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Consumers welcome changed approach to draft NIBA code

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The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) has welcomed a “substantial change in approach” in the revised National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) draft code of practice.

NIBA released the draft code and an Independent Reviewer’s report for feedback last week after an earlier version was criticised by consumer groups and the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (IBCCC) for not sufficiently raising standards.

CFA Chairman Gerard Brody says the group will consider the detail of the code before making a submission but the substantial change in approach and NIBA’s stated commitment to high levels of professionalism and integrity is welcome.

“NIBA states that the purpose of the code is professional competence and consumer confidence, and CFA strongly supports these aims,” Mr Brody told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “We will be examining the revised draft to consider how it delivers on these aims.”

The new draft follows NIBA’s release of a discussion paper in February along with a document outlining its initial views on proposed changes following preliminary consultations.

Independent reviewer Marigold Magnaye, of Asperdel Consulting, said last week ten submissions were received in response to the February release.

“Overall, the CFA and IBCCC submissions strongly criticised the existing and proposed NIBA Codes of Practice and advocated for a complete re-write,” Ms Magnaye says.

NIBA says the new version addresses many of the criticisms of the original document while respecting the individual business models of broking firms. It’s expected to be accompanied by an implementation guide for members.

“Given the proposed code has been rebuilt from the ground up, NIBA also plans to make training available to NIBA members to assist in adoption and promotion of the code,” CEO Philip Kewin says.

Submissions on the draft code are due by December 10. More information is available  here.