Insurance & Savings Ombudsman
The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (“ISO”) Scheme Inc was launched in 1995 by the industry groups for the insurance and savings industries to encourage their members to deal more effectively with complaints from consumers.
The ISO is a free independent service for consumers. The ISO can assist you resolve your complaint against your insurance, savings or financial service provider if it is a Participant in the ISO Scheme and the complaint is within the ISO’s terms of reference.
A complaint can only be made to the ISO after the internal complaints procedure of the insurance and savings company or financial service provider has been exhausted. The ISO can consider complaints where the amount claimed is up to $200,000 (or for a disability benefit up to $1,000 per week) about personal fire and general, health, life insurance and savings services, and other financial services.
The ISO cannot consider:
· insurance provided for business or commercial purposes, except small business claims;
· complaints made by an uninsured third party;
· complaints which are, or have been, the subject of proceedings in another forum, e.g. a court; and
· complaints about a company’s commercial decision making, e.g. renewal of a policy, underwriting practices, conditions imposed on insurance cover, premiums, charges, returns, earnings rates and investment practices.
This ISO’s investigation process is inquisitorial, which means that the ISO can gather more information (if required) to make a fair and reasonable decision in all the circumstances. Lawyers are not required. It is an informal process of confidential negotiation and is intended to be quicker than the courts and easier to access. However, unless you accept the resolution reached between the parties, it is not binding and your rights to pursue court action have not been prejudiced in any way by going through the ISO’s process.
Information about making complaints, a full list of Participants and other useful information can be accessed on the ISO Scheme’s website (www.iombudsman.org.nz).
To contact the ISO call 0800 888 202, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Inc, P O Box 10 845, Wellington.