King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 3

What’s unfair? — Insurance Contracts Amendment (Unfair Terms) Bill 2013

The Federal Government has released the Insurance Contracts Amendment (Unfair Terms) Bill 2013, which amends the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth) (ICA) to provide protection for consumers against unfair contract terms in respect of standard form general insurance contracts. The amendment bill follows in the footsteps of the Insurance Contracts Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth).

The amendment bill largely replicates the unfair contracts regime contained in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act (ASIC Act) 2001 that applies to financial products and services. Until now, general insurance products have been carved out from the operation of any other Commonwealth, State or Territory Act that provides relief in the form of judicial review of unfair contract terms through the exemption contained in ICA section 15. This exemption extended to exclude the application of subdivision BA of the ASIC Act, which regulates unfair contractual terms in consumer financial products and services. Comment on this draft Bill was closed for public comment on 31 May 2013…

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