HK Insurance Authority receives fewer complaints for 2021

Watchdog touts improvement in complaints it was able to fully resolve

HK Insurance Authority receives fewer complaints for 2021

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Hong Kong Insurance Authority (IA) received a total of 1,304 complaints in 2021, down 9% from 1,434 complaints received in 2020, according to the regulator’s Conduct in Focus report.

In 2021, complaints regarding conduct were the most numerous, making up 28% of the total. According to the IA, conduct complaints are about the process in which insurance is sold, the handling of client’s premiums or monies, cross-border selling, unlicensed selling, allegations of fraud, allegations of forgery of insurance-related documents, and other related matters.

Business or operation complaints came in second at 21%, referring to complaints related to business or operations of an insurance firm, such as cancellation or renewal of policies, adjustment of premiums, underwriting decisions, and management-related matters.

While the number of complaints decreased in 2021, the regulator’s completion rate improved by 22.7%, with 1,550 complaints handled until conclusion for 2021, versus 1,263 for 2020.

In the report, the IA listed several best practices for insurers handling complaints. These are:

  • Treating complainants fairly
  • Impartiality and objectivity
  • Identifying root causes
  • Cooperating with the regulator

“The insurer should handle such complaints in line with standards of good conduct as reflected in the four best practice principles stated above,” the IA said.

While the IA governs a lot of matters related to insurance, its powers do not extend to adjudicating whether a claim should or should not be paid under an insurance policy. For these types of issues, the IA cooperates with the Insurance Complaints Bureau (ICB), which provides an impartial dispute resolution mechanism that enables individual policyholders to resolve their claims disputes.

The IA and the ICB signed a memorandum of understanding on Nov. 1, under which the IA will forward any claims-related disputes it receives to the ICB.

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