The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman has called for better communication between financial service providers and their customers.
The IFSO’s latest Annual Report reveals a small increase in complaints (322, up from 320 the previous year) and a significant increase in complaint enquiries (3,805, up from 3,357 the previous year) in 2018-2019.
Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, says this increase could signal greater awareness about the Scheme’s free and independent service.
“However, complaints continue to show that many people simply don’t understand the policy or the contract they’re signing up to,” Stevens said.
“To prevent the common complaints we see every day, communication between financial service providers and their customers must improve.”
225 complaints (70 percent of the total) were about general insurance and 80 complaints (25 percent of the total) were about health, life and disability insurance. Twelve complaints were about credit contracts, and three complaints were about financial advisers.
The report found the most common complaint issues were:
- Policy exclusions
- Scope of cover
- Pre-existing conditions
- Gradual damage
“The financial sector has been given the strong message to improve conduct and culture. A good step is understanding what can be identified and learnt from complaints,” said Stevens.
“24 years of IFSO Scheme complaints has created a wealth of information about how and when things go wrong. These insights can help industry understand the issues, engage with their customers, and get it right.”
Click here to view the IFSO’s Annual Report.