First premium funders code promotes clarity, higher standards

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The first insurance premium funding (IPF) code of practice will take effect from the start of October, promoting increased transparency and disclosure on pricing and a culture of professionalism.

The Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) and its insurance premium funding working group members have launched the code after an extensive consultation.

“This is an important milestone,” AFIA CEO Diane Tate said. “The Financial Services Royal Commission made it clear it’s not just what financial institutions do that is important, but how they do it, and firms are now required to embed a consumer-centric approach.”

The document, designed to work alongside other codes including the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) updated code, aims to drive continuous improvement in customer service.

Compliance will be overseen by an independent committee chaired by Vicki Mullen, who has more than 25 years’ experience in public policy and financial services, including as an ombudsman with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

The code compliance committee also comprises former NIBA CEO Dallas Booth and legal practitioner Ed Martin.

AFIA members Arteva, Attvest, BOQ Finance, Clearmatch, Elantis, Hunter Premium Funding and IQumulate were involved in the code’s development.

Code requirements include that customers must have access to internal and external dispute resolution, while signatories must also provide hardship assistance, and ensure arrangements require brokers to act in the best interests of customers in the distribution of IPF products.

“The new IPF Code of Practice is an example of the finance industry proactively adopting industry standards that go above and beyond what is required by the law,” Ms Tate said.

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AFIA anticipates Clearmatch, Elantis, Hunter Premium Funding and IQumulate to commence the accreditation process before the effective date, with Arteva, Attvest and BOQ Finance to follow.

The code is available here.