FSC life insurance code takes effect

The FSC has set up an independent body to ensure members comply with its Life Insurance Code of Practice, which took effect on 1 July.

The Life Insurance Compliance Committee consists of David Goodsall, Alexandra Kelly and David Weisbrot as the committee chair, and will be administered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), according to a statement.

Professor Weisbrot was most recently chair of the Australian Press Council and was previously president of the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Mr Goodsall is an independent director and co-founder of governance and risk management advisory firm Fiduciary Dynamics. He is also a fellow and past president of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia and a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Kelly is the principal solicitor of NSW-based Financial Rights Legal Centre, where she has been practicing since 2007.

In addition, new standard medical definitions for cancer, heart attack and stroke have been added to the code for use in trauma/critical illness policies.

The FSC said the new definitions have been developed with the assistance of medical professionals and will be under continual review to ensure they are in keeping with advancements in medical science.

FSC chief executive Sally Loane said the Life Insurance Code of Practice demonstrates the life insurance industry’s commitment to improving standards and strengthening consumer protections.

“This document is a clear declaration of the level of service consumers can expect from life insurers in language they can understand,” Ms Loane said.

“The FSC has worked closely with our life insurance members and medical professionals to ensure that a new foundation of minimum standard medical definitions is implemented for new policies from day one of the code regime.

“In doing so we have laid the foundations for the ongoing strengthening of the code.”

Ms Loane said the FSC is committed to considering ASIC registration as part of the next stage of development of the code.

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