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Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Service is Easy to Use


6 September 2011

Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Service is Easy to Use

In 2010-2011, 97.5% of people who brought complaints to the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman found the dispute resolution service easy to use.

95% of people agreed the reasons for the decision made about their complaint were explained clearly to them, and 97.5% said their case manager was helpful and easy to talk to on the phone.

Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Karen Stevens said she was delighted by the feedback. “Our customer response surveys 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. It’s 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 was established in 1995 it has handled more than 36,700 enquiries and investigated more than 4,400 complaints.

Regulation of the financial services sector in 2010-2011 led to the ISO Scheme’s most significant expansion since its inception. Membership expanded dramatically to include all financial service providers. Currently the ISO Scheme has over 1,400 Participants.

“Only a few complaints arising from the Canterbury Earthquakes have been received by the ISO Scheme, but 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.

The ISO Scheme has produced consumer information sheets for earthquake affected residents and small businesses in Canterbury. These are available on the ISO’s website.

A dedicated Earthquake Response Team has also been set up at the ISO to handle earthquake-related complaints and enquiries as swiftly as possible.

Almost $1,500,000 was paid by Participants to consumers who had their complaints considered by the ISO (not including weekly disability benefit payments under income protection, superannuation or life policies).

• 1,625 enquiries
• 250 complaints received
• 281 complaints resolved
• 89 days on average to resolve complaints
• 27% complaints settled
• 12 % complaints upheld or partly upheld in favour of consumer, or withdrawn
• 61% complaints not upheld
• 97.5% said the service is easy to use
• 97.5% said their case manager was helpful and easy to talk to
• 95% said the reasons for the decision made about their complaint were explained clearly

More information can be found in the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman’s 2011 Annual Report, ‘The key to complaints handling is…early resolution.’



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