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24 May 2013
Medical indemnity insurer Avant Insurance has been forced to change the advertising for its practitioner indemnity insurance policy, after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that the ads were “potentially misleading”.
The policy insures medical practitioners against liability arising from healthcare treatment and advice and services provided to patients. The ad causing concern was in the form of a letter sent to competitors’ policyholders, with a table comparing the cover provided by Avant’s policy against that of four other competitors featuring ticks and crosses against policy items.
ASIC says the table gave the impression that Avant’s policy “provided more cover than its competitors in some areas, when this was not necessarily the case”.
Of particular concern was the suggestion that Avant provided unqualified cover for some items when in fact there were limitations.
The letter included a footnote directing consumers to read and consider the policy wording and the product disclosure statement, but ASIC determined that any qualifications should be more clearly stated.
“Statements referring the customer to a document such as a product disclosure statement will not be sufficient to correct a misleading impression,” ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said.
“Qualifications should be given sufficient prominence to effectively convey the key information.”
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