Comparing Apples with Oranges?

The Australian Life Insurance Industry moves closer to Standardised Reporting Definitions

  1. ASIC and APRA released the initial industry-aggregate results from phase 1 of a joint pilot data collection project on life insurance claims.
  2. Comparison of the initial data set from the 16 insurers who participated has proved challenging as data submitted did not entirely fit the regulators’ set definitions and, unsurprisingly, because insurers have a wide range of differing systems, products and processes.
  3. By way of example, if two insurers have different definitions for what constitutes a reported, declined or withdrawn claim, the data they reported is unlikely to be directly comparable.
  4. APRA Member Geoff Summerhayes said: ‘Significant progress has been made to date on this initiative to develop a consistent public reporting regime for claims data and claims outcomes, which will improve transparency and accountability in the life insurance industry.’
  5. ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell has been reported as stating: ‘There’s a lot of work that needs to take place within the industry to ensure that they are categorising claims outcomes in a consistent way. Otherwise, you’ll be comparing apples with oranges.’
  6. The regulators also released an information paper revealing the proposed timing for the second round of the pilot data collection. Among other matters, the paper outlines proposed refinements to the data template and definitions for insurers. While these changes have not be finalised, the proposed refinements to the data template and definitions are set out in Attachment B of the paper. A copy of the paper can be downloaded here.

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