The Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC’s) damning findings on ClearView, which would see the insurer refund $1.5 million to consumers, reflects wider concerns regarding aggressive sales tactics from insurers, according to Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.
High pressure sales tactics, such as those ClearView was penalised for, would go against consumers’ best interests and could lead to junk insurance policies for customers.
Maurice Blackburn superannuation and insurance principle, Josh Mennen, said that too often misleading statements are made to secure a sale, even when it is not in the consumer’s best interests or even when they have not properly consented.
He pointed to the fact that a number of the policies sold by ClearView were to consumers in areas with a high Indigenous population where English isn’t always their first language as proof of this.
“This sort of behaviour is a blatant breach not only of the rights of those consumers, but of the obligations on insurers to ensure that products offered are in the consumer’s best interest,” he said.
Mennen said that the fact that these practices were still occurring as recently as last June, when ASIC began to scrutinise ClearView, showed that some in the industry had not learnt from its failings.
He called on the Hayne Royal Commission to investigate the use of high pressure sales tactics to sell “often inappropriate or useless investment and insurance products.”