In March this year, the ABC’s Four Corners program featured a story about five customers whose experience with CommInsure created personal distress at a very difficult time for them.
We immediately apologised, and investigated the cases. All five customer cases in the Four Corners story have been resolved, with three resolved before the program went to air.
In addition, we immediately commenced investigating the root causes of the concerns raised, particularly in light of allegations made in the program that these were widespread, and the result of deliberate action. These reviews, together with other previous work, involve well-regarded independent specialists and encompass policy definitions, claims review processes, and other factors such as remuneration and whistleblower practices. We have been working constructively with the regulators on the reviews.
The reviews are making good progress, though given the size of the business, and our determination to investigate thoroughly, work remains ongoing. To date we haven’t found evidence to substantiate any of the claims of widespread problems and wilful misconduct. If we do, we will put things right.
What we have seen in media reports does not reflect the values of our people or our business. In 2015, CommInsure paid more than $850 million of life and income protection payments to more than 22,000 customers. We are continuing to identify improvements that we can and will make to ensure our customers have the right products, right service and care when they need it the most.
We will also advocate broader industry-wide initiatives to improve practices across the sector, as we know the industry must collectively continue to do better.