Ombudsman Welcomes Insurance Contracts Bill


The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO), Karen Stevens, is looking forward to the Contracts of Insurance Bill becoming law.

“I’m pleased that it’s finally on the table, as it’s been 26 years of waiting for the law to be changed,” she says. “New Zealand is way behind Australia and the UK in this area, so these changes are really overdue.”

Karen Stevens, Ombudsman, IFSO.
Karen Stevens, Ombudsman, IFSO.

One of the proposed changes relates to non-disclosure of information, something Stevens says is a common issue in complaints about insurers.

“We see claims declined due to innocent mistakes,” she says. “Many consumers don’t understand what information they are supposed to tell their insurer, and the consequences if they don’t disclose this information.”

This Bill largely removes insurance exceptions and addresses some other technical issues of insurance law.

The IFSO Scheme has dealt with more than 80,000 complaints since it was established in 1995, most of which have been about insurance.

Click here for more on the Contracts of Insurance Bill.