FSC argues for exclusion of ‘experts’ from new claims-handling rules

The Financial Services Council (FSC) has called on the Government to exclude professionals such as accountants, doctors and lawyers from coverage when it legislates to makes insurance claims handling a financial service.

The FSC has made its call in a submission responding to a Treasury consultation process but makes no reference to any exclusion for financial advisers.

However, it argues against proposed additional disclosure obligations with respect to providing financial product advice, claiming that it is established industry practice “and to the claimant’s benefit for the insurer to assist in the provision of information” on matters such as benefit calculation, the potential eligibility to claim on other insurance products and any applicable offsets between benefits paid and multiple insurance products.

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“Imposing additional disclosure obligations for factual statements would unreasonably hinder the quality and efficiency of the CHS service provided to the claimant,” it said.

On the question of excluding accountants and others, the submission suggests that the exclusion apply to “any persons acting in their professional capacity to provide an ‘expert’ opinion”.

It suggested that if the legislation did not exclude such professional “experts” there was “likely to be a withdrawal of services by such professionals and a deterioration in the efficiency and quality of the CHS service which would be provided to the claimant”.

In a media release attaching to the FSC submission, the organisation’s chief executive, Sally Loane referenced the fact that the FSC had “requested that the proposed legislation does not capture people such as doctors, physiotherapists and accountants acting in their professional capacity by providing expert opinion in claims matters”.

She said that while they might have a role in the process, the experts, specialists and service providers were external to the insurer and held no delegated authority to make claims decisions.

Elsewhere in its submission the FSC called for confirmation of a definite start date of 1 July, 2021, for the new regime sating it was vital that the industry had time to act to invest the significant resources necessary to meet the new requirements.

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This is the first good idea the FSC has ever had. Usually they are all about enriching the banks at the expense of everyone else.

Sally needs to step down. the FSC's dodgy dealing resulting in the LIF have backfired and has been a disaster which is getting worse and worse. Her performance at the Royal commission should have already seen her gone. Its time for the FSC to either admit there corruption and error or shut up shop.

At least under the old life agency system (pre FOFA & pre FASEA), the agents used to work hard for their clients to get claims resolved. Under the new system, where you are struggling to find a life agent, the lawyers are cleaning up much of the claims money. It has become an absolute racket, far worse for consumers than anything connected to the old life agents.

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