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AFCA tool puts insurers under claims spotlight

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The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) will update publicly released data twice a year that identifies individual insurers as it aims to boost performance through increased transparency.

The Datacube, covering all AFCA financial services member firms, was launched on Thursday with statistics from November 1 last year to the end of June. New figures will be released in January as six-monthly updates begin.

“AFCA will be rolling out many data and feature enhancements over the coming months,” CEO and Chief Ombudsman David Locke said.

“We are committed to working with consumers, small business and industry to resolve and reduce financial disputes through innovative solutions, education and communication initiatives such as these.”

The information includes complaints received, percentages resolved after referral back to firms, the number that go to case management and whether matters are concluded in favour of the firm or complainant.

“Anyone can use this tool to review the performance of their financial firm and compare it to others in the market,” Mr Locke said.

Data detailing the number of complaints received about financial services companies shows that Suncorp’s AAI headed the general insurer category with 2232 complaints from November 1 last year to the end of June, while 2149 complaints concerned IAG’s Insurance Australia.

IAG and Suncorp are the two largest personal lines insurers in Australia and as a result dominate the general insurer category.

Other firms categorised as “very large” insurance businesses include QBE, which accounted for 837 complaints, and Allianz Australia with 714.

The AFCA Datacube figures show they were followed by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia, owned 70% by IAG and 30% by RACV, with 456 complaints and Commonwealth Insurance with 425.