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Parliamentary committee to scrutinise code breaches

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The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will this week scrutinise the insurance industry over a surge in code of practice breaches, as well as the sector’s COVID-19 response.

The General Insurance Code Governance Committee and the Insurance Council of Australia will appear in an early afternoon session on Wednesday, with lenders mortgage insurer Genworth and travel insurer Cover-More scheduled for later in the day

Committee Chairman Tim Wilson says recent code governance committee findings showing a surge in code breaches are concerning.

“It is important that insurers have strong code compliance and governance frameworks in place to ensure that consumers are receiving the protections afforded to them by the code,” he said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also raised a number of relevant issues relating to policy coverage ranging from travel insurance to lenders mortgage insurance that also need to be explored.”

In late April the committee scrutinised the industry during two days of hearings as part of its ongoing inquiry into the four major banks and other financial institutions.

Since then the code governance committee has released its annual report showing that code breaches last year jumped to 31,186 from 13,668 the year before. Another report released today has highlighted compliance monitoring issues.

The committee hearing will be held by videoconference from 1pm-4:30pm.