One of New Zealand’s leading insurance companies made the news in late September with the announcement that it will publishing more information about how it works, what it is doing to improve its service and how it helps our customers.

Partners Life is one of our key insurance partners. In September they announced they would begin releasing information on the complaints made by customers and the proportion of claims not paid. Now they are challenging other insurance companies to do the same.

After a critical review by the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank in 2019 a change in reporting has occurred. All major life insurers provide a report every three months to these financial regulators on customer service and fairness. These confidential reports ensure all companies are working to the highest standards. This is the first time a major industry player has provided their report to the public.

The media latched on to news that nine percent of claims are not paid. However this number is not necessarily high when the types of claims and the processes involved are considered. The release of further information in the coming weeks will highlight where and why these figures occur.

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“Naomi Ballantyne, Partners Life managing director, said in 2019 the FMA and Reserve Bank told insurers to provide evidence that they were not ripping off customers.

Insurers had to comply, leading to the September 2019 report in which no insurers were named and shamed.

Ballantyne said: “Having done that huge piece of work, and having the regulator know all of the things we do, we said, ‘Well, that’s great to tell the regulator, but noone else knows’.”

“All that information we provide to them, we felt we should provide to our customers,” she said.”

 Insurer Partners Life calls for transparency, reveals it does not pay 9% of all claims. stuff.co.nz, Sep 28, 2020

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It’s our job to make everything as clear as possible for our clients and to give them peace of mind their needs are taken care of during stressful and challenging times. That’s why we welcomed this recent news of greater transparency in the insurance industry.

This accountability also helps to educate the wider public about how insurance actually works. Across the insurance industry many claims not paid on are withdrawn after customers discover they are claiming on something they are not entitled too.

With greater education by insurance companies and brokers and more aware customers there will be greater efficiency and less stress come claim time.