Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


HFA welcomes review of insurance contract law

Health Funds Association welcomes review of insurance contract law

The industry body representing health insurers, the Health Funds Association (HFANZ), today welcomed the Government’s planned review of insurance contract law.

The Government last week revealed the terms of reference for the review, which will be managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and the stages of the consultation process through to mid-2019.

There are currently six Acts governing insurance contracts, two of which date back to 1908. As well as updating and consolidating legislation, the review will examine the issue of disclosure, and the remedy of cancelling an insurance contract in the event of non-disclosure.

HFANZ chief executive Roger Styles said this was perhaps the biggest area of interest in the review for health insurers.

“Disclosure is an important part of the insurance system and is essential to help insurers in pricing risk. That said, it does not seem right that the law provides for a single blunt response for what can be a range of non-disclosure situations with varying degrees of materiality.”

Consumers should feel confident that a “reasonableness test” is applied in these circumstances – insurers already work to consider what is reasonable in terms of what people should be required to remember and therefore disclose.

Mr Styles said health insurers very seldom responded to non-disclosure by cancelling the contract. For minor issues, or where the non-disclosure was not material to the claim, most insurers had developed a range of responses which generally saw claims settled and policies continued.

“Health insurers have been working on this for some time, exploring options for consolidating some of these approaches into a set of more general guidelines. These will be incorporated into the industry code. While this work will continue and likely inform our input into the review, it will equally be helpful to have some positive suggestions for improvement,” Mr Styles said.

He said it was clear that, whatever the outcome, there would need to be a lot more emphasis on disclosure at the commencement of a policy rather than at claim time


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Budget Policy Statement: 'Wellbeing Of NZers At The Heart Of Budget Priorities'

“We want a wellbeing focus to drive the decisions we make about Government policies and Budget initiatives. This means looking beyond traditional measures - such as GDP - to a wider set of indicators of success,” Grant Robertson said. More>>


Short Of 2017 Record: Insurers Pay $226m Over Extreme Weather

Insurers have spent more than $226 million this year helping customers recover from extreme weather, according to data from the Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ). More>>

Environment Commissioner: Transparent Overseer Needed To Regulate Water Quality

Overseer was originally developed as a farm management tool to calculate nutrient loss but is increasingly being used by councils in regulation... “Confidence in Overseer can only be improved by opening up its workings to greater scrutiny.” More>>


Deal Now Reached: Air NZ Workers Vote To Strike

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime. More>>