Trowbridge driving changes ahead for the Insurance industry

Trowbridge ramifications have once again made headlines after a draft Code of Practice, covering both insurance sales and claims, was issued in March by an appointed working group. Whilst still only in draft, there have been a number articles discussing issues with the insurance claims process, the responsibility of the advisor throughout the claims process, and the lack of input from the superannuation industry into the development of the proposed code.

This process was never going to be straightforward. In our highly regulated environment, building consensus across so many industry bodies and stakeholders is inevitably going to be painstakingly slow. However life insurance is vital when we consider the financial impacts of ailing health or death on loved ones and the future. In my view, its important we get this right. We need the logical, actionable reforms put in place through this Code of Practice to ultimately help members of ou community at times when they need it the most.

With that in mind I read the March 20 Fairfax column penned by John Berrill, a superannuation and insurance lawyer, with interest. In his column Berrill states that a ‘comprehensive code of practice would provide a good measure of insurers’ conduct in processing claims and complaints in a timely and fair manner’. It would also provide a ‘reference point for consumers to check that super funds are living up to their end of the bargain’.

Berrill also introduces the merits of a ‘standard cover’ for life insurance, similar to what exists for home and contents, motor vehicle and travel insurance. A standard cover ensures an insurer must provide minimum types of benefits and can only deviate from that cover if they “clearly inform” any changes. While acknowledging the complexities involved with life insurance, surely a baseline assurance to the insured cannot be too much to ask for?

Do you think a “standard” of cover would help the industry and the consumer?

Chris Wrightson. Founder and CEO at Centurion Market Makers, the industry experts in the sale, acquisition and management of financial planning firms. If you’re planning on selling your firm in 2017, we’d love you to call us for a confidential discussion, or continue browsing our website for more tips, tools and info on the steps to take when buying or selling your financial planning firm.

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