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  • Writer's pictureLynna Tan

Rebuilding Confidence: ASIC’s Call for Better Business Practices from Insurance Companies

Updated: Apr 5


In the wake of recent severe weather events across Australia, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a critical reminder to insurance companies relating to their regulatory compliance obligations, and general conduct towards consumers. In particular, highlighting insurance claims handling as an ASIC enforcement priority for 2024. 


As an Australian Financial Services Licensed (AFSL) operator, ClaimsCo (trading as Rebuild Relief) is one of Australia’s leading hail damage insurance claims management companies. ClaimsCo remains committed to its regulatory compliance obligations, in conjunction with delivering excellent customer service to its clients.


This blog delves into ASIC's recent communications to insurers, explains our position within the market, and what this all means for our valued customers.


“Given that severe weather events are expected to occur more frequently and with greater severity, it is increasingly important for general insurers to adhere to their obligations when responding to claims relating to such events”

- Alan Kirkland, Commissioner


Introduction

The issues surrounding insurer’s claims management process, especially after catastrophic weather events, has now taken on a new urgency. ASIC's recent letter to the Chairs and CEOs of general insurance companies highlights this, emphasising the requirement for transparency, efficiency, and fairness in handling insurance claims and regulatory compliance that must be met by insurance companies.


What are the functions of ASIC & the ICA?

ASIC is Australia's independent regulatory authority, established to enforce regulatory compliance across the financial services, integrated corporate, markets and consumer credit industries. 


The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is the representative body of the general insurance industry. Its mandate and guidelines play a crucial role in shaping the practices of its member insurance companies across Australia.


Why is ASIC raising these concerns?

ASIC's recent attention comes in response to the increased frequency and severity of weather events in Australia, as highlighted by the 2023–24 summer season. The regulator's recent letter to insurers outlines the necessity for insurers to meet their regulatory compliance obligations, ensuring claims are managed efficiently, honestly, and fairly, with a particular emphasis on supporting consumers through these challenging times.


"Insurance claims handling is an enforcement priority for ASIC in 2024. We are monitoring claims handling through reports of misconduct made directly to ASIC, any systemic issues reported by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), and our regular contact with consumer groups assisting people with claims and related disputes. Our message is that ASIC is watching how insurers support their customers very closely" 

- Alan Kirkland, Commissioner


What Are We Doing to Help Consumers

Rebuild Relief is actively responding to calls for improvement to the industry by: 


  1. Providing Free Roof Inspections: Our team of experts helps identify potential claims, guiding our clients through the initial steps of the insurance claims process.

  2. Streamlining Claims Management: We manage the insurance claims process on behalf of our clients, providing a hassle-free experience with insurers that meets the high standards and regulatory requirements enforced by ASIC.

  3. Enhancing Communication: We prioritise clear, transparent communication with our clients, keeping them informed every step of the way.



Our roof inspections are Free!



What Does This Mean for Customers?

For our customers, this means you can expect a level of service that meets and exceeds industry standards. From the initial inspection through to the final resolution of your claim, our team is committed to providing clear, timely, and honest communication, delivering support every step of the way.



Our dedicated claims management team


Our relationship with the ICA

Our engagement with the ICA through regular meetings allows us to stay at the forefront of industry developments and best practices. This collaboration aligns with industry expectations set by regulatory bodies, in addition to our active contribution to the ongoing improvement of the insurance industry’s standards.


How We Plan to Improve the Industry

Improvement begins with accountability. We're dedicated to setting a new benchmark for insurance claims management through continuous improvement of our own processes and by actively participating in industry discussions. Our ongoing engagement with the ICA is a testament to our commitment to not just keeping pace with the industry’s practices, but we are invested in improving the operational standards in process and procedure -  leading by example in claims management.


Conclusion

The letter from ASIC to insurers is a clear call to action, emphasising the need for a more consumer-centric approach to claims handling in the wake of ongoing severe weather events. At Rebuild Relief, we see this as an opportunity to lead by example, reaffirming our commitment to our clients through our claims advocacy and management services. By continuing to align our business practices and company ethics with ASIC's regulatory principles, actively engaging with the ICA and building productive industry relationships, we are committed to improving the insurance industry for Australian consumers.

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