The Insurance Complaints Bureau (ICB) has undergone a revamp and adopted its new name, with plans to expand the scope of its jurisdiction, to handle mediation services and to deal with disputes over non-claim related issues, in the second quarter of this year.
The new mediation service will be free, but it will be subject to review.
The goal of the one-stop facility is to promote consumer confidence.
The ICB, formerly known as The Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau, was established in February 1990. Its name was changed as a result of an industry review aimed at improving its consumer protection framework. The body's new chairman is Ms Pamela Chan Wong-shui.
The new ICB has a new governance structure with majority non-industry members forming the board of directors to enhance its independence and is chaired by an independent non-industry member, said Ms Chan, who was the Chief Executive of the Consumer Council from 1985 to 2007.
The objective of the ICB is to provide an independent and cost-effective alternate dispute resolution process for resolving and settling complaints in respect of personal insurance contracts. Its current jurisdiction limit is HK$1 million (US$128,000).
Disputes involving claims above HK$1 million will still be handled by the Insurance Claims Complaints Panel, chaired by Michael Tusi.
The ICB currently has 107 members. As a licensing condition, all authorised insurers carrying on personal insurance business in Hong Kong are required to apply to and become members of the ICB.