saying the FSC’s attempts to bring in life insurance reforms offer no benefits to the consumer.
“You talk about developing a code of practice, and yet have not consulted advisers or licensees who have been working in this space effectively and advising clients for over 100 years,” Mr Dunsford said.
“Whilst you hide under the cape of trying to improve the industry, the very policy that you have structured only benefits the shareholders of the product manufacturers you support.”