News eDaily11 Apr 2017

Australia:Coles quietly drops sales of life insurance products

11 Apr 2017

Supermarket giant Coles has withdrawn from the life insurance market, three years after it entered the sector.

The move, which was not previously publicised, was made as the group turns away from financial services under Coles boss John Durkan, reported The Sydney Morning Herald which is part of Fairfax Media. Mr Durkan joined Coles in 2008 and was appointed Managing Director in July 2014.

Coles started selling life insurance in May 2014, promoting coverage for as little as A$1 (75 US cents) a week and promising to beat a direct life insurer's price on comparable premiums.

In response to Fairfax Media's inquiries, Coles said: "As part of a regular review of our product portfolio, Coles ceased distributing life insurance products on 1 January.

"From this date, Coles Life Insurance customers who hold a current policy became MetLife customers.

"MetLife, which has backed Coles Life Insurance policies since their launch, has provided these customers with continuation of cover and no changes have been made to the product as a result of Coles exiting life insurance. The process for customer queries and claims is also unchanged."

Coles continues to sell car, home and landlord insurance, and distribute credit cards.

Rival Woolworths, which has sold insurance products –car, home, landlords, pet, life, travel and funeral –since 2012, said it had no plans to stop selling life insurance.



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