The Insurance Contracts Amendment Regulation 2015 (No 1) (Cth) has recently been enacted. This instrument makes important changes to the recommended wording of notifications (contained in the Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 (Cth)) to be provided to insureds regarding their duty of disclosure pursuant to s22 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).

These changes will impact insurers who underwrite contracts of general insurance, life insurance and “eligible” contracts of insurance (“eligible” meaning contracts of motor vehicle, home building or contents, sickness and accident, consumer credit and travel insurance).

For insurance contracts entered into prior to 28 December 2015, insurers may continue to use the wording as prescribed in the previous form of the regulations, but the new wordings will need to be adopted for contracts entered into on or after this date. On the renewal of “eligible” contracts of insurance on or after 28 December 2015 the wording as outlined in Part 4 of schedule 1 of the amended regulations will need to be adopted.

It is important that insurers ensure that their notifications reflect the new wordings well in advance of 28 December 2015, and seek legal advice should they require assistance. The amended Insurance Contracts Regulations 1985 (Cth) can be reviewed at the following link:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_reg/icr1985329/index.html.