Shares in Freedom Insurance are being crushed

Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Shares in Freedom Insurance fell hard in early trade after the company ditched its CEO, announced redundancies and stopped direct sales of its policies.

A short time ago, the shares were down 26% to $0.096, a long way from the 12 month high of $0.74.

Freedom announced it’s shedding 140 jobs and cutting costs by at least $15 million after suspending direct sales of its risk life insurance.

The restructure follows moves by the corporate regulator ASIC to rein in direct sales of insurance to protect consumers from junk policies and high pressure tactics.

CEO Keith Cohen has left the company he founded in late 2009 and has been replaced by Craig Orton, who joined Freedom in in February this year as Chief Operating Officer.

Orton represented the company at the financial services royal commission where he apologised on behalf of Freedom for selling life and funeral insurance to a intellectually disabled man.

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