What's in a Contract?

October 2008

Paper, and lots of it!

With approximately 80% of the 13.5 million registered vehicles in Australia being comprehensively insured, the compulsory hardcopy paperwork for policyholders - Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) - certainly piles up.

If the average general insurance PDS contains approximately 30 A4 pages and if multiplied by 10.8 million comprehensively insured Australian policyholders, enough paper is used end-to-end to circle the earth more than twice, or to add further perspective, cover 3060 football fields.

Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) General Manager Communications Paul Giles believes that the time for major change has come for the country’s general insurance industry.

“The Insurance Council of Australia and the general insurance industry is continually exploring innovative methods and solutions for PDS delivery. In the future, these methods may include shorter PDS or online delivery of a PDS to consumers,” Mr Giles said.

“Any possible changes would be designed to assist consumers in their understanding and access to the contents of the PDS for the insurance product they have purchased,” he said.

General Manager for low cost car insurer Budget Direct John Dujmovic agreed, saying the need for changes to current government regulation was well overdue.

“If the federal government is expecting serious change in the way our industry operates to accommodate environmental sustainability, then insurers must be able to provide PDS’ electronically to policyholders wherever possible,” Mr Dujmovic said.

“Our industry already uses substantial quantities of paper product in its marketing and advertising initiatives each year, so to remove the need for hardcopy production of PDS’ to policyholders would create a significant impact.

“Budget Direct’s underwriting practices already utilise the electronic recording of information and document storage as its standard procedure, so if we didn’t have to mail a bulky PDS to each policyholder, we’d have a virtually paperless office system, which is a big plus for the environment,” he said.

About Budget Direct

Budget Direct is a cheap car insurance provider that offers competitive car insurance to drivers in Australia. Budget Direct is a wholly owned Australian insurance provider and is part of the international Budget Insurance group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The Budget Insurance group of companies administers more than 3 million policies and $1 billion in premium. Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd underwrites Budget Direct’s policies.

To compare car insurance go to www.budgetdirect.com.au.

For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or mediaenquiries@budgetdirect.com.au

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.