Australians who face devastating property losses following natural disasters such as floods, storms and bushfires confront further hardship when trying to claim on their insurance because of confusing terms and conditions and fine print limitations in their policies.
This report, Standardising General Insurance Definitions commissioned by Financial Rights Legal Centre calls upon the Australian Government to simplify and standardise key insurance definitions used in home building and contents insurance and regulate the fine print used to exclude and qualify terms.
It examines the Product Disclosure Statements of the home insurance policies of 34 insurers in Australia. It also reports on a series of focus groups conducted to explore consumers’ understandings of these terms, and related concerns.
No matter what challenges are thrown at us, the team at Financial Rights Legal Centre remains focused on helping people in the toughest moments of their lives, many who face the risk of losing their home, have lost their job or confront pressures from Australia’s biggest businesses such as banks.
Financial Rights Legal Centre’s Automating General Insurance Disclosure examined close to 400 cases of Australians being denied their insurance claims for not fully disclosing their driving, insurance claims records or other relevant information. The report argues that governments should work with the general insurance sector to enable the pre-filling of Australians’ driving records and insurance claims history information required for disclosure purposes at the time of purchase of motor vehicle insurance.
Automating General Insurance Disclosure was produced with grant assistance from Ecstra to examine – from a consumer’s perspective – the future of insurance and the new concept of Open Insurance – the application of the Consumer Data Right to the insurance industry.
Financial Rights has undertaken a desktop audit evaluation of the family violence policies of the 47 subscribers to the General Insurance Code of Practice.
The 2020 General Insurance Code of Practice introduced new provisions requiring subscribers to have family violence policies available online for their customers by July 1 2020.
The desktop audit examined whether subscribers family violence policies met the 11 areas required to be addressed by the Insurance Council of Australia’s Guide to helping customers affected by family violence. Policies were judged as to whether they met the requirement, partly met the requirement or did not meet the requirement at all.
While insurers often provide vital services to consumers well, findings from a new report by Financial Rights Exposed: Insurance problems after extreme weather events reveals that good consumer experiences are far from universal. The report findings are based on the experiences of more than 700 clients impacted by extreme weather events between November 2019 and April 2021 – from the “Black Summer bushfires” to Cyclone Seroja, and multiple extreme weather events in between.
Financial Rights Legal Centre has released a landmark report on the concept of Open Insurance – the application of the Consumer Data Right to the general insurance industry. The Open Insurance report by Dr Richard Tooth of Sapere provides vital insights into the risks and opportunities for consumers.
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