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Keywords:

  • insurance;
  • business;
  • regulation;
  • Australia
  • G22;
  • N27;
  • N47;
  • N87

The regulatory environment in which the Australian life insurance industry operates has its antecedents in two major periods of legislative intervention. The first established the principle of ‘freedom with disclosure’ in the 1870s, which has since formed the basis of the regulatory approach. In the 1940s, the second refined the concept in the context of a general recognition of an interventionist approach to financial markets. It is suggested that regulation of the life insurance market in Australia came about not in response to problems associated with market failure but in reaction to external influences not directly related to conditions in the Australian life insurance industry. This was impacted not only on the timing of intervention but on the approach taken as well.