Insurance brokers have “accessible and visible” internal dispute resolution information in place and staff are well trained in complaint handling, so finds the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee (IBCCC) in its own motion inquiry into Code complaint handling requirements.
However, there was also need for improvement in some specific areas.
IBCCC independent chair Michael Gill shared results of the inquiry with IRP and provided some recommendations:
- Accessibility: internal dispute processes should be able to deal with clients who need assistance due to a disability or language barrier.
- Simplicity: simple written guidelines and procedures on complaints handling should be available for use as a reference point and benchmark.
- Responsiveness: provide all staff with training in basic complaints handling skills.
- Fairness: Consider expanding IDR processes to include mediation and adjudication.
- Ethical behaviour: use a ‘whistleblower’ policy to promote a culture of compliance, honesty and ethical behaviour.
- Complaint outcomes: All complaints should receive a written response, setting out that the matter is being considered, the outcome and options if clients remain unsatisfied.
- Education and training: Ensure all third parties are trained in IDR procedures. Use breach experiences as internal teaching examples.
- Feedback: De-identify complaints and compliments to promote business, analysis and discussion.
“No complaint is too small to be recognised; it should be recorded and reported in an appropriate way,” Gill points out.
“Insurance cover itself might be a grudge purchase for many but retaining a broker to assist is not viewed in the same way, as long as brokers demonstrate their value in every sense. Thus it is important that they understand their clients’ needs and maintain alignment with them.”
Michael Gill will be at the NIBA Convention on the Regulators Panel sharing the highlights of the IBCCC’s 2016-17 Annual Review and shed light on areas of improvement for brokers.