ClearView life insurance refunds

Are you owed a refund for your life insurance?

ClearView Life Assurance Limited will refund over $1.5 million to 16,000 customers after pressuring them to buy life insurance over the phone. 1,166 customers were living in high Indigenous populated areas - many of whom were unlikely to have English as their first language.

ASIC's review of ClearView's sales calls revealed unfair sales practices during the period 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2017.

Here we explain if you are entitled to a refund on your life insurance and how you can claim it.

What did ClearView do wrong?

ASIC's review found ClearView sales staff:

  • charged customers for insurance policies without their consent
  • made misleading statements about the cover, the premiums and the effect of any pre-existing medical conditions
  • did not give customers the product disclosure statement (PDS) when they asked for it
  • used pressure tactics to sell the policies.

ClearView has also stopped calling people to sell life insurance.

Which life insurance policies are due a refund?

The life insurance policies include funeral, illness, injury and accident insurance as well as BUPA-branded policies. If you purchased any of the following policies between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2017, you may be entitled to a refund:

  • ClearView Accidental Death
  • ClearView Life Insurance
  • ClearView Funeral Insurance
  • ClearView Injury Cash Insurance
  • ClearView Serious Illness Insurance
  • ClearView LifeSolutions Essentials
  • Bupa Accidental Death
  • Bupa Life Insurance
  • Bupa Funeral Insurance
  • Bupa Injury Cash Insurance
  • Bupa Serious Illness Insurance

Even though some of these policies are branded as BUPA, they are actually offered by ClearView.

How do I know if I was pressured into buying or mis-sold insurance?

Here are some signs you were pressured into buying an insurance policy:

  • Buy now pay later was untrue - It was not clear when the first premium was due and you were told you could get your insurance now and pay for it later, but the payments were due on the day the policy started.
  • No time given to talk it over with family - When you asked for more time to think about the policy or discuss it with your family, you were told you could get the insurance now and review it later. The truth was, if you cancelled it in the cooling-off period you would get your money back but if you cancelled it after that you would lose the money you had paid in premiums.
  • A check for eligibility was really buying the insurance - The sales person took all your personal and bank account details saying they were confirming your eligibility but really they were signing you up for the insurance.
  • Don't worry, just buy it - The sales representative may have repeatedly told you not to worry and that you could cancel the insurance at any time. The truth was you could only cancel it, without losing the premiums you had already paid, during the 14 day cooling-off period.

Here are some signs you were mis-sold an insurance policy:

  • No PDS given to explain the insurance - You asked for a product disclosure statement but it was not sent to you so you could not find out the details of the policy.
  • Pre-existing conditions not explained - You were not told about the pre-existing conditions exclusions that would not allow you to claim. For example, if you had a heart problem before you bought the policy, you would not be able to claim on it if you had a heart attack and hadn't told the insurance company about this before you bought the insurance.
  • Premiums would stay the same - You were told that your premiums would not go up and they did.
  • Misled about coverage - You were told your policy would cover a type of accident that it didn't cover, like a broken finger when the policy only covered more substantial broken bones.

Am I entitled to a refund from ClearView?

If you are entitled to a refund, ClearView will pay the money directly into the bank account or credit card you used to pay for the policy.

If the bank account or credit card you used is no longer valid, you should contact ClearView by calling 1800 213 839 or emailing remediation@clearview.com.au.

The refund you receive will depend on how long you held the policy for if it has ended. 

If your policy has ended

If you stopped paying or never paid premiums for your insurance policy in the first 3 months, or cancelled the policy soon after you bought it, you'll receive all the premiums back that you paid plus interest and any bank fees.

Indigenous consumers will receive back premiums they paid within the first 5 months if they cancelled the policy or stopped making payments on the policy within that time.

All refunds will be paid into your bank account or the credit card you used to pay for the policy. ClearView will let you know you have been paid a refund by sending you a letter or email.

ClearView is also offering a 50% refund on premiums paid plus interest for some of their policies that lapsed within the first four to 12 months (or six and 12 months for Indigenous consumers).

If your policy ended after you held it for 12 months, then ClearView will also offer to review the sales call and if there is evidence you were pressured into buying they will refund you 50% of the money you paid plus interest.

If your policy is still current

If your life insurance policy is current and you took it out between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2017, ClearView will contact you via mail or email to tell you that you may be due a refund. They will offer to review your sales call to see if you were mis-sold or pressured into taking out the insurance.

If you think you might be eligible for a refund and have not been contacted by ClearView, please contact them on 1800 213 839 or via email at remediation@clearview.com.au.

You can request a review of your sales call

ClearView will also contact an additional 16,116 customers who were sold life insurance over the phone between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2017, offering to review their sales call to see if there is evidence of mis-selling or pressure sales. 

If you were pressured to buy

If you think you were pressured into buying the policy you should ask ClearView to review the sales call. If they find evidence that the salesperson has pressured you into buying the policy, you will be refunded 50% of the premiums you paid and interest.

If you were given the wrong information about the policy

If you think you were mis-sold the policy, you should ask ClearView to review the sales call. If they find evidence of mis-selling, ClearView will update your policy to the level of cover you thought you were buying.

If you were told your premiums would not increase over time, ClearView will update your premium to the amount you were told on the phone and refund the money you have paid over that amount.

What if you are still not happy?

If you are not happy with your refund or with the outcome of ClearView's review you should lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you need help with your complaint you can get help from a free financial counsellor.

Case study: George gets a refund on his ClearView insurance

Man on phone to insurer

Here is a typical example of what a customer will get back on their insurance.

George got a call from Clearview about life insurance and gave them his bank account details when asked so he could get a quote. The following week, George's car broke down and he had to pay a lot of money to get it fixed. George didn't know the insurance policy had started as he was waiting to get information about the policy in the post, so he wasn't expecting the monthly insurance premium ($75) to be deducted from his bank account.

As George didn't have $75 in his account, his bank charged him a dishonour fee of $5. When George received his pay a week later, the direct debit of the insurance premium went through. When George saw that $75 had been deducted from his account, he rang Clearview and cancelled the policy.

George will receive a refund of $84.69 from ClearView ($75 premium, $5 bank fee and interest of 5.86% pa).

How do I complain about policies from other insurers?

If you have a life insurance policy that is not with ClearView but you think you were mis-sold or pressured into buying it, you should lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you need help lodging a complaint, you can talk to a free and independent financial counsellor by calling 1800 007 007 during business hours, or find one near you by using our online financial counsellors map.

How do I know if an insurance policy is right for me?

Our life insurance page explains the different types of life insurance, and what to find out before you buy a policy.

Our funeral insurance webpage explains what funeral insurance gives you and your family and explains other ways to cover your funeral costs.

By law, insurance companies cannot call you and pressure you into buying insurance or make incorrect statements about their products. If you think this has happened to you, you should make a complaint.


Related links


Last updated: 14 Jun 2018