Life Insurance Advisory

MinterEllison’s life insurance team has gained a thorough knowledge of the industry through years of advising clients on all aspects of life insurance, participating in industry forums and taking an active role in regulatory developments. Our experience pre-dates the introduction of the current life insurance and financial services statutes. Members of our team have been involved in obtaining important exemptions for life risk insurance from the anti-money laundering (AML) regime, the National Consumer Credit Act (policy lending) and shorter product disclosure statement (PDS) regimes.

Our work includes the development of new insurance products and benefits, policy drafting, product disclosure statement reviews, marketing campaigns, training materials, and advising on complaints and claims that progress to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) or litigation. We also advise on the implications of health insurance regulation, privacy obligations and discrimination legislation (state and Commonwealth).

We advise on the full range of life products including complex portfolio life insurance products, simple direct insurance campaigns, annuities, consumer credit insurance, insurance bonds and conventional/traditional business. We also advise trustees and life companies on life insurance-related issues in superannuation. Recently we have advised on more innovative benefits and longevity products.

We have particular expertise in governance issues for statutory funds, prudential standards and compliance with the Life Insurance Act and other regulatory regimes, including the Personal Property Securities Act. We regularly advise life insurance boards and directors on governance structures and related issues.

We are the leading adviser on life insurance transactions under Part 9 of the Life Insurance Act where we have successfully executed more than 25 life and general insurance schemes.

23 May 2013

On 9 May 2013 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority released draft Prudential Standard CPS 220 – Risk Management, draft updated Prudential Standard CPS 510 – Governance and accompanying Discussion Paper – Harmonising Cross-Industry Risk Management Requirements, for public consultation. The standards affect ADIs and life and general insurers. APRA has proposed the cross-industry standards as part of its broader harmonisation and consolidation process, which has already seen the implementation of harmonised prudential standards on outsourcing, business continuity management, governance and fitness and propriety. However, in addition to harmonisation, the standards also include significant new risk management governance requirements.

17 December 2012

Treasury has released an exposure draft of the Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth) for public consultation, which reintroduces reforms to the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) proposed by the Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2010 (Cth) which lapsed in 2010 due to the prorogation of Parliament. This Alert discusses the key differences between the two Bills and provides a brief outline of the affected provisions of the Act. 

9 August 2012

APRA has released a letter setting out additional proposed changes to the existing proposed changes to the reporting standards as a result of the review of capital standards for insurers.

12 December 2011

APRA has released its response to submissions (Response Paper) on its life and general insurance capital review (LAGIC) along with draft Prudential Standards.

25 November 2011

The Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2011 (Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives on Wednesday by Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten.