Insurer hit with fines for misleading advertising

ASIC is continuing its crackdown on misleading advertising, fining an insurer $36,000 for breaches in its online and television advertising.

Virgin Money was hit with three fines, relating to advertising that appeared on television up until May 2013, and online up until March 2014.

The advertisements centred around Virgin Money’s Quick and Easy life insurance product, with ASIC finding they misrepresented the application process.

The advertisements stated there were no health or lifestyle questions asked and that weight was not a factor in determining coverage, when in fact this was not the case.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell says misleading advertising has no place in a market where customers are making important decisions.

“Purchasing life insurance is an important decision and consumers should be able to confidently rely on representations made to them in advertising,’ he says.

In March, ASIC forced ANZ to alter a major income protection advertising campaign it was running amid fears it had misled consumers.

Earlier this month, the ACCC released new guidelines on advertising and selling. To read more, click here.