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Direct Life Insurance – Investigation

Bannister Law is investigating a potential class action against insurers who sold life insurance directly to consumers or through certain distributors. These insurers and distributors include:

  1. ClearView Life Assurance Limited;
  2. NobleOak Life Limited;
  3. OnePath Life Limited;
  4. Suncorp Life & Superannuation Limited;
  5. TAL Life Ltd;
  6. The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited;
  7. Auto & General Services Pty Ltd selling on behalf of Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd;
  8. Greenstone Financial Services Pty Ltd selling on behalf of Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd; 
  9. Select AFSL Pty Ltd selling on behalf of St Andrew’s Life Insurance Pty Ltd; and
  10. Freedom Insurance Pty Ltd.

Direct life insurance is a term used to describe life insurance that is not sold by a financial adviser with personal advice tailored to an individual’s circumstances or as part of a superannuation fund or group cover. Usually only general product advice is offered for this type of insurance.

The following types of life insurance products are being investigated:

  1. Accidental death insurance – a life insurance policy that pays a lump sum benefit if the policy holder dies as the result of an accident only;
  2. Term life insurance – a life insurance policy that pays a lump sum benefit if the policyholder dies;
  3. Trauma – A life insurance policy that pays a lump sum benefit if the policyholder is diagnosed with a specific illness at a specific severity;
  4. Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance – A life insurance policy that pays a lump sum benefit if the policyholder becomes injured or ill or is unable to work again; and
  5. Income protection insurance – A life insurance policy that replaces the income lost if the policyholder is unable to work for a certain amount of time due to injury and or sickness.

An ASIC report into direct life insurance was published on 30 August 2018. ASIC appears to have concluded in its report that many insurers failed to provide adequate information about important aspects of cover they sold, including inadequate explanations of exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions or future cost of policies. Certain techniques may have been used to pressure consumers into making purchases when they would not otherwise have done so. For example, sales scripts may have omitted important eligibility questions or incorporated pressure selling tactics.

In our view, we believe that the conduct of the insurance companies in selling these products may give rise to potential breaches of the Australian Consumer Law, Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth), Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and good faith provisions under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth). You may have lost money as a result of signing up for these insurance products.

You may have received these direct life insurance products through:

  1. an insurance company by phone or online;
  2. an insurance company through a comparison website;
  3. a bank or credit union; and
  4. other organisations such as a credit card companies, motoring organisations, airlines, retail stores, health funds or mortgages.

We are seeking to identify consumers who have purchased life insurance through the above insurers from 2010 onwards. If you are interested, please register your details below for a potential class action against the above-mentioned insurance companies to recover compensation for financial loss suffered.

What is a class action?

Class actions are legal proceedings brought by one person on behalf of a group. Rather than each person pursuing a claim separately, a class action streamlines the process, enabling a dispute involving large numbers of people to be resolved through a single case.

Bannister Law fights for the legal rights of Australian consumers. Bannister Law is also running several of Australia’s most high profile and significant class actions on behalf of consumers, including: the Volkswagen emissions class action, Ford class action, Dick Smith shareholders class action. Bannister Law also ran and resolved the class action against the makers of Nurofen.