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Set for November: compliance body spotlights code changes

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The Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee has released a paper comparing the 2014 code of practice and the revised version that comes into force later this year, highlighting the significant differences.

“The new and improved code of practice contains a number of important changes that insurance brokers need to understand before it takes effect in November,” Code Compliance and Monitoring GM Prue Monument says.

The code overall is designed to be easier to follow and read and is written in plain English with clear headings and numbered provisions. It no longer applies to life insurance and now applies to prospective clients.

The document now lists eight code principles under the headings professional commitment, ethical behaviour and transparency and accountability, and includes the themes of competency through qualifications and ongoing education and training, ethical standards, clear and timely communication and holding each other accountable.

The code introduces a separate statement of commitment to the principles, through which subscribers formally commit to embedding the principles and standards in a timely manner.

Complaint provisions have changed significantly to reflect an Australian Securities and Investments Commission regulatory guide released last year. It moves to a one-step internal resolution process and acknowledges changes in external dispute resolution.

Section 10 of the document introduces a new commitment to identify and support vulnerable clients, with the obligations extending to prospective clients.

The document, which includes a comparison table, is available here.