Brokers should view the General Insurance Code of Practice as a “tool in their arsenal”, which can be used to look after their clients’ interests.
Mark Radford, principal solicitor at Radford Lawyers, said it is important brokers are aware of the General Insurance Code of Practice even though it applies to insurers as the code could be of use to brokers.
Noting sections on insurance buying and claims handling, he said if an insurer fails to adhere to the Code, the broker, acting on the client’s behalf, can alert the insurer to the possible breach and the insurer can resolve it.
Radford told Insurance Business
: “It imposes obligations on insurers in relation to the buying of insurance, claims handling and financial hardship assistance which help make sure the relevant insurers are meeting high standards. Brokers need to be aware of what they are when they are looking after clients’ interests. If an insurer is not following the standards they could be breaching the Code."
Radford said brokers can bring these obligations to the attention of the insurer and that hopefully the insurer will take action to avoid having an alleged breach against them.
Radford, who also advises NIBA and the ICA, spoke of the code at the NIBA Convention last week, referring to the code “is a tool in [a broker’s] arsenal”.
At the time, he said brokers need to be aware of the cancellation rights section of the Code, which states that if a consumer has an instalment policy and the insurer has not received an instalment payment, the insurer will send the consumer a written notice regarding the non-payment at least 14 days before any cancellation. If the insurer still has not receive payment, it will send a second written notice informing the consumer that the instalment policy is either being cancelled or within 14 days after cancellation by the insurer.
Radford said it is not likely to have a huge impact on brokers but added it is still “a significant change” in the industry.