In March 2010, the Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2010 (the 2010 Bill) was introduced into the Parliament. The 2010 Bill contained amendments to the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (ICA) to implement some of the recommendations made in the 2004 Cameron/Milne report into the operation of the ICA. Unfortunately, the 2010 Bill lapsed due to the calling of the federal election.
On 17 February 2012, Treasury held a roundtable with key stakeholders to discuss the potential re‑introduction of the measures previously contained in the 2010 Bill. As a result of the roundtable discussion and after some further targeted consultation, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, has now released an exposure draft legislation which contains the measures previously contained in the 2010 Bill with four proposed refinements.
The proposed refinements address concerns raised by key stakeholders in relation to:
- the insured's duty of disclosure;
- remedies of the insurer: life insurance contracts;
- the application of duty of disclosure changes; and
- bundled life insurance contracts.
Extensive consultation with key stakeholders has been undertaken during the development of the measures in the Bill. As such the release of the exposure draft legislation is to primarily ensure that the measures in the Bill work in practice prior to the Bill's introduction.