23
April
2020
|
22:45
Australia/Sydney

ASIC's expectations of insurers regarding COVID-19

Summary
  • ASIC expects general and life insurers to handle claims with good faith.
  • Trusts that insurers will show flexibility in dealing with consumer circumstances.
  • Calls for and expects accurate, clear and proactive communication with consumers.

ASIC is committed to working constructively and pragmatically with general and life insurers to help Australians affected by COVID-19 to recover, and to aid the general functioning of the economy.

ASIC expects insurers to handle insurance claims with utmost good faith and to deal with complaints genuinely, promptly, fairly and consistently. We have written to insurers to set out expectations in relation to claims handling, communication and flexibility to assist consumers during COVID-19.

Insurers should be flexible in dealing with consumers’ specific circumstances. Where consumers are no longer able to pay premiums due to reduced income, insurers should consider how they can best respond to this issue in order to help consumers continue to maintain key insurance coverage. This might include, where appropriate and reasonable, measures including premium ‘holidays’, deferrals, or reductions for a reasonable period of time.

We also expect insurers to communicate proactively, clearly and accurately with consumers about their insurance cover, recognising the rapidly changing situation they are facing.

ASIC is advising consumers to contact their insurers directly if they have any issues relating to COVID-19. We are also referring consumers to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) if they are unhappy with the results of claims-related problems or outcomes.

Boilerplate

ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.