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Life insurers must align values: MetLife

MetLife chief executive Deanne Stewart has revealed she once dealt with a super fund that deliberately tried to deny as many claims as possible, as she addressed the importance of good culture.

Speaking at the FSC Life Insurance Conference in Sydney last week, Ms Stewart said one way to shape the culture of a life insurance company is by having a good philosophy that drives good decisions.

“For me, philosophy should guide your policy, should guide your process,” she said.

“As it relates to culture, it is like the guard rails of the behaviour that you are wanting to see in an organisation.”

That same philosophy should also guide any partnerships between life insurers and super funds, which Ms Stewart admits do not always align.

“We were looking at a particular tender situation over this last year where the philosophy of the super fund was actually to truly minimise as many claims as it could pay. That was a direct quote from them,” she said.


“For that reason alone, we decided not to go into that tender.”

Ms Stewart believes claims managers should not receive rewards and incentives for financial outcomes in relation to claims.

She said a company’s leadership is the most important aspect of creating culture.

“Leaders absolutely have a ripple impact on everything we say and do,” she said.

“We are the role models for setting of the values. The values might sit on a wall but actually it’s everyone in the organisation watching how we act that truly sets the values and the culture.”

Life insurers must align values: MetLife
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