Hayne hearings tipped to focus on claims

Consumer groups and industry commentators expect the Hayne royal commission’s insurance hearings to focus strongly on claims. The hearings start next Monday and are due to last two weeks, with sections on life insurance, general insurance and the regulatory regime. The general insurance companies listed to appear are Suncorp, IAG, Allianz and Youi, while the regulatory section features the Code Governance Committee, the Financial Services Council and the Insurance Council of Australia. The commission says claims handling and the sale and design of insurance, plus the appropriateness of the regulatory regime, will be examined. Natural disaster case studies, including the 2015 Wye River fires and Cyclone Debbie, will also be examined after being postponed from a previous hearing. Beyond that, there are no certainties about where the commission will go, but the smart money is on claims receiving most scrutiny. “I expect most of the stories we hear at the commission will relate to the handling of claims, and where that has gone wrong,” Consumer Action Law Centre Senior Policy Officer Susan Quinn told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “It could be quite awful for the industry.” Insurance companies have sent vast amounts of data to the commission and spent millions of dollars preparing for the hearings. Despite this, nobody is expecting an easy ride. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what the issue is, it’s going to be bad,” an industry source told insuranceNEWS.com.au. 

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