Fair Insurance Code

The new Fair Insurance Code comes in to effect 1 January 2016. A number of suggestions FDR (Reserve Scheme) / FairWay made in its submission were shared by other submitters and have been adopted, particularly relating to  disclosure, promotion of the code, accessibility to policies and applications in plain English and second language; training of insurance staff; dispute resolutions scheme’s ability to rule on all aspects of the code-not just complaints about claims; ensuring provision in applications that will allow full disclosure; and a commitment by Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) members to act reasonably when responding to no disclosure by the insured.

It affirms the  important role dispute resolution schemes play in promoting and ruling on high standards of service, and interpreting principles-  especially around interpretation of “reasonable” (a concept becoming more prevalent in Codes vis. Responsible Lending, and fair (Fair Trading Act; and role of the schemes in reporting breaches of the code to the (to be formed) CCC. It also includes clear hi level guidelines for complaints management.

In summary we think this “self-regulation” aligns with the principles of other codes and legislation- as it is principles based, seeks  transparency, simplicity, disclosure, promotion and accessibility and reasonable behaviour  of its members,  and highlights the importance of dispute resolution schemes for its functionality /effectiveness.

Download the Fair Insurance Code here.