Life insurer surpasses code of conduct

TAL is going above and beyond the minimum requirements of the life insurance code of conduct and calling others in the industry to follow suit.

The life insurer is applying the code's minimum medical definitions for cancer, heart attack and stroke in trauma and critical illnesses to all new claims received on individual products purchased from 10 August 2009, despite being only applicable for new customers from 1 July 2017.

The Financial Services Council recently rolled out its code of practice requiring all members to comply with the new definitions, along with providing greater level of disclosure and transparency to consumers.

TAL group chief executive and managing director Brett Clark, who helped establish the code, is calling on the industry to look beyond the code and find new ways to raise standards even further and improve experiences for customers.

Clark added TAL has been working hard to ensure it complies with the code and, where possible, exceed its requirements.

Highlighting several initiatives to prove its commitment, TAL is appointing an independent adviser to review its claims management practices; publicly reporting on its performance with respect to the code annually; and working directly with consumers to simplify products fact sheets for all direct products (not only funeral insurance products).

It is also developing comprehensive support materials for customers impacted by a major illness, such as cancer and stroke.

Clark said: "We look forward to continuing to work with the FSC, other life insurance industry members and superannuation fund trustees on the next iteration of the code to continue driving improvements in our industry, which plays such an important role in the life and wellbeing of Australians."

Read more: TALlife insuranceBrett ClarkFinancial Services CouncilFSC
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