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ClearView refunds $1.5 million after ASIC slams telesales

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ClearView has stopped selling life insurance products direct and will refund $1.5 million to 16,000 customers after an investigation identified unfair sales practices.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says between January 1 2014 and June 30 last year ClearView phone sales staff made misleading statements about cover, premiums and the effect of pre-existing medical conditions when selling more than 32,000 life insurance policies.

The sales were direct to consumers, without personal financial advice.

ClearView did not clearly obtain consumer consent before processing premium payments, and it used pressure sales tactics, the regulator says.

ASIC found 1166 of the consumers lived in areas with high Indigenous populations and were unlikely to have English as their first language.

Deputy Chairman Peter Kell says pressure sales tactics are unacceptable.

“Purchasing life insurance is a key financial decision for consumers, and all the information provided to them must be clear and balanced,” he said.