Life insurance claims handling must improve: ISWG

The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group is calling for the removal of complexity around claims handling.

Releasing the second of its discussion papers around the development of the Life Insurance Code of Practice for superannuation trustees, the Group states that claimants become entwined with a group of stakeholders with differing priorities and more needs to be done to ensure faster claims processes, clarity of timeframes and expectations.

ISWG chair Jim Minto acknowledged the majority of life insurance claims are handled well, but said there is scope for improvement to help members when claiming.

"We want claiming life insurance in superannuation to be a 'best practice' experience at what is a difficult time for a member or their dependents. The process needs to be member-centric, as well as simple and consistent across the industry," Minto said.

Recommendations made by the ISWG include appropriate governance arrangements be put in place by each super fund in relation to claims handling; funds should proactively take measures to ensure that the fund and insurer claims philosophy is sufficiently aligned with member obligations; and funds should publish claims philosophy online in full or summary form.

In reference to suitable timeframes, the ISWG proposed issue of claim forms at the request of claimants be made within five business days; the fund's independent review of the insurer's decision should be completed within seven business days of the insurer confirming a payment will be made and 15 days in the instance of a denial; and payment of a claim once approved should be made within five business days.

As part of the ISWG's commitment to improving consumer value and experience, the paper asks for submissions from stakeholders on the outlined proposals to help shape an enforceable Code of Practice and Good Practice Guidance for Trustees, to be published later this year.

Read more: ISWGSuperannuation Working GroupGood Practice Guidance for TrusteesJim MintoLife Insurance Code of Practice for
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