Insurance Broker Code of Practice

1. We will comply with all relevant law

We will comply with all relevant law.

2. We will transparently manage any conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest are circumstances where some or all of your interests are inconsistent, or diverge from, some or all of our interests.

When providing Covered Services this standard is met where we:

    • identify any conflicts of interest;
    • assess and evaluate these conflicts of interest;
    • decide upon and implement an appropriate response to those conflicts, which can, depending on the circumstances, include:
      • disclosing the relevant conflicts of interest to you;
      • allocating another representative to provide the relevant Covered Services; and
      • declining to provide our Covered Services.
  • have monitoring procedures in place to ensure that:
    • our conflicts management arrangements are implemented and maintained; and
    • any non-compliance is identified, recorded and appropriately acted upon.
  • keep appropriate records of our management of conflicts of interest;
  • answer any questions you have about conflicts of interest and our procedures for handling them; and
  • comply with any additional requirements imposed by relevant law regarding the management of conflicts of interest.

3. We will clearly tell you we do not act for you

When providing Insurance Services we will clearly tell you if we are:

  • acting as agent of the insurer (including under binder) before or at the time we provide any Insurance Service; and
  • using another insurance broker to assist in the arrangement of insurance for you (commonly called a wholesale broker) and will explain their role and answer your questions.

4. We will clearly tell you about the scope of our covered services

Before or at the time we provide Insurance Services we will clearly tell you:

  • if we are providing you with advice based on our consideration of whether certain insurance products are appropriate for your personal needs, objectives or financial situation or not (Personal Advisory Service); and
  • if there are any material limits on the scope of any Personal Advisory Service being provided and what we believe are the relevant implications of this.

5. We will discharge our duties diligently, competently, fairly and with honesty and integrity

When providing Covered Services on your behalf we will exercise reasonable care and skill, including communicating with you in a clear and prompt manner.

 

When you are buying insurance and we act on your behalf, we will do the following (unless we agree with you or tell you otherwise):

  • when we provide you with a Personal Advisory Service in relation to the insurance we will:
    • act in your best interests by:
      • identifying your objectives, financial situation and needs as disclosed to us by you through your instructions;
      • identifying the subject matter of the advice that has been sought by you (whether explicitly or implicitly);
      • identifying your objectives, financial situation and needs that would reasonably be considered as relevant to advice sought on that subject matter (Relevant Circumstances); and
      • making reasonable inquiries to obtain complete and accurate information where it is reasonably apparent that information relating to your Relevant Circumstances is incomplete or inaccurate. Something is “reasonably apparent” if it would be apparent to a person with a reasonable level of expertise in the subject matter of the advice that has been sought, were that person exercising care and objectively assessing the information given;
    • warn you if it is reasonably apparent that information relating to your objectives, financial situation and needs on which the advice is based is incomplete or inaccurate, and tell you that because of this, you should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs;
    • provide advice that is appropriate for your needs. This can include, where appropriate in the circumstances, a reasonable explanation of the terms of the insurance that the advice is being provided on;
    • where the insurance is to be provided by a foreign general insurer that is not authorised under or subject to the provisions of the Insurance Act 1973 (which establishes a system of financial supervision of general insurers that carry on general insurance business in Australia), we will:
      • inform you of the general risks we believe are involved in transacting insurance with such an insurer; and
      • answer your questions;
  • assist you to determine the level of insurance cover you may require;
  • assist you to determine your policy requirements and arrange, acquire and maintain your insurance policies for you;
  • only request an authority to obtain information from your insurers relevant to the services we are to provide for you;
  • promptly provide to insurers any insurance proposal and application forms or other information required by them;
  • only advise you that insurance is available on specified terms (insurance conditions, coverage or premiums) where the declared insurer has provided such terms;
  • take all reasonable steps to promptly make available to you copies of any relevant insurance documentation we receive, including but not limited to policy wordings, schedules, certificates and endorsements;
  • promptly advise you if policy coverage is accepted, declined, cancelled or lapsed or has had additional special terms applied to you;
  • receive all general insurance notices from the insurer on your behalf and pass the notices or relevant information in the notices to you promptly (including but not limited to renewal information where relevant);
  • in relation to Group Purchasing Arrangements (as defined below):
    • where the person can separately elect and pay to access the benefit and we act for the contracting insured, we will tell the contracting insured of the importance of:
      • taking reasonable steps to make copies of the relevant policy terms available to the relevant persons at or before the time they make the election and pay; and
      • complying with relevant law as it applies to them in relation to such arrangements.

A “Group Purchasing Arrangement” is where the policy provides the benefit of being able to claim under the policy to persons who are not contracting insureds (e.g persons covered by reason of section 48 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth)).

 

When you have an insurance claim and we act on your behalf we will (unless we agree with you or tell you otherwise):

  • assist you in making and progressing a claim (including but not limited to providing you with claim forms and claims advice), and will act in your best interests in doing so;
  • on receiving an insurer’s response to a claim, inform you as soon as reasonably practical of that response; and
  • assist you and negotiate with insurers on your behalf in the event of a claim being disputed or rejected.

 

When we act for an insurer and not on your behalf we will:

  • tell you if we are acting for an insurer and not for you before or at the time we provide our services for certain transactions. This is important because in these circumstances we will not be acting on your behalf;
  • comply with any obligation that the insurer has under any law or code of practice the insurer subscribes to, where relevant to our conduct and subject to our agreement with the insurer;
  • take all reasonable steps to promptly make available to you or your agent copies of any relevant insurance documentation evidencing the insurance in force, including but not limited to policy wordings, schedules, certificates and endorsements; and
  • reasonably assist with any requested acquisition, arrangement or management of your insurance policies, including but not limited to any endorsement, reinstatement, replacement, renewal or cancellation of such policies.

6. We will clearly tell you how our covered services are paid for before we provide them and answer any questions you have

Before or at the time you enter into an insurance policy we will clearly tell you:

  • if we will receive remuneration (e.g a fee payable by you) in addition to or instead of commission/brokerage from the relevant insurer as a result of you accepting an insurance policy arranged by us (including renewals and variations).
    The commission/brokerage is generally a percentage of the insurer’s premium. It is included in the premium set out in our invoices and we receive it when you pay the premium or at such other time agreed with the insurer.
  • if we intend to retain any of the commission/brokerage paid by the insurer or any fee paid by you if the insurance policy is cancelled before the period of insurance ends.

7. We will handle any money received in accordance with relevant law and any agreement with you

We will answer any question you may have about the operation of any designated trust account we have established in accordance with the Corporations Act 2001. We use this account to hold certain insurance premiums paid to us by you and certain moneys owing to you that are paid to us by insurers.

8. We will ensure that we and our representatives are competent and adequately trained to provide the relevant services and will maintain this competence

We will:

  • ensure our Representatives receive adequate training to competently provide services on our behalf, including but not limited to:
    • an understanding of this Code or other relevant code applying to them and their obligations under them (where applicable to their activities); and
    • meeting any training standards identified by NIBA as applicable to the Covered Services;
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  • ensure records of their training are kept for at least five years and make the records available for examination by the Code Administrator or Code Compliance Committee on request;
  • measure the effectiveness of their training by appropriately monitoring their performance;
  • require additional or remedial training to address any identified deficiencies or improvements required in their training and ongoing development; and
  • maintain and keep current a training and development plan for our Representatives that is appropriate for the services provided by them or to be provided by them in the future.

9. We will respond to catastrophes and disasters in a timely, professional, practical and compassionate manner in conjunction with any industry-wide response

We will respond to catastrophes and disasters in a timely, professional, practical and compassionate manner in conjunction with any industry-wide response.

10. We will ensure that we have an internal complaints and disputes handling process that meets the Code Complaints and Dispute process standards

We will ensure that we have an internal complaints and disputes handling process that meets the Code Complaints and Dispute process standards.

11. We will support NIBA in promoting the Code and make information on the Code (including how to make a complaint) and our Covered Services readily available to you

We will support NIBA in promoting the Code and make information on the Code (including how to make a complaint) and our Covered Services readily available to you.

12. We will not engage in activity or inactivity that is reasonably likely to bring the insurance broking profession into disrepute

We will not engage in activity or inactivity that is reasonably likely to bring the insurance broking profession into disrepute.

Binding Orders and Sanctions

The following binding orders and sanctions can be made or imposed on Code Members for a Code breach:

  • order rectification of the problem procedures;
  • order a Code Member to comply with the provisions of the Code or a specified provision of the Code;
  • order a Code Member to comply with the provisions of the Code Procedures or a specified provision of the Code Procedures;
  • order a Code Member to undertake through an independent and appropriately qualified person an audit of its compliance procedures;
  • order a Code Member to publish corrective advertising;
  • order a Code Member to undertake, or require their employees or agents to undertake, professional education of a specific type;
  • impose a timetable for compliance with the above orders by a Code Member;
  • publish details of any non-compliance by a Code Member, including their name and the name of the Company they represent; and
  • recommend to NIBA that the Code Member be removed or suspended as a member of the Code and NIBA.

No monetary penalties can be imposed on a Code Member.

Download a copy of the code.