Brought to you by:

Glowing report card for NZ claim dispute scheme

New Zealand’s Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme has won praise in its latest independent review.

“Without exception, people spoke highly of the IFSO Scheme and its professionalism,” the report said.  

“It acts professionally; is widely respected for its expertise, rigour and balance; is approachable, transparent and pragmatic in how it handles cases; and it works collaboratively with all stakeholders.”

The scheme is independently reviewed every five years.

IFSO – a free, non-profit service – is one of four approved dispute resolution schemes in New Zealand, alongside the Banking Ombudsman, Financial Services Complaints, and the Financial Dispute Resolution Service.  

IFSO and Financial Services Complaints announced in April that they are considering a merger from July next year.

There are 52 insurers in the IFSO scheme, 494 financial advisers, 535 financial advice providers and 1713 other financial service providers such as lenders and savings providers.

Complaints to IFSO jumped 15% in the 2023 financial year, while enquiries surged 45%, largely due to the impact of floods and cyclone Gabrielle. Complaint resolutions resulted in payments of $NZ1.43 million ($1.3 million) to consumers, IFSO says.  

It received 4120 complaints and accepted 327 (or 8%) for investigation as formal complaints. The three largest areas of complaint were fire and general insurance; health, life and disability insurance; and credit contracts.  

See the review here.