Finance Finance News Commonwealth Bank to refund $12m after admitting to criminal breaches over phone sales
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Commonwealth Bank to refund $12m after admitting to criminal breaches over phone sales

CommInsure case.
CBA-owned CommInsure will refund more than $12 million to life insurance customers after pleading guilty to unlawfully selling policies over the phone. Photo: AAP
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CommInsure will refund more than $12 million to about 30,000 life insurance customers after pleading guilty to 87 counts of unlawfully selling policies over the phone.

The Commonwealth Bank-owned insurer pleaded guilty to the hawking charges brought by the financial regulator and expects to refund customers by the end of this year.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission flagged a number of issues with CommInsure over the sale of its accidental death insurance, including the fact that almost half the policies sold in 2012/13 were cancelled within six months and that the speed of sales indicated customers could not have made an informed purchase.

Citing a previous report, ASIC found almost half of the “‘Accident Protection’’ policies sold by CBA’s CommInsure in 2012-13 had been cancelled within six months of buying the policies. The regulator said this suggested consumers “may have felt pressured to buy the policy then realised they did not want it or could not afford it.”

“ASIC is concerned that the way in which these products were sold was manifestly unfair, with customers given insufficient information to make an informed decision,” the watchdog’s deputy chairman, Daniel Crennan QC, said.

-with AAP