New role for insurance veteran
Insurance industry veteran Gary Young has been appointed to the board of Financial Services Complaints to help guide the dispute resolution scheme through the changing insurance landscape.
Financial Service Complaints (FSCL) chairman Kenneth Johnston said Young's 30 years in the insurance industry and seven years at the helm of the Insurance Brokers Association gave him in-depth industry knowledge. Since 2009 Young has also been a member of the code committee for financial advisers.
"Mr Young will provide a strong industry voice in his role as industry director, and will bring insight that will add value to the services FSCL provides participants and their customers," Johnston said.
Young said it was useful for FSCL to have someone on the board who was up to date with the changing insurance landscape.
"There is quite a lot of change going on in insurance at the moment as a consequence of Christchurch," he said.
FSCL chief executive Susan Taylor said the not-for-profit dispute resolution scheme, which started more than three years ago, was receiving more members - and more complaints due to growing public awareness.
More financial service provider members were also referring cases to the scheme, she said.
Most complaints related to travel insurance, followed by disputes with finance companies, Taylor said.
FSCL received 1708 enquiries from people considering making complaints last year to June 30 and investigated 162 cases, the not-for-profit organisation said in its annual report last year.
Complaints against insurers accounted for the greatest share of cases, 36 per cent, investigated.
Taylor said the scheme would release information on recent cases next week.
The FSCL was the first external financial services disputes resolution scheme to be approved by the Minister of Consumer Affairs under the Financial Service Providers Act 2008. It is funded by financial service providers and deals with financial products and services disputes.
The scheme competes with the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman and the Government's reserve scheme, Financial Disputes Resolution.
Most insurance companies belonged to the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Scheme, she said.
Taylor said FSCL was continuing to try and raise its public profile by running training and community outreach programmes.
It was compulsory for all financial services to be a member of a dispute resolution scheme.