Submission to: Senate Community Affairs References Committee We do not support the continuation of the Centrelink automated debt collection process (robodebt). We remain concerned that debts claimed are inaccurate and people who may be experiencing vulnerability are paying debts they do not owe. Centrelink must be sure that a debt is owed before it commences any debt collection process and has the onus of proof. The debt collection process must be designed to be fair and take extra care in all circumstances as it is likely that the person receiving Centrelink is in financial difficulty, disadvantaged or vulnerable.
The Financial Services Royal Commission recommended improvements in consumer protection for insurance claims handling. We support that recommendation and the draft legislation to implement it.
The proposed changes will ensure that insurance claims are covered under the definition of “Financial Service” in the Corporations Act and improve disclosure when settling an insurance claim. This will be beneficial for people claiming on their insurance policies.
Additional protections are needed in the proposed laws however, to protect people from exploitation, including extending the legislation to include paid claims handling services and life insurance. There should also be additional protections for people settling an insurance claim following a natural disaster.