CBA denies bad claims culture

CBA claims bad claims culture

6 March 2017
| By Malavika |
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The Commonwealth Bank’s (CBA’s) wealth management division has rebuffed suggestions it has a culture of “deliberately avoiding paying customers”, adding independent reviews painted a different picture to some of the commentary and media reports.

In her opening remarks to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, Life Insurance Industry, group executive, wealth management, Annabel Spring acknowledged the division committed mistakes for which “we apologise and we will make right”.

However, Spring refuted allegations that claims staff received financial incentives for declining claims, and said there was no evidence that medical opinions were tampered with to deny claims, or that claims staff pressured doctors to change their opinions to deny claims.

“There is no evidence that claims staff ‘cherry pick’ doctors to provide medical opinions to deny claims,” Spring said.

Referring to concerns raised about CommInsure in media report last year, Spring said the CommInsure Board commissioned various reviews to independently investigate the issues raised, including a Deloitte report released last week.

That review did not identify any systemic issues in relation to historically denied claims and found no evidence “the claims handling processes were designed in a way that could systemically deliver poor customer outcomes”.

“Now, we are not perfect and mistakes were identified. For those mistakes that were made, we apologise and we will make it right,” Spring said.

“Also, at our request, the report suggested improvements to our claims processes which we are already implementing.”

Spring also suggested reforms to life insurance that would make it simpler and cheaper for customers, including the use of plain English as highlighted in the Life Code and regulatory assistance to apply standardised definitions, legal changes to enable rationalising of legacy products and reduce costs to customers, and the ability for the firm to provide rehabilitation support to enable them to return to work and avoid mental health issues.

 

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