THE corporate watchdog has nipped Suncorp for the third time in 22 months over products and services sold by the insurance-banking giant.
The latest recrimination was against Brisbane-based Suncorp’s AAMI brand for online and television advertisements that boasted of saving customers “AN AVERAGE OF $357 OFF YOUR NEW POLICY”.
But the catch was this saving was worked out by choosing different AAMI premiums with different levels of excess — not comparing a competitor’s product.
The calculation was spelled out in the fine print, but ASIC branded this wording as ineffective.
“The fine print text disclaimer that attempted to explain the savings was so obscure that it was almost impossible for viewers to understand the underlying reality,” ASIC said.
“Advertised savings must be reasonably achievable and properly and prominently explained,” ASIC said.
ASIC also claimed Suncorp knew customers did not choose the maximum excess, yet still did not adequately convey to policyholders they would need to select the maximum level of excess, and then compare it to the minimum level of excess, to get the savings.
Suncorp has paid $20,400 in fines.
The insurance company said it became aware of a “possible issue” with its advertisement wording “that could be perceived as misleading”. It then changed the advertisements to stop any misunderstanding.Author: Liam Walsh
Source: The Courier-Mail