What is the Life Insurance Code of Practice?
The Life Insurance Code of Practice (sometimes referred to as ‘the Code’) is a series of customer service standards that all life insurers who are members of the Financial Services Council (FSC) need to comply with from 1 July 2017. These standards cover the key areas of life insurance sales and marketing practices, underwriting and claims and are designed to simplify the experience customers have with life insurers.
The objectives of the Code of Practice are:
- to commit insurers to high standards of customer service;
- to seek continuous improvement within the life insurance industry;
- to communicate with customers in plain language where possible; and
- to increase trust and confidence in the life insurance industry.
Why is the Code of Practice important?
A contract of insurance is based on the principle of good faith which requires both the insurer and the customer to act honestly and fairly towards each other, and for the insurer to have the best regard for the customers’ interests. The Code of Practice will enhance consumer rights and lift industry standards in order to deliver better customer outcomes.
Key Code Promises
- We will be honest, fair, respectful, transparent, timely, and where possible we will use plain language in our communications with you.
- We will monitor sales by our staff to ensure sales are appropriate.
- If we discover that an inappropriate sale has occurred, we will discuss a remedy with you, such as a refund or a replacement policy.
- We will provide additional support if you have difficulty with the process of buying insurance or making a claim.
- When you make a claim, we will explain the claim process to you and keep you informed about our progress in making a decision on your claim.
- We will make a decision on your claim within the timeframes defined in the Code, and if we cannot meet these timeframes you can access our complaints process.
- If we deny your claim, we will explain the reasons in writing and let you know the next steps if you disagree with our decision.
- We will restrict the use of investigators and surveillance, to ensure your legitimate right to privacy.
- The independent Life Code Compliance Committee will monitor our compliance with the Code.
- If we do not correct Code breaches, sanctions can be imposed on us.
These promises are embedded in everything we do to ensure we are adhering to the obligated standards of customer service specified by the Code of Practice.
Our Commitment to the Code of Practice
Virgin Life Insurance policies purchased before 1 April 2021 are issued by TAL, who played a key role in creating the Life Insurance Code of Practice. We are committed to delivering the best possible customer service standards and support the Financial Services Council in promoting and monitoring the Code of Practice. We will continue to look for ways to raise the standards of customer service now and over the years to come.
Click here for more information on the Code of Practice.