MLC Life acknowledges delays of up to 6 weeks

MLC Insurance has admitted to its adviser clients that it is experiencing delays of up to six weeks on some key functions such as alterations and replacement policies and reinstatements.

Money Management understands that the problems have been in existence for months allied to new IT and that the Stage 4 level lockdown impacting Melbourne is hampering the company in addressing the issues.

Advisers report that other insurers have been similarly impacted.

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In a communication to life advisers, MLC Insurance general manager, retail distribution, Russell Hannah apologised for the delays and acknowledged that while progress was being made to address the service issues “we are still below the standard of service you and your clients rightfully expect”.

Hannah’s communication then went on to detail the most common service requests noting that “processing new applications and issuing new policies is almost back to our target service standards, with approximately 70% of policies being processed within two days”, adding that the company had the objective to increase this to 95% by the end of next week.

“Alterations and replacement of polices, including underwriting, is unfortunately in a less favourable state. We presently have an approximate six-week delay between receipt and resolution of these items,” his communication said.

“Cancellations are currently taking up to two weeks from receipt to completion. However, approximately 50% of cancellation requests are completed within the standard five business day working period and we are working hard to continue to improve this result. Please note around 20% of cases are more complex or require a technical solution, which we are presently working on and hope to resolve over the coming weeks.

“Changes to payment methods, are largely on track, with over 50% of cases complete within five days of receipt. We expect to be back to our normal service levels within the next fortnight.

“Reinstatements, are also in backlog, meaning the time frames are up to six weeks from receipt to completion. This is an area where we are assigning additional staff, which will help bring this back to an acceptable service level over time. Please be assured that we will always honour a policy that has lapsed only because of unreasonable delays on our end.”

Hannah’s communication stressed that the timeframes were not only unsatisfactory to advisers and their clients but to the entire MLC Life Insurance team

“Once again, I understand that many of the timeframes outlined above are unsatisfactory to you, just as they are to the entire MLC Life Insurance team and noted that “over two thirds of our organisation is based in Melbourne, including all of our contact centre and policy administration teams.

“The stage four COVID-19 restrictions that are currently in-force create an additional challenge for our teams, whilst also impacting some supplier arrangements. I respectfully request that you remain mindful of this when interacting with our team, during what is a difficult period for everyone.”

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I'd be happy with a 6 week delay. We have been waiting since April for things to be corrected. even going to AFCA hasn't helped. they have lost the plot at MLC - time for them to go.

It's not just MLC. All financial product providers are way down on their normal service levels due to COVID.

COVID has also given many clients the time and motivation to catch up on their personal admin, so demand for product provider support has risen at exactly the same time as supply has been constrained. Yet another reason why being a financial adviser really sucks at the moment!

I am still waiting for a client's alteration to be processed which was submitted in April. This is a joke and try explaining this to the client whose policy lapsed in the meantime!

Talk about an understatement, 6 weeks would be a joy. We're at over 3 months for simple in-force increases and new business, premium deductions have been wrong, we've had claw-backs because premiums haven't been processed. Their system failure has impacted clients, advice businesses and revenue. Simply not good enough and making a public statement that delays have been 'up to 6 weeks' is just misleading and hides the true seriousness of their problems at the moment.

Up to six weeks is a blatant lie by MLC, try up to 3 months for cover reductions or reinstatements. Everything about this new system has failed and customers have lost cover because of it.

I'm imagining the new Japanese owners have their lawyers checking the sale contracts for repercussions on NAB/MLC, they were clearly sold a dud operationally. It has unravelled too quickly for it to have not been a prior problem.

A client switched Advisers and then we cancelled & reduced the insurance. The previous adviser got the renewal commission, but the new adviser (new licensee) got the claw back deducted from their overall commission run. It took me 6 months and court action to get $2,000 refunded. If you use MLC you're a [email protected]#[email protected] idiot.

I concur with the others here, the delays are beyond a joke. I would be inclined to make ones displeasure be known to their GM, Russell Hannah: russ[email protected] mind you, the tone-deaf email the guy has sent in the first place does not bode well.

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