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Showing posts from March 15, 2015

Summarising the Revised Fair Insurance Code – Part 3

Insurance policies and the associated code of conduct cannot be seen in isolation from those who buy the policies, and the claims experiences they undergo. So far the Revised Code has been considered without much direct reference to the human experience. These are experiences other New Zealanders can anticipate undergoing, should there be another disaster and the Code remains substantially unchanged. What follows, as well as what has gone before, will seem ill-informed, harsh and graceless to those in the insurer camp. They, in my opinion both here and below, are wrong. Nature can cause devastation but it is humans who layer injustice and cruelty upon disaster - something insurers, amongst others, seem adept at. Of course there are those who point to the unprecedented nature of the Canterbury earthquakes, as if this justifies all shortcomings and bad behaviour. What is not so eagerly highlighted are the precedents and parallel examples of bad insurer behaviour – Hurricane Katrina, H…

Summarising the Revised Fair Insurance Code – Part 2

In this post we will look at whether the Code is fair or transparent, and whether utmost good faith remains relevant to New Zealand insurance practices. Is it a Fair code?No. There is no definition within the Revised Code explaining what fairness is. In the world of dictionaries there are varying definitions, with the Oxford Dictionary giving this: “Impartial and just treatment or behaviour without favouritism or discrimination”.   1     Using this authoritative definition it is quite obvious the Revised Code is not impartial. The Code has been written by insurers, for insurers. The Revised Code has omitted a large portion of what was asked for in submissions to the Review – changes and provisions that would have make the Code less partial towards insurers.   2     The Revised Code continues to require customers to anticipate and comply with sometimes unclear or unknown requirements. It then allows insurers to penalise them for not complying with the requirements. This cannot be co…