Insurance is a contract between the insurer and the customer based on the principle of "good faith". By paying a premium, the customer depends on the insurer to provide a service and to settle claims fairly and efficiently. In turn, the insurer relies on the customer to act honestly, and to accurately disclose all information relevant to the insurer being able to provide insurance cover that meets the customer's needs.
The Fair Insurance Code was developed by the Insurance Council as a set of principles which aims to continually improve the standard of practice and service member companies provide to their customers. This set of principles is in additional to those obligations created by the law.
While the Insurance Council administers the Code, it is not responsible for its enforcement. If you have a complaint about your personal insurance, there are a number of steps that you should take:
Contact the branch manager of your insurance company.
If the branch manager is unable to resolve your complaint, you can make a formal complaint to your insurance company's controlling officer or person responsible for handling complaints.
When your formal complaint is received, your insurance company must do the following:
- Acknowledge your complaint within five working days
- Investigate your complaint and advise you of its progress or outcome within ten working days
- If the company is unable to resolve your complaint, they must inform you within two months. The company must also advise you of your right to take the complaint to their dispute resolution scheme.
If your insurance company is unable to resolve your complaint, you are entitled to request access to their free disputes resolution service.