Life insurer claims data provision made mandatory

Life insurers are now mandatorily required to report data on claims and disputes to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in what is being described as a critical milestone in delivering accountability and transparency.

The mandatory status of the reporting requirements was announced by both APRA and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today with the release of Life Insurance Reporting Standard LRS750.0.

Announcing the move, the two regulators said they had released two rounds of pilot data on life insurance claims and disputes but that the arrangement had been voluntary, with insurers not interpreting the reporting requirements consistently.

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APRA member, Geoff Summerhayes said the publication of such high-quality, granular life insurance data, at both industry and entity levels, would put APRA and ASIC at the forefront of innovation among global insurance regulators.

“This new standard, based on more than 18 months of engagement with industry and consumer groups, codifies life insurers’ reporting obligations and provides greater clarity around definitions and claims processes,” he said.

“The introduction of a legally binding reporting standard will improve the consistency and reliability of the data we receive, and guarantee it continues to be made available to regulators and consumers.”

ASIC’s Deputy Chair, Peter Kell said the enhanced claims data would help the regulators identify emerging problems, assess product value and take action to improve consumer outcomes.

“ASIC identified the issue of inconsistent and inadequate life insurance data in its 2016 review of life insurance claims and is pleased to be working together with APRA on this important initiative. Access to reliable and comparable data will help consumers make informed decisions about their life insurance,” he said.

The first public release of data collected under LRS750.0, featuring insurer-level data, is due in early 2019, with ongoing publications to be issued every six months.

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