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Allianz pleads guilty over false statements about travel insurance

Allianz and associated company AWP Australia have pleaded guilty.

Allianz Australia Insurance has pleaded guilty to six criminal charges of making false or misleading statements regarding the sale of travel insurance.

AWP Australia, which marketed, sold and managed travel insurance products on behalf of Allianz, has also pleaded guilty to one criminal charge of making false or misleading statements.

ASIC said that the charges related to the sale of Allianz domestic and international travel insurance products and statements published on various domestic, basic and comprehensive travel insurance web pages that were hosted and maintained by Allianz and AWP.

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“Between 2016 and 2018, Allianz and AWP misrepresented the characteristics or level of coverage of travel insurance available for consumers,” the corporate regulator said.

“In some instances, the Allianz website advertised the maximum travel insurance benefits payable to consumers, but then failed to state that sub-limits, terms, conditions or exclusions would limit those benefits.”

Last September, Allianz and AWP were ordered to pay penalties totaling $1.5 million in relation to the sale of travel insurance policies through Expedia websites.

ASIC has also secured $10 million in customer remediation from Allianz and AWP for travel insurance potentially mis-sold to roughly 31,500 consumers through Allianz’s own website and through distribution partners including Expedia.

Allianz and AWP lodged their pleas before the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney. The matter has now been committed to the Supreme Court and is listed for arraignment on 5 August.

ASIC noted that the maximum penalty for each contravention of s1041E of the Corporations Act is the greater of:

  • $8.1 million
  • three times the total value of the benefits that have been obtained and are reasonably attributable to the commission of the offence, if they can be determined by the court
  • about 10 per cent of the body corporate’s annual turnover during the 12-month period ending in the month in which it committed or began committing the offence, if the total value of benefits can not be determined
Allianz pleads guilty over false statements about travel insurance
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Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg

Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.

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