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What is the Fair Insurance Code? 

by David Shewan

Published: December, 2017

Submission: December, 2017


The Fair Insurance Code is a voluntary code of conduct agreed to by members of ICNZ.  It applies to those members who provide general insurance to individual consumers and small businesses with 20 employees or less.  The Code outlines the relationship between insurers and consumers and sets minimum service standards in areas including customer on-boarding , claims management and handling. It also sets out disclosure requirements and dispute resolution processes.

The Fair Insurance Code is required to be reviewed every three years.  Following ICNZ’s last review in 2014, significant changes were made to impose higher standards on ICNZ members.  Key changes in the 2016 Code included a commitment to upfront disclosure of key information by insurers, the introduction of best practice timeframes for insurers to respond to claims and the requirement that insurers respond reasonably to matters not previously disclosed to them.  A Code Compliance Committee was also established to investigate significant breaches.

ICNZ is now embarking on its three-yearly review to assess the Code’s performance.  ICNZ has said that it wishes to ensure that it can respond to developments in a fast-changing insurance business and regulatory landscape.

Scope of the 2018 review

The ICNZ is seeking submissions and recommendations on:

  • customer and insurer experiences with the standards contained in the Fair Insurance Code;
  • possible improvements on the standards contained in the Fair Insurance Code;
  • gaps between the expectations of New Zealand customers compared to customers in other countries;
  • the independent external dispute resolution schemes’ experience with complaints involving the Fair Insurance Code; and
  • issues that the Fair Insurance Code needs to address due to recent technological changes

What next?

If you have suggestions on how the Code can be changed or improved, submissions can be made here and will be accepted until 2 March 2018.  The ICNZ expects to release the revised Code in 2019.



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