find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
CommInsure scandal sparks call for insurance sector reform

CommInsure scandal sparks call for insurance sector reform

Greg Phelps

Following a recent Four Corners investigation into CommInsure, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has called for an inquiry into alleged systemic poor behaviour by insurers.

A recent investigation by Four Corners and Fairfax into the Commonwealth Bank’s insurance arm, CommInsure, has alleged that insurers are avoiding payout commitments to their clients through the use of definition changes, avoidance clauses and delays and disputation of claims.

According to the ALA, justice demands that clients facing terminal or chronic illness whose insurance claims have been unfairly denied deserve an inquiry into the insurance sector, and therefore this alleged behaviour warrants further scrutiny.

“For any insurance company to allegedly deny valid total permanent disability [TPD] claims, especially to terminally ill clients, for any reason, is absolutely unacceptable,” Greg Phelps, ALA national president, said.

“There is an urgent need to review the law around insurance policies, to ensure claimants are treated fairly when they need it most – when they are faced with terminal or chronic illness.”

Consequently, the ALA has called for an inquiry with the powers of a Royal Commission to call witnesses, take evidence and particularly to pursue and procure key documents to uncover such poor behaviour.

“To identify any systemic poor behaviour of insurers, such as what we presumably saw on Four Corners, an inquiry with appropriate resources, time and powers needs to commence immediately,” Mr Phelps said.

Further, the ALA is calling for a three-part reform in the insurance sector based on identifying bad behaviour and calling it out, confirming the minimum standards that insurance policies should meet and encouraging and ensuring higher standards of behaviour and conduct within the sector.

Mr Phelps has also called for an industry code of conduct and behaviour for insurance and superannuation companies to set out clear expectations of behaviour regarding the resolution of complaints and the claims process and be implemented by 1 March 2017.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

CommInsure scandal sparks call for insurance sector reform
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...