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Thursday 28 January 2016

16-014MR ASIC stops misleading website advertising by ACE Insurance, Tigerair and Priceline

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.

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.'

'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.'

Advice for consumers

ACE Insurance will contact all Priceline Protects Bill Protection Insurance policyholders about their policies. If consumers have any queries about their Priceline Protects Bill Protection Insurance Policy, they should contact ACE Insurance on 1800 023 804.

Consumers should contact ACE Insurance if they have any concerns about their ACE Insurance travel insurance.  ACE Insurance's telephone number (for the travel insurance policies) is 1800 803 548.

Background

ACE Insurance is the issuer of the Tigerinsure domestic insurance, the Tigerinsure International insurance and the ACE Annual Travel Insurance Policy. Tiger Airways Australia Pty Limited is an authorised representative of ACE Insurance Limited.

The Priceline Protects Bill Protection Insurance Policy was issued by ACE Insurance Limited, and promoted and distributed by Priceline Pty Limited. 

ASIC has published Regulatory Guide 234 Advertising financial products and services (including credit): Good practice guidance (RG 234). It contains guidance to help promoters and publishers comply with their legal obligations under consumer protection laws.

ASIC will continue to monitor advertising activities to ensure that advertising provides clear, accurate and balanced messages to assist consumers make informed decisions when purchasing financial products and services.

ASIC has taken action against the following organisations for misleading advertising:

  • InsuranceLine penalised for misleading advertising (refer: 15-361MR).
  • OCM pays $30,600 penalty for misleading advertising (refer: 15-321MR).
  • Mortgage broking firm responds to ASIC's concerns about misleading advertising in Chinese language (refer: 15-292MR).
  • Perth-based Nicheliving companies penalised for misleading advertising. (refer: 15-215MR).
  • Dixon Advisory Group pays an infringement notice for potentially misleading advertising (refer: 15-207MR).
  • Omniwealth pays penalty for potentially misleading advertising (refer: 15-190MR).
  • Australian Financial Planning Solutions pays $10,200 penalty for misleading advertising (refer: 15-052MR).
  • Equanimity penalised for misleading ads (refer: 15-043MR).
  • Make it Mine Finance Pty Ltd pays $20,400 penalty for misleading advertising (refer: 14-198MR).
  • Esuperfund Pty Ltd pays $30,600 penalty for misleading advertising (refer: 14-196MR).
  • Virgin Money pays 30600 dollar penalty for misleading advertising (refer: 14-091MR).
  • Wealth Within Ltd pays $20,400 in penalties over misleading advertising (refer: 14-075MR).
  • Small amount lender pays $30,600 penalty for misleading online advertisements (refer: 14-065MR).
  • SuperHelp Australia Pty Ltd pays infringement notice in relation to FREE SMSF fund setup claims (refer: 14-051MR).
  • Finance broker pays $20,400 infringement notice penalty (refer: 14-022MR).
  • Media Super pays infringement notice in relation to superannuation advertising (refer: 14-001MR).
  • HSBC Bank Australia changed the advertising for its ‘Let’s Bankercise’ campaign, in response to ASIC concerns that ads promoting a home loan discount were potentially misleading (refer: 12-73AD).

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Last updated: 20/07/2016 12:41