Taskforce to clear air

Confusing product disclosure statements are in the spotlight, after the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) appointed a taskforce to investigate ways to boost clarity for consumers.

The Effective Disclosure Taskforce will advise the ICA Board on initiatives to boost the effectiveness of complicated disclosure documents.

“The insurance industry, governments and consumer groups all perceive the current disclosure regimen as being lengthy, often complex and not always helpful in ensuring consumers understand the product they are buying,” ICA CEO Rob Whelan says.

“The Effective Disclosure Taskforce will consider the role of disclosure documents in the context of the broader consumer experience, such as guidance, sum insured calculators and advice provided by insurers when consumers are purchasing products.”

“Effective disclosure should assist consumers choose products that are appropriate to their needs,” Whelan adds.

The taskforce will be chaired by insurance lawyer Michael Gill and will present its finding to the ICA Board in November 2015.

Taskforce members include IAG Executive General Manager Tracy Green, QBE Underwriting Agencies General Manager Chris Harnett, and Suncorp Public Policy and Corporate Affairs Advisor Ben Honan.

Further to these industry heads, other members of the taskforce include The Behavioural Rights Team Advisor Ravi Dutta, Consumer Action Law Centre Senior Policy Officer David Leermakers, and University of Sydney Business School Professor Gail Pearson.