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

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Terms of Reference

The review of the operation of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (the Act) is to be conducted having regard to the following:

  1. Whether the rights and obligations of insurers and insureds (including persons seeking insurance) under the Act continue to be appropriate, including in light of:
    • product, regulatory and other developments in the financial services industry (particularly the insurance sector) since the Act was enacted; and
    • judicial interpretation of the Act.
  2. Whether any amendments to the Act are required to take account of the matters set out in item 1, and whether there are any deficiencies in the Act, such as aspects of the relationship between insurers and insureds that are not adequately covered;
  3. Whether any amendments are warranted in order to remove ambiguity and more clearly express the intent of the Act; and
  4. Any other matters relating to the Act which the reviewers consider it appropriate to examine.

A written report on the findings of the review is to be provided to the Government before the end of June 2004.

Given concerns that section 54 of the Act may be adversely impacting on the cost and availability of professional indemnity and similar types of insurance, a preliminary report on urgent issues relating to that section is to be provided to the Government by 31 October 2003, in order that any resultant legislative amendments can be implemented at the earliest available opportunity.