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Australian life insurers champion strong consumer protections as CALI begins governing industry Life Code

29 September 2023: Australian consumers will continue to benefit from high standards and strong consumer protections as the Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) takes over governance of the Life Insurance Code of Practice (Life Code). 

CALI CEO Christine Cupitt said the Life Code’s transition from the Financial Services Council, effective 29 September 2023, would further underpin the commitment of Australia’s life insurers to meet the needs and expectations of their customers and the broader community. 

“The Life Code sets standards higher than the law to expand Australians’ access to the life insurance protection that suits them when they need it most, in a fair, transparent and accountable way,” Ms Cupitt said. 

“Giving people peace of mind about their financial and overall wellbeing as they face life’s biggest challenges is at the heart of what we do. We’re here for life, to deliver the protection and certainty Australians need on their best and worst days.” 

As the leading voice of life insurers in Australia, CALI will govern the Life Code and is now the primary contact for industry stakeholders, regulators and policy makers on all matters relating to it. 

“This is an important milestone for CALI and a critical part of our role representing life insurers and supporting Australians to make informed choices about their future.” 

The life insurance industry has voluntarily developed the Life Code to protect Australian customers. The Life Code sets important standards that life insurers must comply with to guarantee customers can confidently purchase life insurance knowing their insurer will provide help when needed. 

“The Life Code delivers better outcomes for Australians through high standards, tough penalties for conduct breaches and strong independent enforcement.” 

The latest version of the Life Code commenced in July and has 50 additional consumer protections including: 

  • increased support for customers experiencing vulnerability or financial hardship
  • the development of family violence policies 
  • clarity that life insurers will not apply blanket mental health exclusions in standard terms and conditions 
  • clear timeframes and more transparency around underwriting and claims decisions
  • stronger powers for the Life Code Compliance Committee (LCCC) to impose penalties on members for breaches of the Life Code. 

CALI acknowledges the work of the Financial Services Council in developing earlier versions of the Life Code.