Australian court orders Allianz pay $1.1 million penalty for travel insurance sales

FILE PHOTO: Flags with the logo of Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, are pictured before the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Munich, Germany May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

(Reuters) – An Australian court fined local units of Allianz SE for selling travel insurance to ineligible customers and not properly disclosing how it calculated premiums on Expedia websites, the country’s corporate watchdog said on Tuesday.

Two units of German insurer Allianz were fined a total of A$1.5 million ($1.12 million) in a civil case here brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in September last year.

The units, Allianz Australia and AWP Australia, committed A$10 million in October last year to compensate around 31,500 customers who were sold potentially incorrect travel insurance through Allianz’s own website and Expedia, ASIC said.

Allianz Australia issued the travel insurance while AWP handled its sale.

ASIC said the court took into consideration the early admission by the Allianz companies in deciding the penalty.

Allianz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The insurance industry needs to be transparent and accurate when selling and promoting their products,” ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said in a statement.

The two units also face separate criminal charges here for allegedly making inaccurate statements between 2016 and 2018 when selling both domestic and international travel insurance.

($1 = 1.3444 Australian dollars)

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