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CommInsure response to Fairfax Media

1 April 2016

Life insurance is there to support customers and their families at times of great need and distress. Insurance providers have a responsibility to deal with claims as sensitively and as quickly as possible. We try very hard to minimise the incidence of mistakes and poor customer experiences. Even if the bank as a whole has highly satisfied customers, we are committed to doing the right thing by our customers and will continue to work very hard to reduce and eliminate the chance that even one customer will have a bad experience. If we find a mistake ourselves, we will apologise and fix it. When others find it first, we will apologise and fix it. That is why we have emphasised ethics and a relentless focus on values for our people.

Part of being an ethical business is acknowledging mistakes and acting quickly to fix things. We were disappointed to learn of the unacceptable experiences of some of our insurance customers. But once we found out, the Commonwealth Bank Group acted quickly, within 24 hours, to apologise and put it right.

In this case, relating to any questions around whistleblowing, the concerns raised were investigated by the CommInsure Board, and actions taken in response. The CommInsure Board is taking action to ensure the concerns raised in the media are fully investigated. If more steps are needed, more will be done.

CommInsure customers who have any questions or concerns about their CommInsure policy are encouraged to contact us directly on 1800 106 133 or 13 10 56.

Information regarding CommInsure’s product offering upgrade

CommInsure also recently announced a range of measures to upgrade its product offering and provide further assurances.

The planned upgrade of its heart attack and severe rheumatoid arthritis definitions in its Trauma products has been accelerated. Coverage has been backdated and will apply for all claim events from May 2014 onwards. May 2014 was the date of the last relevant product disclosure statement for the Trauma product.

An additional layer of independence and assurance will also be introduced to CommInsure’s complex claim assessment and decision-making processes. Where CommInsure’s complex claims committee recommends a complex claim be declined, it will be referred to an Independent Review Panel.

An independent expert will also be appointed to oversee a claim review program focused on declined claims, with particular emphasis on customer advocacy. The independent expert will also be specifically asked to form a view on whether the circumstances surrounding the review of any particular claim warrants further action.

Statement on customer concerns
We care deeply about providing the best service to our customers and are always concerned when we hear of potential poor claims experience at CommInsure. We thank Fairfax Media for bringing this to our attention and are happy to review Ms Bradley’s concerns. 

We always want to hear from our customers when they have concerns. We remain absolutely committed to doing the right thing by all of our customers, advisers and trustees.