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Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme is easy to talk to

26 October 2012

Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme is easy to talk to

In 2011-2012, 97.7% of people who brought a complaint to the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme said their case manager was helpful and easy to talk to on the phone.

93.2% of people agreed the ISO Scheme’s service was easy to use and 95.5% found the reasons for the decision made about the complaint were explained clearly.

Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, said she was delighted by such feedback for another year. “These survey results are a useful measure of how well we are meeting consumers’ needs. The decision to bring a complaint to us in the first place can be difficult for some people. Complaint resolution requires sensitivity as it is often a stressful time for the complainant - especially if the outcome does not meet their expectations. Knowing that consumers think we’re helpful and easy to talk to confirms we’re doing a good job. It’s also pleasing to see that people who have used the ISO service rate it so highly – it shows they have confidence in the process.”

Since the ISO Scheme was established in 1995, it has handled more than 39,554 enquiries and investigated more than 4,669 complaints from consumers. The ISO Scheme has 17 years’ experience in financial sector dispute resolution.

Regulation of the financial services sector in 2010 led to the ISO Scheme’s most significant expansion since its inception. Membership expanded dramatically from about 50 insurance and savings organisations to include all financial service providers. Currently, the ISO Scheme has about 2,500 Participants, including: insurance and savings organisations, financial advisers, financial adviser businesses, finance companies, brokers, QFEs, credit contract providers, trustees, trustee corporations and other financial service providers.

About 40 complaints and over 800 complaint enquiries about the Canterbury earthquakes have been received by the ISO Scheme. “We understand it is likely to take some time for claims to go through insurers’ internal dispute resolution processes, before being able to be referred to us”, Ms Stevens said. However, to provide as much information as possible for earthquake affected residents and small businesses in Canterbury, the ISO Scheme has produced consumer information sheets, to assist with insurance related issues, together with FAQs and case studies, all of which are available on the website www.iombudsman.org.nz

Quick facts for 2011-2012

Volume
• 2,833 complaint enquiries
• 242 complaints received
• 219 complaints resolved
• 75 days on average to resolve complaints

Outcomes
• 26% complaints settled, upheld or partly upheld in favour of consumer, or withdrawn
• 74% complaints not upheld
• about $1 million was paid to consumers who had their complaints considered by the ISO Scheme (not including weekly disability benefit payments under income protection, superannuation or life policies).

Service
• 97.7% said their case manager was helpful and easy to talk to
• 95.5% said the reasons for the decision made about their complaint were explained clearly
• 93.2% said the service is easy to use

More information can be found in the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme’s 2012 Annual Report, “Building on experience”; 17 years’ experience in financial sector dispute resolution.

Download the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme’s 2012 Annual Report.

The ISO Scheme is a complaint resolution service which is independent, impartial and free to consumers.

ENDS

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