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.
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.”