Insurance reforms get thumbs up

Insurance reforms get thumbs up

More can be done to help consumers: Case chief

Going by complaints from policyholders, the reforms to improve transparency and lift standards in the insurance industry cannot come soon enough.

Consumer groups have been recording an increasing number of complaints about insurers from customers angry at what they see as poor service.

Most of the proposals announced last week by the Financial Advisory Industry Review (Fair) panel set up last year are designed to address these shortcomings.

Thank goodness for that, say policyholders contacted by The Sunday Times.

Accountant Dolly Tan, 35, says that her insurance agent has a knack of disappearing on her and uncannily scheduling reviews of her portfolio "every few years only when my policies are near their termination dates".

And it seems she is not alone in wanting more from financial advisers.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) said insurance- related complaints regularly outpace grievances filed against other financial institutions such as banks.

There were 35 complaints filed against insurers and their agents in the nine months to Sept 30 compared with 20 against financial institutions.

Last year, 70 complaints were filed against the insurance sector, as opposed to 19 against financial institutions.

Most complaints centre on the misrepresentation of benefits, misselling of products or poor service from agents.

New rules stemming from the Fair panel's recommendations aim to benefit consumers in five broad areas.

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