Insurer owns up, claims data ‘not consistent’



A leading life insurer has owned up to its 37 per cent total and permanent disability claims denial rate in ASIC’s report on life insurance, saying it is not comparable and should be treated with caution.

BT Financial Group chief executive Brad Cooper says any comparisons in the ASIC report released last week would be misleading and would not provide accurate information to consumers, particularly when comparing policies.

“ASIC said at its recent appearance at the House of Representatives Economics Committee that the data that has been provided by industry participants is not consistent,” Mr Cooper said.

“In BTFG’s case, for example, the data includes some claims which were lodged by people who were not insured with us at the time of their injury or illness, and some claims by customers who were paid under other parts of their policy such as income protection.”

Mr Cooper said that if this was taken into consideration, the number of rejected claims would be much lower.

“The facts are that BTFG declined 58 TPD claims in 2015,” he said.

“During the same period BTFG paid $225 million in life insurance claims to 2640 beneficiaries.”

Mr Cooper said the industry needed to improve the consistency of data to enable consumers to make valid comparison of products.

“We strongly support the need for standardised reporting to allow consumers to make meaningful comparison,” he said.

“We will have a further look at each of the 58 declined claims to ensure that our processes are robust and fair.”

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