The Code sets out high standards of service that general insurers must meet when consumers are buying insurance, making claims, experiencing financial hardship, requesting information, or wanting to make a complaint. These standards include fair and effective mechanisms and timeframes for complaints and for the handling of claims.
The Code commits insurers to high standards of customer service. Consumers receive the benefit of clear processes and timeframes under the Code that are written in plain, easy-to-read English.
Firstly, you should raise the matter directly with your insurer, who will deal with your complaint via their internal complaints process. If the outcome of this process is not satisfactory to you, then you can take your dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service for external resolution. Further information can be found in Section 10 of the Code.
If you owe money to an insurer and you’re experiencing financial hardship, you can ask the insurer to assess whether you are entitled to assistance. If an insurer determines that you are entitled to financial hardship assistance for a debt owed, it will work with you on a payment arrangement, such as extending the due date for payment, paying the amount in instalments, or paying a reduced lump sum.
Financial hardship assistance under the Code of Practice is not available in relation to the payment of premiums under an insurance policy issued by an insurer. If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your premium, please contact your insurer directly.
You can make a complaint directly to your insurer by phone or in writing (including email) about any aspect of your relationship with it. There is a process for handling your complaint, which is set out in Section 10 of the Code.
If you have gone through the complaints process set out in Section 10 of the Code, and you are not satisfied with the final response from your insurer, you can take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
For help and practical advice and information about recovering from a catastrophe, visit Understand Insurance.
The Code of Practice also commits insurers to respond to catastrophes efficiently, professionally, practically, and in a compassionate manner.