The availability and affordability of life insurance advice is essential to ensuring Australians can make informed decisions about the life insurance products that best suit them.
CALI supports the Federal Government’s initial response to the Quality of Advice Review in June 2023, which included measures to support Australian consumers by:
Australian consumers can seek advice about life insurance from a range of sources but for many people, getting that advice is too expensive or too inaccessible. There are just 16,000 financial advisers to turn to across the country and just 1,000 who are helping people navigate life insurance products.
This has resulted in an unmet financial advice need for working Australians and a growing underinsurance problem that is leaving people unprotected when times get tough. Where a consumer does not wish to engage a financial adviser, CALI believes the law should enable life insurers to provide limited advice to Australians directly when they ask for it.
Currently, it is challenging for life insurers to respond adequately to enquiries. They are wary of providing advice that could be perceived as ‘personal’ and incur penalties for non-compliance to strict industry-wide regulatory obligations. As a result, life insurers are only able to provide generic product information and tell people to engage the services of a financial adviser instead.
CALI is advocating for a new legislative framework that helps Australians to access limited advice from life insurers about their own products. This proposed framework would include strong guardrails and consumer protections including minimum education standards, a code of ethics and robust quality assurance.