Protecting vulnerable insureds – Not as straightforward as it seems

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From 1 July, subscribers to the General Insurance Code of Practice 2020 (Code) must take extra care of small businesses and individuals who have purchased a retail insurance product and are ‘vulnerable’. When and who does the Code apply to? The Code launched on 1 January 2020 but most of its provisions will take effect in 2021.

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Insurance PDS Obligations – ticking the box and thinking outside it

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Product Disclosure Statements (PDSs) are subject to a range of regulatory obligations but they can also support commercial objectives (for example, a business that prides itself on speaking in plain English might want to present easy-to-read documents). Below is a short refresher on content vs convenience. Living documents PDSs are not ‘set and forget’ documents.

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Changes to Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) procedures – what it means for you

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New Internal Dispute Resolution requirements (RG 271) – what are the key take outs and considerations for insurers? ASIC released its new Regulatory Guide (RG 271) on complaints handling and dispute resolution standards and requirements, on 30 June 2020. The new RG 271 guide will replace the existing RG 165 guidance and will take effect

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Issuing MCI securities – Practical learnings 12 months on

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Last year innovative and landmark reforms were introduced that gave companies limited by guarantee the ability to raise capital by issuing mutual capital instruments ( MCIs) without risking their status as a mutual. Now 12 months on, we share our top 3 tips for any mutual looking to streamline the process. Tip 1: Make sure your

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History repeats – The risks of inadequate due diligence

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Exposure to historical non-compliance can be fatal for purchasers but many don’t include it in their due diligence. ASIC is on the warpath and you can be liable even if you weren’t operating the business at the time of the non-compliance. So before you purchase a business that holds an Australian Financial Services Licence or

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In a bind? Traps in binder agreements

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Binder agreements are regularly entered into by insurance agents or brokers who are seeking to offer insurance on behalf of the insurer. A party that holds a binder will perform certain functions for and on behalf of the insurer including issuing policies and handling administration including variations, endorsements, cancellations, and claims. Beyond the operational considerations

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An AFS licensing exemption for product issuers – intermediary authorisation

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Providing financial products to retail clients in Australia is almost impossible unless you hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. The intermediary authorisation exemption is virtually the only way product issuers can avoid licensing provided it’s used correctly. What is an intermediary authorisation? An intermediary authorisation allows an unlicensed product provider to operate by entering

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3 tips to raise funds efficiently in a tough market

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To commercialise and grow, your business needs capital. But the ongoing fallout from COVID-19 means this may be easier said than done. For a variety of reasons debt may also not be affordable or attainable. Waiting it out may not be viable for your cashflow, could be detrimental to your strategy or put your first

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Fairness, vulnerability and Fintechs…

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Regulators have a laser focus on ‘fairness’ following the numerous scandals involving overcharging, underservicing and poor customer outcomes that were laid bare in the Royal Commission into Banking. For fintechs, this means making sure fairness is embedded at every customer touch point. This is no simple task as fairness is contextual and needs to address

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How Covid-19 has affected reforms to wealth businesses

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With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s fair to say that regulators and businesses have shifted their priorities. Timelines for legislative reforms driven by the Hayne Royal Commission and licence applications for wealth businesses have changed. APRA and ASIC licences may be delayed APRA has announced that it will not issue any new insurance or banking licences for

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