PM apologises for lack of action on banks

Original article by Michael Roddan, Elizabeth Redman
The Australian – Page: 2 : 13-Sep-18

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told question time on 12 September that he regretted not holding the banking royal commission sooner. He described as appalling the evidence concerning the treatment of Baptist minister Grant Stewart who had tried to get Freedom Insurance staff to cancel a useless life insurance policy sold to his Down Syndrome son, with one employee calling Stewart a "bloody whinger". Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was highly critical of the misconduct of life insurer ClearView, which has admitted to 300,000 alleged breaches of criminal law over the provision of unsolicited advice.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FREEDOM INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX FIG, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

Sack them all, says insurance boss

Original article by Michael Roddan, Elizabeth Redman
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Sep-18

The banking royal commission commenced its investigation into the life insurance sector on 10 September. Senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr QC noted the industry had paid $6 billion worth of commissions to financial planners over the five years to 2017, suggesting this was a key factor behind the sector’s unethical behaviour. ClearView chief risk officer Greg Martin admitted to the commission that it had breached anti-hawking laws more than 300,000 times, and that it had a "full on sales" culture.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLEARVIEW WEALTH LIMITED – ASX CVW

Poor connection – ASIC to restrict life insurance telemarketers due to mass policy cancellation

Original article by Ceyda Erem
mozo.com.au – Page: Online : 31-Aug-18

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has found that up to one in five life insurance policies sold over the phone are cancelled during their cooling-off period. ASIC found that one of the main reasons for the high level of cancellation was the lack of information provided about important policy features. Meanwhile, research by Roy Morgan has found that 10.8 per cent of those holding risk and life insurance policies either switched their policies or actively thought about doing so in the year to June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, ROY MORGAN LIMITED

One million potential for switching risk and life insurance policy providers

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 13-Aug-18

New research from Roy Morgan shows that in the 12 months to June 2018, 1,008,000 risk and life insurance policies (10.8% of the total market) had the potential to change companies. This potential is the sum of the 242,000 that actually switched to another company and the 766,000 that renewed with the same company after having approached other companies. Of the total switching potential of 1,008,000 risk and life policies over the last year, the 35-49 age group is the biggest segment, with 425,000 or 42.2% of the total. The second largest segment is the 50-64 age group, with 360,000 or 35.7% of the total. Meanwhile, 27.9% of switching potential is in the $60,000 to $99,000 personal income group, with 281,000 policies. These are the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, which is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 10,000 interviews with people holding risk and life insurance policies.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Online sales of life insurance grow to 349,000

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 22-Jan-18

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey shows that the proportion of Australians aged 18+ who buy life insurance online has grown from 4.6% in 2012 (168,000 policies) to 10.8% in 2017 (349,000). This represents growth of 108% in policies over the last five years. This growth rate is the highest of all channels used to obtain life insurance. The survey, which was conducted in the year to November, also shows that 24.7% of life insurance policies have been obtained by telephoning insurance companies directly, closely followed by using an employer (23.9%). However, the trend over the last five years shows that going direct by telephone is down from 26.0% to 24.7%. On the other hand, the proportion obtaining life insurance through employers has increased from 18.5% to 23.9% over the last five years.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

ANZ life sale could pave way for buybacks

Original article by Alice Uribe, Joyce Moullakis, Sarah Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 21 : 13-Dec-17

CEO Shayne Elliott concedes that the ANZ Bank’s earnings will be lower following recent asset sales, although he believes that refocusing the group is in the best interests of shareholders. ANZ shares closed 1.1 per cent higher at $A28.82 on 12 December after it announced the sale of its life insurance division to Zurich for $A2.85bn. ANZ had sold the OnePath business to IOOF Holdings earlier in 2017. Elliott has indicated that ANZ could potentially use the proceeds of the latest deal to finance a share buyback.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, ZURICH FINANCIAL SERVICES AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY, ONEPATH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED

Insuranceline tops satisfaction among risk and life insurers

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Dec-17

Insuranceline had the highest customer satisfaction rating among Australia’s 13 largest risk and life insurers in the year to October 2017, according to a Roy Morgan Single Source survey. Insuranceline’s satisfaction rating rose by 5.4% over the year, to 79.2%, which is well above the industry average of 66.2%. Insuranceline was followed by Allianz (75.2%), AIA Australia (73.2%) and Real Insurance (72.6%). The biggest improver during the year was AIA Australia (up 6.6% points), while major brands to show declines in satisfaction over the year were Asteron (down 12.2% points), Zurich (down 9.9% points) and Comminsure (down 4.2% points).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, INSURANCELINE HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AIA AUSTRALIA LIMITED, REAL INSURANCE, ASTERON LIFE LIMITED, ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY, COMMINSURE, ONEPATH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MLC LIMITED

Rise in insurer requests for full medical records

Original article by Alice Uribe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 16-Oct-17

The federal parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services is investigating the $A44 billion life insurance sector. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has told the committee that its members are receiving increased requests for full patient records, while it believes strongly that such requests should not be allowed. MDA National believes that patients should be informed if an insurance company has made a request to access their records.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, MDA NATIONAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AIA AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Westpac ‘rips off clients’ with life insurance

Original article by Anthony Klan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 13-Oct-17

Shine Lawyers is leading a class action against Westpac and its BankSA, St George and Bank of Melbourne subsidiaries. The legal action alleges that Westpac charges more for life insurance policies when taken out through a Westpac financial planner than through a non-Westpac planner. Janice Shaddler of Shine says the Westpac customers it is representing are feeling "incredibly let down" for having trusted their Westpac adviser to do the right thing by them. A spokesman for Westpac says it will investigate the allegations.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BANK OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA LIMITED, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, BANK OF MELBOURNE LIMITED, SHINE LAWYERS, SHINE CORPORATE LIMITED – ASX SHJ, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Low income earners hit hardest by fees

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 22 : 20-Sep-17

KPMG has released a report which shows that the average superannuation fund balance on retirement is 6.2 per cent lower for members who have a default life insurance policy. However, life insurance fees means the average super balance on retirement is 14 per cent lower in the case of women whose annual income is less than $A37,000. Default insurance accounted for about 50 per cent of the $A14bn worth of insurance benefits that were paid out in the three years to June 2016. The Insurance in Superannuation Working Group will release its draft code of practice on 20 September.

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, INSURANCE IN SUPERANNUATION WORKING GROUP, RICE WARNER ACTUARIES PTY LTD, RAINMAKER INFORMATION SERVICES PTY LTD, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION