Allianz faces a maximum penalty of A$8mn for each of seven charges for making false or misleading statements regarding the sale of travel insurance products.
ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) has laid criminal charges against Allianz Australia Insurance and AWP Australia for allegedly making false statements in the sale of travel insurance products.
Allianz is charged with seven counts, and AWP with one count, of making false or misleading statements regarding the sale of Allianz domestic and international travel insurance products.
Allianz was the underwriter of the travel insurance products and AWP was a distributor of the products.
ASIC alleges that between 2016 and 2018, Allianz and AWP published information online, including on Allianz’s domestic, basic and comprehensive travel insurance web pages, that misrepresented the characteristics or level of coverage of travel insurance on sale to consumers.
ASIC also alleges that Allianz’s website advertised the maximum travel insurance benefits payable to customers, but failed to state that particular sub-limits, terms, conditions or exclusions could operate to limit those benefits.
The criminal charges allege that the two firms’ conduct contravened the Corporations Act 2001, and could face a maximum penalty for each of the charges of AUD 8 million.
Both companies appeared at the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday (23 February). The matter is set to come for further mention on 20 April.
On 30 September 2020, ASIC commenced separate civil proceedings in the Federal court action against Allianz and AWP for allegedly misleading consumers on Expedia travel websites. In November, ASIC secured AUD 10 million in refunds for over 30,000 customers that were wrongly sold travel insurance by Allianz and its partners.