Insurance giant TAL may have breached its financial services licence conditions after the royal commission heard how the group dealt with a claims case.
The Hayne inquiry continued Friday morning's session by discussing the case of an insured person under TAL, who it was revealed had been investigated by a TAL claims manager and bullied by the same manager.
Senior counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC continued her questioning of TAL representative and general manager claims Loraine Van Eden. Ms Orr put to her that TAL, in the case of the insured, had breached professional standards.
“You accept that TAL breached professional standards in your statement,” said Ms Orr.
“Yes,” Ms Van Eden responded.
“And in what ways do you accept TAL breached professional standards in the handling of this claim,” said Ms Orr.
“We did not consider the claimants and the claimant’s position,” said Ms Van Eden.
“You also accept in your statement that several aspects of the dispute resolution process fell below community standards and expectations,” Ms Orr said.
“Yes,” said Ms Van Eden.
Ms Orr pointed out to Ms Van Eden that Australian financial services licensees have a legal obligation to act efficiently, honestly and fairly.
A penalty for breaching these conditions could result in the removal of a company’s license.
Ms Orr then asked Ms Van Eden if she thought TAL, in the process of handling the insurer, upheld those legal obligation.
“Do you think TAL’s conduct in relation to this claim was efficient?” said Ms Orr.
“No,” said Ms Van Eden.
“Do you think it was honest?” said Ms Orr.
“No,” said Ms Van Eden.
“Do you think it was fair?”
Ms Van Eden again replied in the negative.
Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms.
Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.
Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).
You can email him on: [email protected]
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