The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is currently reviewing the Fair Insurance Code to ensure it remains relevant for consumers.
Consultation with members is currently underway and the ICNZ Board will receive a report in June. It is intended that a revised Fair Insurance Code will be published in 2019.
ICNZ members, which comprise 95% of general insurers in New Zealand, adhere to the Fair Insurance Code, an industry best practice standard.
The Code sets out the responsibilities of both insurers and consumers and covers what should be disclosed for different types of insurance as well as communication timelines and complaint processes. Any issue that cannot be solved directly with an insurer may be escalated to an independent external disputes resolution scheme with the decision being binding on the insurer.
General insurers already self-regulate to a much greater degree than current regulations require. ICNZ says that it believes the Code is New Zealand's best example of self-regulation and sets high standards of customer service from members of ICNZ.
Public submissions on the review of the Code closed on 2 March 2018. Key themes to emerge have been concerns around privacy and storage of data, accessibility of the Code in terms of language and format, disclosure obligations, concerns that timeframes included in the Code are not currently being met, and the need for better clarification of both the internal and external dispute resolution processes.