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Australian life insurers respond to consumer and community needs with launch of new Life Code

A new Life Insurance Code of Practice (Life Code) starting on 1 July 2023 will deliver higher standards and stronger consumer protections across the life insurance industry. 

The Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) CEO Christine Cupitt said the new Life Code would help ensure the life insurance industry was accessible, understandable and trusted. 

“Australian life insurers have listened to the needs of their customers and the community by developing an updated Life Code that sets a higher bar for the industry,” Ms Cupitt said. 

“The new Life Code will deliver better outcomes for Australians, tougher penalties for conduct breaches and strong independent enforcement.” 

The updated version has 50 additional consumer protections including: 

  • increased support for customers experiencing vulnerability or financial hardship
  • guidelines for the development of family violence policies 
  • the removal of blanket mental health conditions 
  • more transparency around underwriting decisions 
  • an extension of the moratorium on genetic testing 
  • stronger powers for the Life Code Compliance Committee (LCCC)*. 

The LCCC, which closely monitors the life insurance industry’s application of the Life Code and the conduct of individual insurers, will have increased powers to impose sanctions and financial penalties on organisations subscribed to the Life Code. These measures have been developed in conjunction with consumer groups to ensure they are appropriately robust. 

“With this newly updated Life Code, our members can continue to deliver the protection and certainty Australians need on their best and worst days,” she said. 

“CALI is committed to ensuring Australians have peace of mind about their financial and overall wellbeing as they face life’s biggest challenges. We want to expand their access to the life insurance protection that suits them when they need it most, in an accountable and transparent way.” 

CALI acknowledges the work of the Financial Services Council (FSC) on the updated Life Code and is working closely with the FSC to transition governance of the Life Code to CALI by 30 September 2023.