Following commitments we made to strengthen processes in CommInsure, today we are announcing the appointment of the independent members to the new Claims Review Panel to provide an additional layer of assurance for complex claim assessment and decision-making processes.
CommInsure Managing Director, Helen Troup, announced the appointment of three panellists:
- Professor Justin Malbon, a consumer representative on the Investments, Life Insurance & Superannuation panel for the Financial Ombudsman Service, former member of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and professor of law at Monash University;
- Dr Stan Goldstein, medically trained and with over 30 years’ experience in health services management, including as Head of Clinical Advisory at Bupa Australia and as an Associate Professor (Conjoint) in Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW;
- Mr Chris McRae, a board member at the Financial Ombudsman Service, and financial services lawyer with over 30 years’ experience including as a past Chief Legal Officer at AMP.
Ms Troup said: “We remain absolutely focused on doing the right thing by our customers and the appointment of these independent experts further strengthens our decision-making processes for complex claims.”
Where CommInsure’s claims committee recommends a complex life insurance claim be declined, this will be referred to the Claims Review Panel. The Panel will consist of at least two independent panel members, as well as the Managing Director of CommInsure, and will provide an independent review and assessment of each claim to provide confidence that the outcomes are fair and consistent. Other Panel members will also be appointed over coming weeks.
A sub-committee of the CommInsure Board will monitor the outcomes of the Panel. The sub-committee is comprised of independent non-executive directors.
When concerns were first raised to the CommInsure Board (The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited), an independent review was commissioned. The Board has since sought to provide further assurance and, as previously announced in March, will be seeking to appoint a new independent expert to oversee a review program focused on past denied claims. CommInsure has been working with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on this process and an appointment is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks.
CommInsure has begun the process to notify affected policyholders about the recent changes to the Trauma product definitions for heart attack and severe rheumatoid arthritis. These were updated on 10 March 2016 and coverage has been backdated to apply for all claim events from 11 May 2014 onwards.
“Our Product Disclosure Statements have been updated and we will also write to impacted policy holders by the end of June to tell them about the changes,” Ms Troup said.
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.