‘Consumers should be confident that they are paying the price and getting the benefits that they understand they are getting. ASIC will continue to monitor advertising to ensure it is not misleading.’
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said ‘Insurance and other financial products should not be promoted in a way that misleads consumers about the price and benefits of the product.’
Following concerns raised by ASIC, ACE Insurance Limited (ACE Insurance) and Tiger Airways Australia Pty Limited (Tigerair) have removed misleading promotional statements on their websites about ACE Insurance travel insurance policies. Separately, ACE Insurance has responded to ASIC’s concerns about the misleading promotion of Priceline Protects Bill Protection Insurance Policy.
ACE Insurance and Tigerair’s promotion of ACE Insurance’s Tigerinsure travel insurance policies on their websites included claims that the insurance policies covered flight cancellation and amendment, loss of deposits and cancellation charges. However, the Tigerinsure policies excluded cover for Tigerair’s delays, cancellation or rescheduling. ASIC was concerned that the website representations were not consistent with the cover as set out in the policies and product disclosure statements. Following concerns raised by ASIC, ACE Insurance and Tigerair removed the misleading representations.
In a separate matter, the Priceline Protects Bill Protection insurance policy was promoted on the Priceline website as providing ‘up to $2,500 cover per month’ with ‘competitive premiums from $2.80* per week.’ However, in order to receive this maximum cover per month, premiums would cost around $13 per week, over four times more than the advertised price. ASIC was concerned that referring to the maximum benefit of cover (‘up to $2,500’) in conjunction with the minimum premium payable (‘from $2.80 per week’), could mislead consumers about the price of the benefit being promoted. After ASIC raised its concerns, ACE Insurance has agreed to contact its current and former policy holders and offer them a full refund of the premiums paid. ACE Insurance is no longer selling this product.
ASIC acknowledges the cooperative approach taken in responding to its concerns.