ASIC seeks life insurer's data

ASIC data claims

16 March 2017
| By Patrick Buncsi |
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ASIC will soon request claims outcome data from life insurers as part of their 2017 industry review, according to Peter Kell, Deputy Chair of ASIC.

Speaking at Money Management’s Life Insurance Claims Handling Breakfast earlier today, Kell said there was clear demand from consumers for better reporting of the claims process.

“We need consistent public reporting of data from claims outcomes, dispute levels, and timeframes across the different policy parts … [across both] an industry and individual insurer basis,” he said.

A joint initiative between ASIC and APRA, the regulators’ aim is to facilitate an informed public discussion about the performance of the life insurance industry.

Kell said this will “allow for meaning comparisons of insurers’ performance as well as providing sufficient context to allow consumers to understand their material.”

“The objective here is to improve confidence in the life insurance sector by using enhanced transparency around this information, which we think will help drive accountability and improve performance.”

According to Kell, however, lack of transparency around claims outcomes and a paucity of high-quality, transparent data from insurers is hampering the aggregation and analysis process.

“Data limitations make it difficult to assess industry claims performance and make comparisons difficult at this stage, which is one of the reasons why we didn’t go out and name or provide lead tables in our initial report,” Kell said.

ASIC will therefore only make the data publicly available once it is deemed “credible, reliable and comparable,” he said.

“That’s going to be a challenge, requiring systems changes, some agreements across the industry on particular ways of categorising things, so this is not something that’s going to be out there next week, Kell said.

Nevertheless, Kell remains confident in regulators’ data collection processes.

“Discussions with industry to date have indicated a real commitment to work with us on this issue, and we’re very well aware of concerns data is comparable and reliable, so we look forward to continued cooperation of this important project,” he said.

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