Committed to a sustainable future
We are focused on leading by example when working with our partners, industry bodies and regulators, and making active contributions to raising industry standards. We also have a responsibility to deliver long-term sustainable performance in the products and services we provide. We want our customers, partners and stakeholders to be confident that our organisation and our industry will be here to deliver on our commitments now and far into the future.
Working with industry for better outcomes
The Financial Services Council (FSC) Life Insurance Code of Practice (Code), of which TAL is a signatory, sets out higher standards for our industry, reduces complexity for customers, and makes it easier to engage with our industry. It is an important part of the architecture of the life insurance industry and TAL continues to invest in meeting our obligations, with Code responsibilities embedded into our day-to-day business operations and management structures. Recognising that consumer expectations continue to develop, TAL is supporting the FSC to develop a new version of the Code that further strengthens obligations on Australian life insurers. Our hope is the new Code inspires consumers to place their trust in life insurance and be confident they can rely on their policy to support them whenever they need it.
In April 2021, TAL came together with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance & Finance (ANZIIF) and the life insurance industry to launch an industry-wide Professional Standards Framework. The framework formalises standards for professional excellence by implementing a consistent ‘Foundation’ requirement for all life insurance claims and underwriting professionals, consisting of four Certificate IV competencies including; ethics, sustainability, products and services, and law and regulation. The framework will enhance existing skills and capabilities in the industry and sits alongside the industry commitments set out in the Life Insurance Code of Practice which, together, put in place important long-term commitments by the life insurance industry to deliver for our customers and the community.
Sustainable insurance for working Australians
Superannuation plays a critical role in ensuring life and disability insurance is accessible to more Australians, in an affordable way. TAL is privileged to partner with many of Australia’s leading superannuation funds to provide consumers access to life insurance cover. Through TAL’s specialist Member Engagement and Innovation team, we continue to work with our superannuation fund partners to deliver insurance that is tailored to the needs of their member base and sustainable for the long-term.
A sustainable financial advice model
TAL believes in the important role of a healthy and vibrant financial advice sector in contributing to the financial wellbeing of many Australian families. The sustainability and accessibility of life insurance go hand in hand. TAL’s business model reflects the principle that Australians should have choice in how they access life insurance. TAL, together with other insurers, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), has supported the Choice and Access to Life Insurance (CALI) research, which advocates for ensuring all Australians can access the right life insurance through affordable financial advice, now and into the future.
An important aspect of this is the Australian Government’s decision to move the standalone Life Insurance Framework review into the broader Quality of Advice review, set to occur in 2022-23. This will allow the proper consideration of commissions against the broader context of advice policy settings, including the accessibility and affordability of advice. TAL looks forward to working with Government, regulators and industry on this important review.
Individual Disability Income Insurance products
For customers unable to work due to illness or injury, Individual Disability Income Insurance (IDII) products meet a critical consumer need by providing a replacement for their income. For long-term sustainability, these products need continuous development to meet the changing needs of our customers. TAL has been remodelling its IDII products as a pathway to ensure they are sustainable for customers. This includes extensive research with over 1,300 customers and 145 advisers in addition to input from our Customer Consultation Board. This is essential industry work to ensure we meet our long-term obligations to customers, and that our products continue to represent good value for all our customers.
Investing in professional development
TAL remains dedicated to the ongoing professional development and life insurance education of financial advisers and our superannuation fund partners. We offer an industry-leading education program through TAL Risk Academy, which offers financial advisers access to a range of virtual, on-demand and face-to-face courses accredited by the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). Now in its seventh year, the TAL Risk Academy supports advisers’ education goals by offering flexible learning pathways that suit advisers at every stage of their career.
The majority of TAL Risk Academy courses are free of charge, aside from the Risk Academy Masterclasses, which incur a $55 fee that TAL donates fully to the Australian Business Community Network (ABCN) to help students from lower socio-economic backgrounds access quality education and reach their full potential.
During TAL’s 2020 financial year, we supported 5,043 advisers and their support staff through TAL Risk Academy programs, providing 25,737 Continuing Professional Development hours in accreditation to support their learning.
TAL Risk Academy achievements since its inception in 2015 :
65,000+ course enrolments
$632,000 raised for charity
4.7/5 satisfaction rating
For our superannuation fund partners, TAL delivered regular partner forums that bring together insurance industry leaders to discuss key aspects of insurance in super, regulatory changes, and the holistic health and wellbeing of superannuation fund members.