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Business goes it alone into light

New life insurer representative body announced

By Mike Taylor22 June 2022

The major life insurers have set up a new body which will see them move away from representation by the Financial Services Council (FSC) while still remaining close to the peak body.

It has been announced today that the life insurers are forming the Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) but the announcement does not specifically name the insurers who are supporting the move.

The announcement said the CALI would be a collective voice for the life insurance industry, with a focus on meeting the evolving needs and expectations of its customers, partners, stakeholders and the community and supporting the ongoing progress and development of the industry.

While the announcement did not name the life insurers, Financial Newswire has been told that CALI is supported by all the major insurers and reinsurers, including AIA Australia, TAL, ClearView, Challenger, Resolution Life, MLC Life and Integrity Life.

The FSC has issued a formal statement welcoming the new body and expressing the hope of collaboration.

The statement quoted a spokesman as saying the industry had gone through change and this change justified the formation of a dedicated peak body to focus solely on matters affecting the life insurance industry and its customers.

“The insurers noted that the FSC has played a critical role in representing the life insurance industry during a period of significant change in Australian financial services over its time as the representative body, and has been instrumental in the development of key initiatives such as the Life Insurance Code of Practice (LICOP), establishing landmark industry data collection and analysis, and in representing the financial services industry more broadly following the Royal Commission,” the statement said.

It said the spokesman had noted that the new industry body will be seeking to take over future responsibility of the LICOP as part of the transition arrangements with the FSC.

CALI expects to continue to have a close working relationship with the FSC on a range of financial service matters to deliver the best life insurance outcomes for all Australians.

In addition to upholding existing industry standards and practices, CALI will initially be focused on:

  • continuing to lift consumer standards within the industry through professional standards and codes of conduct;
  • advocating for Australians to have access to appropriate, affordable and sustainable life insurance protection throughout their lives;
  • informing Australians and key stakeholder groups about the role and value of life insurance; and
  • seeking opportunities for the industry to further contribute to the community.

“Life insurance plays an essential role in Australia’s community and economy, and it is important that it remains accessible and sustainable for all Australians into the future,” said CALI’s spokesperson.

“Through CALI, we intend to strengthen our engagement and relationships with our stakeholders, including consumers, their representatives, policymakers and regulators, to ensure we deeply understand their views.

“The Council of Australian Life Insurers will be the progressive voice of life insurance in Australia, focusing on what is important to consumers and making continuous improvements to meet those expectations. CALI will also look to foster and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of Australians on the value of life insurance and the importance of the benefits and protections it provides,” the CALI spokesperson said.

CALI is currently being established with recruitment under way for a CEO and staff.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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