Communication is key

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Travel insurance

The New Zealand Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL) organisation says that many of the complaints it investigates stem from poor communication between financial services providers and their clients. FSCL’s latest annual results show a 21-per-cent increase in enquiries and complaints compared to the same period last year (up to 4,365), continuing the steady year-on-year increase the scheme has seen since it was established in 2010. Insurance – predominantly travel – remains the largest category of complaints formally investigated by FSCL, followed by consumer credit. Complaints about the sale of personal insurance (life, trauma and income protection), while historically low in number, are on the rise.

According to FSCL CEO Susan Taylor, the increase was across the board, but a common theme underlying the complaints FSCL investigated was a communication breakdown: “Many complainants say they were not given important information, or that the information they were given was ambiguous or poorly worded. Other times the complainant hasn’t disclosed certain information or simply hasn’t understood the information provided, be that the terms of an insurance policy or a written recommendation or plan.”