Many Australians take out insurance expecting to be protected in unforeseen circumstances, whether it is to do with their health, travel, car or life situations. However, the unfortunate reality is that there are many instances of consumers falling victim to the misconduct of insurance providers.
The Banking Royal Commission’s Round 6 hearings will focus on issues related to insurance and the Commission will hear testimony between 10 to 21 September 2018.
Applications for leave to appear are now open and close this Friday 31st August.
The Royal Commission will examine issues related to life insurance, general insurance and the regulatory regime surrounding the industry. We expect that some of the following issues may arise during the inquiry.
Unnecessary Delays in Customer Service
An overriding problem with insurance providers is the lengthy and unnecessary delays that prevent them from providing adequate help to consumers. The process of making claims can take a long time which can cause financial difficulty for consumers needing to pay large sums out of their own pocket before getting reimbursement. Another issue with delay is the failure of insurance companies to adequately resolve consumer complaints.
Consumers Slapped with Policy Loopholes
An issue identified by consumer advocacy organization CHOICE is the industry’s failure to standardise terms within insurance contracts. This can result in discrepancies between policies, leaving some consumers unable to claim when they experience a situation that does not fall within the definition prescribed by a specific policy.
These loopholes are leaving consumers unprotected, suffering financial and emotional stress.
Issues with Life Insurance Providers
Life insurance provides a lump sum payment to family members/beneficiaries in the event of the life insured’s death, or diagnosis of a terminal illness. It is not uncommon that financial advisers receive commissions for selling individual life insurance policies.
There is the potential for misconduct with instances of financial advisers pressuring consumers into buying expensive policies that fail to take into account the consumer’s objectives and financial situations. This problem has been a common theme throughout the Banking Royal Commission so far. We predict that it will, again, be a topic of examination in the round 6 of hearings.
Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors
If you have experienced misconduct during an interaction with an insurance provider, contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors.
We can assist you in making a submission to the Banking Royal Commission. If the Royal Commission calls you as a witness, we can apply to represent you on a grant of financial assistance.
Call us on (02) 9261 4281 ASAP as applications to appear in Round 6 close this Friday 31st August.