News

This travel insurance company misled clients for 6 years

Allianz has been misleading their travel insurance clients by keeping deceptive and incorrect information on its websites as far back as July 2012 to earlier this year, a royal commission has heard.

The financial services royal commission revealed that the insurer did not act for years, despite knowing about the issue.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an external law firm raised concerns back in 2015 about the use of the word ‘unlimited’ in some travel insurance when there was, in fact, a limit of $1,000.

There was also claims that policies were available worldwide despite exclusions for countries on a government-issued no travel list, writes the New Daily.

It’s estimated that there were 120 errors on the website all up, and 29 on travel insurance alone, concerning incorrect legal disclosures or statements that just didn’t add up.

The royal commission heard that about 2 million people purchased travel insurance from the company and its partners during the time the group would have been affected by the statements.

Michael Winter. Image source: AFR
Michael Winter. Image source: AFR

Senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr QC, presented Allianz executive Michael Winter with a range of documents that proved the misleading statements were known to the company as far back as 2015.

“I want to put to you that the sequence of events that I’ve taken you to demonstrate that it was more important at Allianz to protect the bottom line than to stop misleading your customers?” Orr said according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Yes,” Winter replied.

Orr said the problem was only amended after Allianz realised the problem also affected 76 of their partners including airlines and financial institutions.

She also asked if Allianz takes compliance seriously.

“Yes. But we don’t see that in this series of events,” Winter said.

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