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Life insurers move to set up new peak body

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Australian life insurers have made a “collective” decision to set up a dedicated peak body to advocate on their behalf, following a “significant change” in the industry before and after the Hayne royal commission.

The Council of Australian Life Insurers (CALI) hopes to be “up and running” by the start of the October quarter, as staff recruitment is already underway including for a CEO, a spokesperson says.

The spokesperson says CALI will be the first dedicated life insurance industry peak body in Australia.

Life insurers backing the new group believe the time is right for a peak body to focus solely on matters affecting the industry and its customers, given the changing landscape in both regulation and structure.

“Throughout a continued period of policy reform in the lead-up to and following the [Hayne] royal commission, the life insurance industry has undergone significant change, including structural changes via industry consolidation and specialisation,” the spokesperson says.

Life insurers have until now been represented by the Financial Services Council (FSC), which also owns the Life Insurance Code of Practice.

“The decision to establish a new peak body is one that was made collectively by the life insurance industry members, through a consultative and collaborative process,” the spokesperson told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“That process was led by a working group of life insurance CEOs.”

The spokesperson says AIA Australia, Challenger, ClearView, General Reinsurance Life, Hannover Re, HCF, Integrity Life and MetLife Australia have indicated an intention to become CALI members.

MLC Life Insurance, Munich Re, NobleOak, Pacific Life Re, QInsure, RGA Reinsurance, Resolution Life Australasia, Scor Life & Health, Swiss Re, TAL and Zurich Financial Services have also expressed similar plans to join.

The spokesperson says CALI will be seeking to take over future responsibility of the Code as part of the transition arrangements with the FSC.

insuranceNEWS.com.au understands there is no agreement as of now between the FSC and CALI in relation to the transfer of the Code.

FSC announced last week the Code has been updated to include more than 50 new consumer protection provisions and will take effect on July 1 next year.