About the Code
The Code sets out the standards that general insurers must meet when providing services to their customers, such as being open, fair and honest.
The first General Insurance Code of Practice was introduced in 1994 and was one of the first of its kind in Australia. The Code has been reviewed four times – in 1998, 2006, 2009 and 2012-13 – and improvements were made to ensure the Code remained relevant and met the needs of consumers.
The Code is designed to raise customer service standards in the general insurance industry, and to protect the rights of consumers. These standards apply when selling insurance, dealing with insurance claims, responding to catastrophes and disasters, and handling complaints. The Code also sets out the recourse available to policyholders in disputes.
The Code is binding on Insurance Council member companies, and breaches are treated seriously. Compliance with the Code is actively monitored by the independent Code Governance Committee.
For more information about the General Insurance Code of Practice and to view a copy of the current Code, please visit the Code of Practice website.
What does the Code cover?
Nearly all types of general insurance are covered by the Code of Practice. These include:
- Motor vehicle (comprehensive and third-party property)
- Home building
- Home contents
- Sickness and accident
- Consumer credit
- Travel insurance
- Personal and domestic property
The only types of general insurance not covered by the Code are reinsurance (insurance for insurers) and insurance that has specific rules under government statute, such as workers compensation, marine insurance, medical indemnity insurance and motor vehicle injury insurance. Life and health insurance are not included. These products are governed under different laws and regulations.