Regulatory response – What you need to know about claims as a financial service

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The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response) Bill 2020 was passed by Parliament on 10 December 2020. It covers a range of reforms, in line with the revised regulatory timetable and includes claims handling and settling services for insurance products regulated by ASIC (Claims as a Financial Service). ASIC also issued a draft information

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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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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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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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The revised reform timetable for general insurance

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Regulators have shifted their priorities to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. This means significant reforms and legislative change to general insurance may be delayed. We outline what’s changed and when you need to be ready for reform. Licence applications are delayed APRA will not issue any new insurance or banking licences for at least 6 months. We

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Deferred sales model for add-on insurance

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Finity and The Fold Legal released an update on the Royal Commission’s recommendations into add-on insurance in July 2019. After two separate consultation papers, Treasury has recently released: An Exposure Draft Bill; Exposure Draft Regulations; An Explanatory Memorandum; and An Explanatory Statement. The consultation period for these draft documents ends on 28 February 2020. Assuming that

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Insurance alternatives (Part 4: Discretionary mutuals)

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In our final article in this series on insurance alternatives, we outline the ultimate peer-to-peer insurance alternative – discretionary mutuals. What is a discretionary mutual? A discretionary mutual is a structure that offers discretionary risk protection to its members. Discretionary protection is similar to insurance because both offer protection against a certain event or risk

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