The life insurance industry is developing a Professional Standards Framework for all claims and underwriting professionals, with support from the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).
The framework is being developed in collaboration with AIA Australia, AMP Life, BT Life Insurance, ClearView, MLC Life Insurance, TAL and Zurich, who collectively hold 95% of written premiums, along with ANZIIF and formalises standards by implementing a consistent 'Foundation' requirement.
By 2023, all claims professionals are expected to achieve four Certificate IV competencies including ethics; sustainability; products and services; and law and regulation with all underwriting professionals by 2024.
TAL chief executive Brett Clark said the framework will enhance existing skills in the industry and set a minimum standard.
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"This Professional Standards Framework sits alongside the industry commitments set out in the Life Insurance Code of Practice, which together, put in place important long-term commitments by the life insurance industry to delivering for our customers and the community," Clark said.
ANZIIF chief executive Prue Willsford agreed and said it is a positive step for the life insurance sector.
"Competency Frameworks have been developed for claims, underwriting, product and distribution functions and will provide life insurance companies with a measurement tool for their own existing internal training, while professional development for employees will provide a roadmap for long-term consistency across the industry," Willsford said.
Minister for superannuation, financial Services and the digital economy Jane Hume welcomed the framework.
"I applaud ANZIIF and industry for their hard work putting together these standards and welcome industry taking a proactive approach to create codes and standards enhancing consumer outcomes," Hume said.
The latest development comes following APRA's announcement that it has commenced industry consultation on revisions to the prudential standards for life insurers to protect life insurance policy holders against the use of offshore reinsurers.