Cause to Complain? Consumer Experiences of Internal and External Dispute Resolution in the Context of General Insurance
Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2020, pp. 302-316
19 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2020 Last revised: 21 Dec 2020
Date Written: September 21, 2020
The provision of ‘fair, timely and effective’ mechanisms for the resolution of consumer complaints is ‘a central part’ of the regulatory framework for financial services including general insurance in Australia. Insurers are required to have in place internal dispute resolution (‘IDR’) processes through which policyholders can complain if their insurance claim is subject to delays, or if they are unhappy with its outcome. Insurers must also be members of the recently established Australian Financial Complaints Authority, to which policyholders may escalate complaints that are not resolved through IDR. This article draws upon the findings of a survey of building, home contents and comprehensive car insurance policyholders to shed light on the experiences of consumers who make or escalate complaints in relation to their claims; issues with compliance with the regulatory frameworks governing complaints; and the barriers that can deter consumers from making use of these complaints mechanisms.
Keywords: insurance; dispute resolution
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