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Friday, February 27, 2015

Where to from here for ICNZ?

First, a minor correction regarding yesterday's post.

The title, as originally posted, was almost what was intended, but not quite so my apologies for that. It was a bit of tongue in cheek and there was supposed to be a question mark at the end of the title – the omission was missed and I have now put one there. Even the Avonside blogger can get a little irritated and distracted when a lot of hard work is dismissed off-hand as "ill-considered" (oops, “ill-informed”.

I was going to continue the analysis of the Revised Code this morning but that has been deferred until tomorrow. Instead it would be useful to briefly consider what ICNZ might do from here.

Clearly they are unhappy with what has been termed the "ill-considered" (oops again, “ill-informed”) views expressed on this blog.  If that is the well-considered view of ICNZ then, presumably, nothing further will be said because they have put their case as succinctly as they can. Should, however, they do think there is more substance than they are willing to concede then something has to be done.

In an ideal world insurers would simply concede that customers are not going to be as well served as they would like, and rewrite the Revised Code. This is unlikely to happen.

Insurers are too comfortable having the sale and interpretation of insurance policies done exclusively on their terms and free from legislative interference. To relax this grip would be seen as detrimental to their business model. Yes, they are offering checks and balances along the way, however the personal cost of travelling along that uncertain path is high. Past and current experiences are that it is a long, drawn out process which has little cost to the insurer but extracts a disproportionately high to immense personal and financial cost for the customer. An extreme case is outlined here. Such a case is very rare, but the rarity is in the response of this unfortunate man, not in the difficulties customers face.

So what might ICNZ do? The same as all big businesses do in the face of criticism - reach for the lawyers? That may not be a bad thing if the Revised Code is subsequently modified however, as mentioned above, it is unlikely to happen.

An alternative is that a whole lot of fine, reasoned words based on seasoned experience and judicious well-considered thinking will be produced from an eminent (or pre-eminent) source to pacify and reassure us. Will it be substance or flimflam? Another alternative might be bile and invective.

Will keep you posted.

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