Financial services designs and provides products that help people and families set financial goals for the future and remain financially secure. But sometimes there are unintended consequences and the risk a product could be used for ill. Reflective thinking is where ethics plays an important role to deeply consider ALL consequences. Here is a case study from a financial institution – Allianz – that has undergone a process to have a deeper understanding of how their products can be used. They are sharing this with the aim of raising industry and community awareness.
When thinking of family or domestic violence, many people think of emotional or physical abuse. However financial abuse – which includes the manipulation of joint insurance policies – is another very real form that perpetrators use to inflict harm.
Allianz is committed to helping all customers feel safe, supported and informed, and was concerned that its general insurance products were being used to inflict further harm in family violence settings. So, Allianz partnered with UNSW's Gendered Violence Research Network (GVRN) to explore the risks of insurance in family violence settings and how it can better support customers who may be experiencing vulnerability.
The study revealed that there are complex domestic and family violence issues in an insurance context, paired with low consumer understanding, that require a tailored and sensitive response.
Allianz is working to ensure the community and consumers are aware of the risks associated with insurance products and how they can be used as a means of abuse. The Understanding family violence and risks of insurance report is now available on the Allianz Australia website, alongside the Insurance and family violence toolkit - a guide detailing the steps for Australians to consider with regards to insurance when going through a separation or experiencing family violence.
Find out more in the Allianz media release.