Insurance Council of Australia

The Insurance Council of Australia: what it is and what it does.

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The Insurance Council of Australia is an organisation that represents the interests of the general insurance industry in Australia. It is not a regulatory body; however, it may be able to help you with your insurance.

What is the Insurance Council of Australia?

The Insurance Council of Australia represents the interests of the general insurance industry namely through public affairs, government lobbying, industry forums, issues management and consumer services. According to its website, its members, who consist of insurance and reinsurance companies, represent around 95% of total written premiums of private sector general insurers in Australia. It's been around since 1975 and offers a wide range of insurance products through its various members to both individuals and businesses.

What does the Insurance Council of Australia do?

Some of the main things that the ICA does include:

  • Looking after its members' interests in domestic and international issues.
  • Acting as the spokesperson for the general insurance sector to the Australian government and the wider public.
  • Supporting the general insurance industry so that it's able to meet the needs of the Australian public.
  • Working on improving the general insurance industry's image.
  • Working on ways to boost community awareness about the importance of insurance.
  • Working towards improved self-regulation where appropriate.
  • Pushing for better service standards across the insurance sector.
  • Promoting private sector provisions of insurance services.

What is the Insurance Council of Australia Code of Practice?

The General Insurance Code of Practice 2014, which came into effect on 1 July, 2014 and will remain in place until 1 July, 2021, is a set of standards that all general insurers need to adhere to.

The Code covers all aspects of a customer's time with an insurer, from buying and making a claim to how to deal with financial hardship and making a complaint. It contains criteria including timeframes, transparency and the types of services that can be offered to customers. Some examples of its principles include:

  • Designing and selling insurance products and services that are of value to the community they are sold to
  • Designing and selling insurance products and services in a clear, transparent and fair manner
  • Continually reviewing and improving insurance products and services offered to ensure they remain of value to the changing needs of the community
  • Meeting promises made to the community in a trusting environment
  • Being open, fair and understanding, and acting with integrity, in our dealings with the community
  • Being clear, transparent, fair and timely in our communications with the community
  • Treating the community with respect, dignity and sensitivity
  • Being accessible to the community and making our processes simple and timely
  • Assisting members of the community who are in need of additional support
  • Listening and seeking to resolve concerns in an objective, truthful and timely manner
  • Proactively resolving any concerns we may identify
  • Monitoring any concerns identified, and making changes to prevent similar future concerns when this is reasonable.

What kinds of insurance does the ICA look after?

The ICA looks after private sector general insurers and reinsurers in Australia, from home and business insurance to income protection and life insurance. Its members include:

Is the Insurance Council of Australia a regulatory body?

No. The ICA is a lobby group that represents the interests of insurance companies; it is not a regulator. The two main regulators in Australia are the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

APRA sets prudential standards for the general insurance industry, like how much capital an insurer must hold, while ASIC manages the licensing of financial services providers and regulates consumer protection, investment banks and finance companies.

Contact the Insurance Council of Australia

You can contact the ICA online here where you can fill in a form and let them know what you wish to enquire about. If you want to mail, this can be sent to:

PO Box R1832
Royal Exchange
NSW 1225

Frequently asked questions

Can the ICA help with insurance complaints?

The ICA may be able to help with complaints, particularly if it involves one of its members. If it can't resolve the issue for you, it's likely that it will refer you to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Is the ICA a government organisation?

No. The ICA is a non-government organisation that represents Australia's general insurance industry.

Is there an insurance ombudsman in Australia?

Yes. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) can help you with complaints about a life or general insurance product. For private health insurance, you can speak to the The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) and for complaints about workers compensation, you can get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

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