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Review of The Insurance Contracts Act 1984: final report released.

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The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, the Hon Chris Pearce MP, today released the final report of the second stage of the Review of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (the Act). This deals with all provisions of the Act other than section 54 (which was covered by the first stage of the Review).

The report concludes that the Act has generally been operating satisfactorily and that it strikes an appropriate balance between the interests of insurers and consumers.

It recommends some changes to update the Act, recognise developments in the insurance market, clarify provisions in light of judicial interpretation and address some anomalies in the operation of the Act.

Mr Pearce congratulated the members of the Review Panel on the report, which is the result of comprehensive consultation. “The Review Panel has made well considered and balanced recommendations that will benefit both insurers and consumers.”

The Government intends to prepare a draft Bill to address the report’s main recommendations. This will be exposed for public comment prior to its introduction. It will also include proposed amendments to section 54 of the Act. These amendments will take account of subsequent consultations on this provision.

The report identifies several areas in which further work is required. These include up dating the standard cover regulations in consultation with stakeholders and collecting data on claims by innocent co insureds. These recommendations will be progressed separately by Treasury.

The members of the Review Panel were Mr Alan Cameron AM, a former Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and Ms Nancy Milne, a specialist insurance lawyer.

The final report on the second stage of the Review is available at:

5 January 2005 MELBOURNE

Contact: Bernie Finn 03 9887 3890 or 0419 140 405

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