• subs-bellGet the latest news! Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

Consumers to question premiums after insurers’ profits increase

The recent reporting season revealed that life insurers' profits are increasing, despite cries that their businesses are unsustainable, according to LifeInsuranceDirect.com.au.

Russell Cain, chief executive of the life insurance comparison website, said those reports should prompt consumers to wonder why their premiums are rising.

"Consumers should rightfully be asking how life insurers can say they are increasing life insurance premiums because their businesses are not sustainable, when their own evidence clearly shows they continue to make substantial profits," Mr Cain said.

AMP reported "one of the highest increases in profit" while TAL, Clearview and ANZ also posted positive growth, he said.

According to Mr Cain, if sustainability is a serious concern to life insurers, there is more they can do to maintain, or further increase, profits than "increasing premiums and pushing for commissions paid to financial advisers to be slashed".

"If life insurers do have a sustainability problem, then the onus should be on them to solve that problem," he said.

"Amongst other things, they could be innovating on product design and lobbying the government to ensure that things like stamp duty are removed from life insurance to make it more affordable."