What is the Life Insurance Code of Practice?
The Life Insurance Code of Practice (sometimes referred to as ‘the Code’) is a series of mandatory customer service standards that all life insurers need to comply with from 1 July 2017. These standards cover the key areas of life insurance sales and marketing practices, underwriting and claims and are designed to simplify the experience customers have with life insurers.
The objectives of the Code of Practice are:
- to commit insurers to high standards of customer service;
- to seek continuous improvement within the life insurance industry;
- to communicate with customers in plain language where possible; and
- to increase trust and confidence in the life insurance industry.
Why is the Code of Practice important?
A contract of insurance is based on the principle of good faith which requires both the insurer and the customer to act honestly and fairly towards each other, and for the insurer to have the best regard for the customers’ interests. The Code will enhance consumer rights and lift industry standards in order to deliver better customer outcomes.
Key Code Promises
- We will be honest, fair, respectful, transparent, and timely when we communicate with you, and we will use plain language unless medical or other technical terminology is needed.
- We will ensure our staff and Authorised Representatives use appropriate sales and retention practices.
- We will offer extra support if you have trouble with the process of buying insurance or claiming.
- If we find that a sale was made using unacceptable sales practices, we will fix it, for example by issuing a refund or replacement policy.
- When you make a claim, we will explain the process and keep you informed about our progress assessing it.
- We will decide on your claim within the Code’s timeframes. But if we cannot, we will explain why and tell you how to make a Complaint.
- If we decline your claim, we will explain why in writing and let you know what to do if you disagree.
- We will restrict the use of investigators and Surveillance to preserve your right to privacy.
- The independent Life Code Compliance Committee (Life CCC) will monitor our compliance with the Code.
- We will be accountable for Code requirements, and the Life CCC can sanction us.
These promises are embedded in everything we do to ensure we are adhering to the obligated standards of customer service specified by the Code. You can read the Code or find out more about it on the FSC website. The FSC has also developed a Consumer guide to Life Insurance Law and Life Insurance Premiums Facts Sheet.
Our Commitment to the Code of Practice
Virgin Life Insurance policies purchased before 1 April 2021 are issued by TAL, who played a key role in creating the Life Insurance Code of Practice. We are committed to delivering the best possible customer service standards. We will continue to look for ways to raise the standards of customer service now and over the years to come.
TAL will transition its industry association membership from the Financial Services Council to the Council of Australian Life Insurers, however committed to ensuring continuity of key industry standards. TAL will comply with the Life Insurance Code of Practice and life insurance industry standards in the interests of serving and supporting their customers.
Click here for more information on the Code.
Life Insurance with Virgin Money Super:
Virgin Money Super insurance policies are issued by OnePath Life Limited. Mercer Superannuation (Australia) Limited, as Trustee of Virgin Money Super, has appointed OnePath Life Limited as the Group Insurer for Virgin Money Super. The Trustee is committed to the promotion and monitoring of the Insurance in Super Voluntary Code of Practice. They see the code as a positive step for the superannuation industry and embrace the opportunity for change, but more importantly to improve the member experience. For full details, visit Mercer Documents page.