The Financial Services Council is launching a multi-million-dollar data project that will aggregate and distribute life insurance industry data.
FSC chief executive Sally Loane announced the project's delivery in Melbourne today, the culmination of two years' work with APRA and ASIC.
"For the first time, armed with a large scale base of reliable statistics, the industry will be able to show how much it pays in claims per impairment, broken down by dollar value and by the number of Australians that receive the benefit," Loane said.
The data will help insurers design better products, she said.
"For example, where the data reveals how much is paid out annually in mental health claims the project will inform the development of future public policy," she said.
Over time the project will collect information on the insurance industry throughout its lifecycle, starting from product development.
Loane thanked the chief executives of insurance groups that are also members of the FSC.
Superannuation funds added to Life Insurance Code of Practice
The FSC has also added the Insurance in Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice as a stand-alone chapter to its Life Insurance Code of Practice.
This will bring the FSC's 15 superannuation trustee members, who collectively manage more than $508 billion of members' money, under the binding code.
Combining the codes was a key recommendation in both the Productivity Commission report and the recent Senate standing committee on life insurance.
The FSC will release a draft version of the Superannuation Voluntary Code of Practice for consultation later this year, with a view of adoption from July 2019.
"Including the Trustee obligations in the existing FSC Code of Practice means consumers will be able to find the minimum service standards they can expect from insurers - such as paying income protection claims within two months and keeping customers appraised of progress at least every 20 days - and superannuation trustees in relation to all aspects of life insurance in one place," Loane said.