The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have today begun the pilot phase of a project to improve public reporting of life insurance claims performance across the industry.
This joint APRA and ASIC initiative aims to collect and publish life insurance claims data on a per insurer basis, and include data on claims handling timeframes and dispute levels that will allow for meaningful comparisons of insurer performance and more effectively inform consumers.
This follows the findings of ASIC’s 'Report 498 Life insurance claims: An industry review', which found 'a clear need for better quality, more consistent and more transparent data about insurance claims', and announcements by ASIC and APRA in October 2016 that they would commence working together on a new data collection.
The package of materials released today includes the Discussion Paper Towards a transparent public reporting regime for life insurance claims information, which sets out the objectives and rationale of the data collection, and the process to be undertaken from here.
APRA Member Geoff Summerhayes said the pilot phase of the new data collection is an important milestone to establishing a consistent public reporting regime for claims data and claims outcomes.
"Our intention is to collect and publish credible, reliable and comparable data on an insurer-level basis. Such information will enable consumers to better understand insurance products and more confidently engage with insurers. Transparency will assist with accountability and drive improved performance in the sector, which should ultimately improve trust and confidence.
"This is a significant and broad initiative and while there is some way to go before the data is sufficiently robust for publication, the pilot collection is an important first step," Mr Summerhayes said.
For this pilot phase, life insurers are requested to complete the data reporting template by 30 June 2017, as outlined in the discussion paper. Data will be accepted on a ‘best endeavours’ basis in this pilot phase, recognising that insurers may need time to adjust their systems to enable them to capture and provide reliable data.
Submissions are welcome on the discussion paper by 11 August 2017.
The discussion paper, data template and instruction guide are available on APRA’s website.
Links to previous announcements from October 2016: