Allianz responds to ASIC’s misrepresentation charges

Allianz responds to ASIC’s misrepresentation charges

Allianz responds to ASIC’s misrepresentation charges Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (Allianz) has compensated over $231,000 to 740 Petplan insurance policyholders, and its agent Petplan Australasia Pty Ltd (Petplan) has amended its advertisement following ASIC action, according to the regulator. 

Petplan’s website advertised Petplan insurance as a product that provides 100% rebate on claims for veterinary bills. A small-print disclaimer then qualified the statement, saying that the 100% rebate excluded a fixed excess and non-claimable items.

Peter Kell, ASIC deputy chairman, said that ASIC will continue to look at advertising and promotional claims as a way to protect consumers.

“Promotional claims that are made in absolute terms about a potential benefit must not create expectations that cannot be met,” Kell said.

“A misleading impression created by a headline claim cannot be corrected by a small-print disclaimer. When firms do not meet these standards, ASIC will continue to take action to ensure better consumer outcomes.”

ASIC expressed concern that the ad could be misrepresented by Petplan customers to provide them with the full value of the 100% rebate value on claims for veterinary bills.

In fact, customers cannot receive the 100% rebate value for claims made for pets aged eight years and over, because in addition to a fixed excess of $150, a variable excess amount – 20 per cent for a pet aged eight years or 35 per cent if 10 years or over − is deducted from the final claim payment made to customers, explained ASIC.

Allianz responded to ASIC’s concerns of misrepresentation by:
  • Removing from the Petplan website all references to the 100 per cent rebate;
  • Compensating relevant policyholders who had variable excess amount deducted from their claim amount; and
  • Updating the product closure statement and the online sales process to clearly disclose about the variable excess for pets aged eight years and over.
2 Comments
  • Patrick Gauci 14/06/2016 9:45:57 AM
    What a scoop !! Excellent to read a "good news" story for a change about general insurance.
    Congratulations to ASIC for clarifying the "fine print" and more importantly for requiring that Allianz should make good the "wrong" done through the confusing policy insuring provisions terminology represented to the insuring public.
    About time that the general public's negative perception of general insurers and their so called fine print has sought to be rectified. There should be more of it !!!
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  • FrodofromAus 15/06/2016 10:54:13 PM
    Disgraceful and time this entire industry was cleaned up. I bet there is more to come on Petplan. I got caught out with my policies because I bought them on the basis of this flashy advertising saying to the effect of "We pay 100% of the claim" Not for older dogs you don't. At the moment I have received no refund and when I contacted the Claims Manager replied I am not entitled to it. Based on the ASIC media release it seems I might be so I am following this up with the ombudsman and would encourage others to do the same. I have been unable to find the ful decision from ASIC to see precisely what it said. No one especially vets should be recommending this product to their clients. How is it possibly the best product out there when you are making such a big co payment when your dog is over ten and much more likely to have vet bills. Most of the people that say they are satisfied have much younger dogs. Wont they be in for a nice suprise as the dog ages and they cant move due to age or pre existing conditions. Wonder how satisfied they will be then :)
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