Life insurance scandal prompts internal reviews

Some of the life insurance industry’s biggest players have set up their own internal reviews following news of ASIC launching an investigation into CommInsure’s declined claims scandal.

ASIC’s investigation comes at the behest of Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, who labelled the CommInsure stories jointly revealed by ABC and Fairfax Media as “deeply shocking”.

“I can confirm that ASIC is investigating, but we are unable to make any further comment at this time,” an ASIC spokesperson says.

Allegations include the manipulation of medical reports, missing files, doctors being pressured by claims managers to change their opinions and deliberately keeping old policy definitions.

Minister O’Dwyer has also asked ASIC to investigate whether the revealed cases are systemic or related to CommInsure only.

The news comes as the Financial Review reports that National Australia Bank, which recently sold 80% of its life insurance business to Nippon Life, will set up a formal process to review past denied claims back to January 2014.

ANZ has reportedly also begun a review of its life insurance declines, while Westpac, AMP and TAL have advised that they already have ongoing review systems in place.

Minister O’Dwyer has indicated the scandal will also be subject to a Senate Inquiry.

“We are very keen to get to the bottom of the facts in relation to this particular matter,” Minister O’Dwyer told the ABC.