Review of the Insurance Contracts Act , Australian Government, Department of the Treasury

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Final Report on second stage: provision other than section 54

Chapter 1: Scope and application

1.1 In the course of the review, a range of issues relating to the scope and application of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (IC Act) were raised:

  • the extent to which the IC Act deals with insurers’ conduct (beyond regulating the contractual relationship);
  • the interface of the IC Act and the Corporations Act 2001, particularly, the disclosure requirements included in the Financial Services Reform Act 2001;
  • the application of the IC Act to composite policies including compulsory statutory insurance (such as workers’ compensation);
  • the interface of the IC Act and the Marine Insurance Act 1909; and
  • the extent to which the IC Act deals with contracts issued by foreign insurers, and insurance-like products issued by, for example, discretionary mutual funds.

General conduct of insurers

1.2 As stated in its long title, the IC Act regulates the terms included in insurance contracts and insurer conduct in relation to such contracts. The focus is the contractual relationship between insurers and the insured.

1.3 The duty of utmost good faith imposed in Part II of the IC Act operates as an implied term of insurance contracts. Under Part IA, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can gather information from insurers about the way they conduct their business. ASIC can bring a representative action against an insurer under section 55A of the IC Act, but only in respect of insurance contracts entered into. Despite those provisions, neither the IC Act nor the regulations made under it include provisions that directly regulate insurer conduct beyond the extent to which the conduct relates to individual insurance contracts.

1.4 Conduct matters, such as claims handling and dispute resolution processes, are dealt with in the General Insurance Code of Practice developed by the Insurance Council of Australia Limited and oversighted by ASIC. 2

1.5 ASIC’s preliminary submission urged the review to consider whether the current regulatory system as a whole ensures that insurers have proper claims handling procedures in place, including the appropriate training of employees and outsourced service providers, to ensure that claims handling is dealt with in a fair, transparent and timely manner.

1.6 Given the scope of the IC Act and the terms of reference of the review, it was foreshadowed in the Issues Paper that the Review Panel did not propose to make detailed recommendations going beyond the relationship between parties. However, there are two matters connected with claims handling about which the Review Panel considers it appropriate to make recommendations.

1.7 First, the Review Panel considers that the issue of claims handling practices should, at least in the first instance, be dealt with through industry codes. Industry bodies should have an opportunity to develop codes in consultation with stakeholders that offer appropriate protection for consumers in relation to claims handling.3

1.8 Second, as mentioned elsewhere in this report, the Review Panel believes that the duty of utmost good faith in section 13 of the IC Act has potential to provide remedies for some of the issues relating to claims handling by insurers.4 For example, an insurer who has caused unreasonable delay in admitting liability and paying a claim has been found to have breached the duty of utmost good faith.5 The Review Panel agrees with the commentators who have noted that there is a significantly wider scope to use section 13 in comparable circumstances.6 It has been suggested to the Review Panel that a breach of the duty of utmost good faith should not only be a breach of an implied term of the insurance contract — it should be a breach of the IC Act. If this was made clear, there would be no doubt that ASIC would have power to commence representative proceedings in relation to the breach. The Review Panel agrees that including a provision along these lines would be beneficial.7 However, the Review Panel believes that a breach of the duty should not amount to an offence, nor attract any penalty.

1.9 The possible implications of a breach of the duty for the purposes of the licensing provisions in section 920A of the Corporations Act 2001 may require some further consideration if this proposal is implemented. The Review Panel considers that isolated breaches of the duty should not give rise to any risk of a banning order being imposed. However, the ordinary operation of the licensing regime generally should mean that repeated breaches, or very serious breaches, of the duty by an insurer might be grounds for ASIC to consider imposing conditions on an insurer’s financial services licence or, in extreme cases, to ask an insurer to show cause why its licence should not be revoked.8


1.1 Best practice guidelines relating to claims handling processes by insurers should be developed and included in the relevant industry codes.

1.2 A breach of the duty of utmost good faith should be both a breach of an implied contractual term and a breach of the IC Act, although the breach of the IC Act would not be an offence and would attract no penalty.

Interface with Financial Services Reform Act 2001

1.10 On 11 March 2002, the Financial Services Reform Act 2001 (FSRA) introduced into the Corporations Act 2001 a uniform licensing, conduct and disclosure regime for financial services providers, including insurers.

1.11 It has been suggested that the requirements introduced by the FSRA (especially the disclosure requirements) may overlap with some provisions of the IC Act. Specifically, it was suggested that the standard cover provisions may need reviewing in light of the FSRA product disclosure statement regime.

1.12 However, other than the standard cover regime, stakeholders have not identified specific examples of inconsistency or duplication between the FSRA and the IC Act.

1.13 For this reason, this report will only examine the interaction with the FSRA, and the standard cover provisions of the IC Act. Issues associated with the standard cover provisions are considered below.9

Application to bundled policies including compulsory statutory insurance cover

1.14 Paragraph 9(1)(e) of the IC Act provides that the Act does not apply to contracts entered into or proposed to be entered into for the purposes of a law (including a law of a State or Territory) that relates to workers’ compensation; or death or injury to a person arising out of the use of a motor vehicle.

1.15 The Explanatory Memorandum to the Insurance Contracts Bill 1984 noted that workers’ compensation insurance and compulsory third party insurance are compulsory forms of insurance and ‘subject to different considerations’ than other insurance contracts.10 They were expressly excluded from the terms of reference of the review by the Australian Law Reform Commission that led to the introduction of the IC Act.

1.16 In the High Court case of Moltoni Corporation Pty Limited v QBE Insurance Limited,11 a contract of insurance had been entered into for the purposes of a workers’ compensation law, but the contract included other clauses for the purposes of obtaining and providing insurance against the employer’s liability to an employee at common law. The Court decided that, in such a case, subparagraph 9(1)(e)(i) excludes the operation of the IC Act from the contract only in so far as it was entered into to provide protection from liability under the workers’ compensation statute. However, the IC Act applied in the usual way to the cover that was provided against employer liability arising under common law.

1.17 It was suggested that the Moltoni decision has created uncertainty about the application of the IC Act to workers’ compensation policies and difficulties for insurers in complying with the provisions of the Act for bundled policies. The Review Panel sought comments on whether the exclusion in subparagraph 9(1)(e)(i) of the IC Act relating to compulsory workers’ compensation should be extended to cover bundled policies in order to prevent such difficulties arising.

1.18 Some submissions opposed such an extension. Arguments against an extension include that:

  • the Moltoni decision was satisfactory and a pressing case for change has not been made out; and
  • to proceed with an extension might lead to bundling for the purpose of avoiding the IC Act.

1.19 One submission pointed out that the issue could also arise in relation to subparagraph 9(1)(e)(ii), which has a similar exclusion for compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance. Such cover could be bundled with cover for property damage.

1.20 In light of the submissions received, the Review Panel considered the following options regarding paragraph 9(1)(e) and its application to policies that are bundled with cover falling outside the excluded cover:

  • bring bundled policies within the scope of the exclusion, so the IC Act would not apply to any part of a bundled policy;
  • remove bundled policies from the scope of the exclusion, so the IC Act would apply to the whole of the bundled policy;
  • give a decision maker a discretion to allow bundled polices that include covers which are strictly outside the scope of the exclusion to benefit from the exclusion; and
  • no change, leaving the Moltoni decision to stand and uncertainty regarding application of the IC Act to be determined by a court by ‘unbundling’ as and when required.

1.21 A blanket rule that results in bundled policies being covered by the exclusion has the benefit of certainty for insurers. However, it presents risks to the intended coverage of the IC Act. For example, in those jurisdictions where vehicle owners can deal directly with their compulsory third party insurance cover providers (as opposed to obtaining the cover automatically through the vehicle registration procedure), one could envisage insurers offering bundled third party property cover with compulsory third party personal injury cover, with the result that the third party property insurance is not covered by the IC Act. This is clearly not desirable. Further, the non-compulsory part of the bundled policy may become subject to provisions of legislative regimes in States and Territories that were designed only to deal with the compulsory insurance component — their application to non-compulsory cover may produce unintended and undesirable consequences.

1.22 To remove bundled policies expressly from the scope of the exclusion could be justified on the grounds that it removes uncertainty and the exclusion was only ever intended to cover compulsory insurance. However, there are risks with that approach. These kinds of compulsory insurance are part of a wider statutory scheme, which has been formulated on the basis that the IC Act does not apply. If the IC Act were made to apply to a subset of insurance contracts that form part of the scheme, there is a significant risk that the result of its operation, particularly the override of State and Territory enactments, would produce undesirable results for both insurers and insureds. Further, it may be problematic to frame a legislative rule to distinguish between additional cover that should result in the bundled policy losing the benefit of the exclusion (for example, cover for property damage bundled with compulsory third party injury cover), and enhancements to the statutory minimum cover (for example, a larger quantum of maximum damages) that should not impact on its excluded status.

1.23 Including in the IC Act a discretion vested in the court to rule that a bundled contract is covered by the exclusion was suggested. However, this would not provide certainty to insurers and insureds at the time the contract is entered into, which is when many of the obligations under the IC Act arise. An alternative which avoids this difficulty is to give an administrative body power to make a determination that a particular bundled policy is excluded from the IC Act. This would require a set of guidelines to be prepared and a new administrative process to be established, which would involve cost. Further, although there would be no need to establish a distinction in legislation between policies that are merely ‘enhancements’ to statutory cover and those that extend it to an unacceptable degree, ultimately the administrative body would need to make rulings on where the line is drawn.

1.24 A submission from the Insurance Council of Australia Limited identified only one form of bundled policy for which the Moltoni decision commonly creates difficulties — that is, the bundling of compulsory workers’ compensation cover with cover for employer liability to pay damages for employment related personal injury. The Insurance Council considers that, in respect of such policies, the potential disadvantages of including the bundled policy within the scope of the exception are manageable. In particular, it was submitted the potential application of State and Territory legislation to the additional cover does not create difficulties. The Insurance Council suggested that paragraph 9(1)(e)(i) should be amended so that it extends to any policy entered into for the purposes of workers’ compensation and/or for employers’ liability to pay damages to workers for employment related personal injury.

1.25 One approach, which is used in connection with insurance products in the Corporations Act 2001,12 is to treat different products that are bundled in a single insurance contract as if they are unbundled. The Review Panel considers that that this treatment does not resolve the difficulties arising from the Moltoni decision. However, unbundling would provide an approach for application of the exceptions in subsection 9(1) of the IC Act to bundled contracts.

1.26 The Review Panel acknowledges that the Moltoni decision gives rise to uncertainty about contracts that include, but are not restricted to, the compulsory insurance referred to in paragraph 9(1)(e) of the IC Act, which it is desirable to resolve. However, the risks involved with extending the exclusion to bundled policies generally are too great to warrant that step. The Review Panel proposes that the specific issue in Moltoni be addressed, but the general rule for applying the subsection 9(1) exceptions to bundled insurance contracts should be that they are treated as if they were unbundled.13


1.3 The IC Act should be amended so that insurance contracts that are entered into for the purposes of workers’ compensation are excluded from the operation of the IC Act in their entirety, even if the contracts also contain cover for employers’ common law liability to pay damages to workers for employment related personal injury.

1.4 In other cases of bundled insurance contracts, the exceptions in subsection 9(1) of the IC Act should apply to each aspect of the bundled cover as if they were included in separate insurance contracts.

Interface with Marine Insurance Act 1909

1.27 Generally, the IC Act does not cover marine insurance because contracts covered by the Marine Insurance Act 1909 are specifically excluded from the scope of the IC Act.14 However, section 9A of the IC Act, inserted in 1998, brings contracts of marine insurance relating to pleasure craft within the scope of the IC Act.

Water transportation of household goods

1.28 The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) review of the Marine Insurance Act 190915 in 2001 noted that, since the inclusion of section 9A, the only area of non-commercial insurance the Marine Insurance Act currently covers is the insurance of personal effects or non-commercial goods carried by sea.16 The ALRC recommended carriage of domestic or household goods should be covered by the consumer protection provisions of the IC Act and a new section 9B should cover water transportation of goods other than goods being transported for a business, trade, profession or occupation carried on or engaged in by the insured. This proposed amendment would remove insurance for the carriage of goods for non-commercial purposes from the scope of the Marine Insurance Act.17

1.29 The Review Panel invited comments on that proposal and specifically sought views on whether there would be any negative consequences of adopting it. Most submissions were supportive of the proposal. The only negative consequence identified was that to have the IC Act cover insurance for a particular type of water transportation and the Marine Insurance Act covering the remainder might lead to some uncertainty about the respective coverage of the two Acts. However, it was also noted that if two pieces of legislation are to remain, as is proposed, it is inevitable that some demarcation issues will arise.

1.30 Following the release of the proposals paper it was also submitted that ‘by catching this type of cover under the IC Act, [as suggested in recommendation 1.5] it will bring such insurance within the scope of the retail client definition under the Corporations Act, thereby imposing all of the retail client requirements on the providers of this insurance’. 18 The ‘retail client’ definition of the Corporations Act19 states that certain general insurance products are provided to a person as a ‘retail client’, including personal and domestic property insurance. Regulation 7.1.17 of the Corporations Regulations 2001 provides that personal and domestic property insurance does not include insurance to which the Marine Insurance Act applies. If the Marine Insurance Act no longer covers insurance for water transportation of household goods, insurers offering such policies will have to provide disclosure under the FSRA. To allow insurers time to adjust to this change a transitional period may be required.

1.31 The Review Panel considers that the Marine Insurance Act does not provide sufficient consumer protection arrangements for insurance of a domestic/household character. The benefits of having appropriate consumer protection arrangements for carriage of domestic or household goods outweigh any detriment arising from possible uncertainty about the coverage of the IC Act and the Marine Insurance Act.


1.5 The IC Act and/or Marine Insurance Act 1909 should be amended so that the IC Act covers insurance of the water transportation of domestic or household goods, as recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Inland waters

1.32 A further issue surrounding the interface between the Marine Insurance Act and the IC Act arises out of the definition of ‘contract of marine insurance’ in the Marine Insurance Act. As mentioned above, if a policy is a contract of marine insurance under that Act, the IC Act does not apply. Some concern was expressed in submissions, about the implications of the decision of the High Court in Gibbs v Mercantile Mutual Insurance (Australia) Ltd.20 The majority of the Court found that a contract of marine insurance could extend to a vessel that was only traversing an estuary, rather than the open sea. The implication of this was that the IC Act did not apply to the insurance contract. The nature of the concern is that some insureds might assume that, as the insured vessels in question do not traverse the open sea, the Marine Insurance Act has no application and therefore, the IC Act would apply to the relevant insurance contracts. The decision in Gibbs means that such an assumption would not always be correct.

1.33 The ALRC in its review21 noted this potential uncertainty of the interface between the IC Act and the Marine Insurance Act arising from different interpretations of ‘sea’ in the Marine Insurance Act. The ALRC considered that, as a matter of policy, the coverage of the Marine Insurance Act should extend to inland waterways. There was no policy justification for commercial vessels (as opposed to pleasure craft, which are already carved out from the Marine Insurance Act under section 9A of the IC Act) operating on inland waters to be treated under a different legal regime to those commercial vessels operating at sea. The ALRC recommended that the uncertainty arising from the sea/inland waters distinction be addressed by amending the Marine Insurance Act to make it clear that the scope of that Act extends to risks on inland waterways.22 The Review Panel considers that if the ALRC’s recommendations on this issue are adopted, the difficulties will be appropriately addressed. Accordingly, the Review Panel does not propose any changes to the IC Act to address concerns arising from the Gibbs decision.

Application to discretionary mutual funds, direct offshore foreign insurers and insurance-like products

1.34 In response to recommendations of the HIH Royal Commission, on 12 September 2003, the Treasurer announced a review of the protection of consumers and third parties in relation to products supplied by discretionary mutual funds (DMFs) and direct offshore foreign insurers (DOFIs) in Australia.23 The Issues Paper noted the DMF/DOFI review and sought comments on whether there should be any changes to the application of the IC Act to DMFs and DOFIs, as well as insurance-like products.

Discretionary mutual funds

1.35 DMFs provide a form of cover to their members that functions like insurance. However, as the cover is discretionary, it does not fall within the scope of a ‘contract of insurance’ for the purposes of the IC Act.24

1.36 DMFs have been established to form a variety of purposes and are structured in various ways. Most take the legal form of a company limited by guarantee or an unincorporated discretionary trust. There are a range of other forms, including statutory discretionary mutual trust schemes, local government mutual funds, informal non-discretionary mutual trusts and mutual aid schemes offering insurance. Some types of DMFs hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued under the Corporations Act 2001 and some are regulated as managed investment schemes.

1.37 Some submissions to the Review Panel have argued that the IC Act should be extended to DMFs in the interests of regulatory neutrality and to ensure that consumers are adequately protected. Others have expressed caution along the lines that not all DMFs are alike and to apply the IC Act to some types would be unnecessary and inappropriate.

1.38 The report of the DMF/DOFI review recommends that the preferred regulatory approach is to require discretionary mutual cover to be regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority as a contract of insurance. The review notes that a way to achieve this is to provide in legislation that all insurance-like cover must be provided in the form of an insurance contract. If this approach were to be implemented, those products would fall within the scope of the IC Act, unless some other steps were to be taken.

1.39 The DMF/DOFI review25 recommends that there should be a facility to permit exemptions from the proposed requirements to offer the cover in the form of an insurance contract, based on the level of risk covered by the fund. In the case of products falling within the exemptions, the consumer protection framework applying to DMFs would be enhanced by:

  • improving disclosure requirements to consumers, including legislative prohibition of the terms ‘insurance’ and ‘insurer’ and legislative compulsion of disclosure of the fact that the cover is ‘discretionary’ and provided by an entity not prudentially regulated; and
  • requiring, by regulation under the Corporations Act 2001, certain consumer protection provisions applying to insurance products under the IC Act (for example, duty of information disclosure, compulsory renewal notices for members/policyholders) to apply also to DMFs.

1.40 The DMF/DOFI review also recommends that ASIC, under Australian Financial Service (AFS) licence conditions, would collect and collate data on business written by DMFs.

1.41 The Review Panel considers that adoption of the DMF/DOFI review’s recommended approach on this issue would address the issue of the application of the IC Act to DMF products. Accordingly, the Review Panel does not propose to make any further recommendations in relation to the application of the IC Act to DMFs.

Direct offshore foreign insurers

1.42 Section 8 of the IC Act extends to insurance contracts the proper law of which is or would be, without an express provision otherwise in the contract, the law of a State or Territory. Insurance contracts issued by DOFIs may therefore fall within the scope of the IC Act.26 However, determining whether the ‘proper law’ is the law of a State or Territory may involve the application of private international law rules. If a foreign law governs the contract, it can affect the insured and third party claimants.

1.43 The Issues Paper invited comments on what, if anything, should be done to make the IC Act’s application to DOFIs more effective. The submission of the Insurance Council of Australia recommended that section 8 of the IC Act be clarified to ensure that all contracts issued by DOFIs to Australian insureds or in respect of Australian risks should be expressly subjected to the provisions of the IC Act. The submission also argued that consideration should be given to appropriate mechanisms to ensure that Australian insureds are practically able to enforce the rights they have under the IC Act against DOFIs.

1.44 The Review Panel notes that the Australian Law Reform Commission considered two options for ensuring the IC Act had appropriate coverage in terms of territoriality.27 The first option was to set out in the legislation the intended territorial application, as suggested by the Insurance Council submission. The second approach, which was adopted, was to include a provision (section 8) to render choice of law clauses ineffective.

1.45 Notwithstanding that the majority of the High Court has taken an expansive view of the operation of section 8,28 there has been some doubt over its operation. The Review Panel considers that a more direct statement about the intended scope of the IC Act, possibly along the lines suggested in the Insurance Council submission, is likely to be helpful particularly in circumstances where a foreign court is called upon to determine questions of the IC Act’s applicability. This measure should go some way toward addressing the issue of practical enforcement by consumers.


1.6 The IC Act should be amended to clarify its intended territorial application to all contracts issued by direct offshore foreign insurers to Australian insureds or in respect of Australian risks.

1.46 A number of submissions and the DMF/DOFI review noted that, from 11 March 2004, some of the disclosure requirements formerly applying in respect of products offered by DOFIs under the Insurance (Agents and Brokers) Act 1984 no longer apply in all cases because the replacement provisions under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act29 apply only to products issued to ‘retail clients’.30 Under those requirements, potential insureds are advised about matters such as the lack of coverage by the Insurance Act 1973 and put on notice to inquire further about the financial soundness of the insurer and the place where any disputes may be determined. It has been suggested that those requirements should be extended to wholesale clients in addition to retail clients. The Review Panel notes that this issue is canvassed by the DMF/DOFI review and does not make any recommendation in this regard.

1.47 Another issue mentioned in submissions was the possible disadvantage to Australian insurers vis-a-vis DOFIs in relation to ‘other insurance’ provisions affected by section 45 of the IC Act. That issue is dealt with below in Chapter 8.

Other insurance-like products

1.48 There are also other insurance-like products (for example, debt waivers, some extended product warranties and indemnities) which share similar characteristics with insurance contracts. The Review Panel sought comments on whether any of these products should be subject to the IC Act.

1.49 The only specific products mentioned in submissions were extended warranties for cars and white goods. In favour of applying the IC Act to those products, it was argued that they are equivalent to insurance but in a different form. The cost of the extended warranty is effectively the premium and the risk covered is that the product will require repair within the warranty period. The fact that it is not labelled an insurance contract should not make a difference to its regulatory treatment.

1.50 There are arguments against applying the IC Act to extended warranty products. Many of the IC Act provisions, such as those dealing with subrogation of claims, duty of disclosure and fraud and misrepresentation by an insured, would appear to be unnecessary in a situation where a manufacturer is offering an extended warranty on a new product. Generally, the protections in the IC Act for both insureds and insurers have been developed with a view to insurance of covering claims that would be of potentially major significance to most consumers. To apply all the provisions of the IC Act to a product directed at, for example, covering the potential cost of repairing a dishwasher, does not seem justified.

1.51 The main distinction between an extended warranty and an ordinary warranty is that the ‘premium’ is paid separately from the purchase price of the good. No examples of difficulties faced by consumers or extended warranty providers in respect of that distinction have been identified that would make the provisions of the IC Act appropriate to apply in respect of extended warranties but not in respect of ordinary warranties.

1.52 In light of those considerations, the Review Panel does not consider that a sufficient case has been made that the IC Act should be amended to bring extended product warranties within its scope.31

2 The Insurance Council of Australia Limited released a draft revision of its General Insurance Code of Practice on 8 June 2004 for public comment, available at:

3 Codes of conduct may be approved by ASIC under section 1101A of the Corporations Act 2001.

4 See Chapter 6, ‘Remedies of insured’ below.

5 Moss v Sun Alliance Australia Ltd (1990) 55 SASR 145; (1990) 93 ALR 592; (1990) 99 FLR 77; (1990) 6 ANZ Ins Cas 60-967.

6 See, for example, Bremen, J. ‘Good Faith and Insurance Contracts — Obligations on Insurers’ (1999) 19 (1) Australian Bar Review 89 at 91.

7 The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) in its submission dated June 2004 following the release of the proposals paper argued that this recommendation is required because an industry code of conduct alone will not adequately address the issue of claims handling. The reasons being, ‘first, the Code is voluntary’ and secondly ‘the real test of any Code is whether it can be effectively enforced … Under the draft Code however, in effect the CCC (Code Compliance Committee) will only be able to address “a serious material breach or a serious systemic failure”. The CCC has limited enforcement powers in relation to other breaches. And sanctions for breaches do not extend to monetary penalties or compensation to consumers who may have been affected by the conduct.’

8 Any action taken by ASIC under section 920A of the Corporations Act 2001 is subject to due process requirements and a decision is reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal — section 1317B.

9 See Chapter 5, ‘Standard Cover’ below.

10 Australia, Parliament 1984, House of Representatives, Insurance Contracts Bill 1984, Explanatory Memorandum at page 18.

11 (2001) 205 CLR 149.

12 Subsections 761G(11), 764A(1A) and 764A(1B) of the Corporations Act 2001.

13 While the Insurance Council (in its submission dated June 2004 following the release of the proposals paper) supported recommendation 1.3 it submitted, inter alia, the term ‘employment related personal injury’ needed to be carefully defined. The Review Panel believes this is a drafting issue.

14 Paragraph 9(1)(d) of the IC Act.

15 Australian Law Reform Commission 2001, Review of the Marine Insurance Act 1909, ALRC 91, Australian Law Reform Commission, Sydney.

16 ALRC 91, paragraph 8.16.

17 ALRC 91, recommendation 2.

18 See submission by Mark Radford dated June 2004.

19 ‘Retail client’ is defined in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001.

20 (2003) 199 ALR 497; (2003) 77 ALJR 1396; (2003) 12 ANZ Ins Cas 61-570.

21 ALRC 91, paragraphs 8.73–8.86.

22 ALRC 91, recommendation 5.

23 See Treasurer’s media release No 082, 12 September 2003, available at

24 See ASIC’s submission to the Review of Discretionary Mutual Funds and Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers, available at

25 See Key Findings of the Review of Discretionary Mutual Funds and Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers, available at

26 See, for example, Akai Pty Ltd v People’s Insurance Co Ltd (1996) 188 CLR 418.

27 Australian Law Reform Commission 1982, Insurance Contracts, ALRC 20, AGPS, Canberra, paragraph 15.

28 See Akai Pty Ltd v People’s Insurance Co Ltd (1996) 188 CLR 418.

29 See, in particular, paragraph 1013D(4)(c) of the Corporations Act 2001 and Corporations Regulation 7.9.15 for the relevant requirements for inclusion in the Product Disclosure Statement.

30 Retail clients are defined in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001.

31 The Review Panel does not consider that its conclusion in this regard is relevant to the question of how the products or product providers in question are regulated under other laws including the financial services provisions of the Corporations Act 2001.


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