On 4 February 2019, the Government released its response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The Government is taking action on all 76 recommendations, which includes tasking Treasury to develop an appropriate deferred sales model for add-on insurance products.
The Royal Commission highlighted that the sale of add-on insurance had contributed to widespread consumer detriment. These insights built upon previous work by ASIC on add-on insurance sold in car dealerships and the Productivity Commission inquiry ‘Competition in the Financial System’, which found that sellers of add-on insurance products often adopted pressure sales tactics and add-on insurance products represented poor value for money to consumers. To address these issues, the Final Report recommended introducing an industry-wide deferred sales model for the sale of all add-on insurance products, except for policies of comprehensive motor insurance.
The objective of the deferred sales model is to promote informed purchasing decisions by consumers in add-on insurance markets, by introducing a pause in the sales process between the consumer’s purchase of the primary product and their decision to purchase add-on insurance. The deferral period will enable and encourage consumers to consider the merits of the insurance offered and to consult alternative products.
The Government is today releasing exposure draft legislation for public comment which implements recommendation 4.3 of the Royal Commission.