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Code committee set to examine claims handling

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The General Insurance Code Governance Committee is expected to look into claims handling as part of its work this financial year.

Code Compliance and Monitoring GM Prue Monument, who heads a team administering five financial services codes of practice, says a number of focus areas have been identified as part of on-going work in the various sectors.

“In the year ahead, we will continue to investigate and report on known and emerging areas of risk with a range of inquiries already scheduled,” she told an Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) online member forum last week.

“We will be looking at claims handling in the general insurance space, in particular where we are seeing high number of breaches when claims are declined and subsequently approved, but also what general insurers have learned as a result of recent responses to environmental catastrophes.”

The Code Team is a separately operated and funded business unit of AFCA. It administers the General Insurance Code of Practice, the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice, the Life Insurance Code of Practice, the Banking Code of Practice and the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice.

Deputy Chief Ombudsman June Smith also told the forum that AFCA expects to be working with insurers this year over claims handling delays following the Queensland and NSW floods.

The planned two-day AFCA forum was suspended last week after technical difficulties affected the live stream during the banking and finance and small business sessions on the first afternoon.

The first day, apart from the opening addresses, will be repeated on August 11. The second day, which was set to include general and life insurance, has been rescheduled to August 12.