The Australian life insurance industry is expected to launch the Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) later this year; a collective voice with a focus on meeting the evolving expectations of the community.
A spokesperson for CALI said the life insurance industry had undergone significant change, including policy reform and structural changes via industry consolidation following the Royal Commission.
“Given the changing landscape in both regulation and structure, as an industry, we believe the time is right to form a dedicated peak body to focus solely on matters affecting the life insurance industry and its customers.”
The insurers noted that the Financial Services Council (FSC) had played a critical role in representing the life insurance industry during a period of significant change in Australian financial services over its time as the representative body, and had been instrumental in the development of key initiatives such as the Life Insurance Code of Practice (LICOP), establishing landmark industry data collection and analysis, and in representing the financial services industry more broadly following the Royal Commission.
The CALI spokesperson noted that the new industry body would be seeking to take over future responsibility of the LICOP as part of the transition arrangements with the FSC. The FSC announced today that it was unveiling 50 additional consumer protections in the LICOP.
CALI expected to continue to have a close working relationship with the FSC on a range of financial service matters to deliver the best life insurance outcomes for all Australians.
FSC chief executive, Blake Briggs, said: “The FSC welcomes the formation of a sector-specific association that will collaborate with the FSC and compliment the FSC’s broader representation and advocacy on behalf of the financial services industry.
“A priority for the FSC is ensuring continuity of consumer protections in the life insurance industry. The FSC and the life insurance industry are committed to the implementation of the new Life Insurance Code of Practice and ongoing independent oversight by the Life Code Compliance Committee.”
In addition to upholding existing industry standards and practices, CALI would initially be focused on:
- Continuing to lift consumer standards within the industry through professional standards and codes of conduct;
- Advocating for Australians to have access to appropriate, affordable and sustainable life insurance protection throughout their lives;
- Informing Australians and key stakeholder groups about the role and value of life insurance; and
- Seeking opportunities for the industry to further contribute to the community.
“Life insurance plays an essential role in Australia’s community and economy, and it is important that it remains accessible and sustainable for all Australians into the future,” CALI’s spokesperson said.
“Through CALI, we intend to strengthen our engagement and relationships with our stakeholders, including consumers, their representatives, policymakers and regulators, to ensure we deeply understand their views.
“The Council of Australian Life Insurers will be the progressive voice of life insurance in Australia, focusing on what is important to consumers and making continuous improvements to meet those expectations. CALI will also look to foster and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of Australians on the value of life insurance and the importance of the benefits and protections it provides,” the CALI spokesperson said.
CALI was currently being established with recruitment under way for a chief executive and staff.