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The Insurance Regulations That Keep You Safe

March 5, 2018

Have you ever wondered whether insurers have to follow any specific regulations that protect a policyholder’s rights? Is there anything stopping an insurance provider from not honouring a valid claim?

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It’s no secret that the insurance industry doesn’t exactly have a good reputation when it comes trust, however, like most industries, the insurance sector is held under a strict code of conduct that is usually upheld.

 

In Australia, there are a number of rules and regulations in place to protect the consumer, the most notable ones being:

 

  • The Insurance Contracts Act 1984
  • The Corporations Act 2001

 

All insurance agencies, ourselves included, are bound by these laws, but since they’re a little on the complicated side, we thought we’d sum up some of the most important points they cover.

 

The Duty of Utmost Good Faith and the Duty of Disclosure

 

At its core, the first part of this regulation means that both parties – insurers and customers alike – are required to act in a manner that is fair, honest and respectful at all times.

 

The duty of disclosure is intertwined with the duty of utmost faith but works at a slightly more granular level. Both parties are required to fully disclose any information that’s relevant to the insurance policy in question. For instance, as the consumer, you’ll be required to disclose all relevant information about your business and your insurance history, so the insurer can decide whether they’re able to insure you. In return, the insurer must disclose all of the terms and conditions of your policy, and not leave any vital information out of the policy. Your insurer will hold up their end of the bargain by providing a comprehensive product disclosure statement. As the customer, you can hold up your end of this obligation by answering all of the insurers questions honestly.

 

Privacy and Transparency

 

This regulation is one that needs to be upheld by all insurance providers. They are required to:

 

  • Store any personal information securely
  • Not pass your information onto any third party unless you have previously provided your consent
  • An insurer can only ask you to answer any questions/ provide information that is relevant to determine your suitability for the policy in question
  • Insurers need to give you a chance to check and confirm the accuracy of any information you supply them with
  • If your insurance application is rejected, the provider is required to provide you with reasons why
  • Insurers are also required to provide you with information on who to contact if you’re unhappy with any of their services or decisions

 

Who Upholds These Regulations?

 

Both the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) are responsible for regulating the Australian insurance industry to various degrees. However, it is rare for policyholders to have a need to take any disputes to this level, as most insurance professionals adhere to the regulations.

 

If you do have an insurance dispute, your first step should be to contact your insurance broker, and we’ll work with the insurance company to try and help you achieve your desired outcome.

 

If you don’t currently use an insurance broker for your policy needs, it could be worth looking into getting one, as we’re able to work on your behalf to ensure your best interests are kept in mind at every stage of the insurance process.

 

Want to know more? Contact Sydney Insurance Brokers today!