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Guidelines on complaints-handling by insurance intermediaries.

Guidelines on complaints-handling by insurance intermediaries.

It is the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (FSA) who oversees the insurance intermediaries complaints proceedings.

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) announced on 16 May 2014 “Guidelines on complaints handling by insurance intermediaries”. These guidelines have been prepared with the aim to contribute to a coordinated supervision of insurance intermediaries in the member states.

The Financial Supervisory Authority`s supervision of insurance intermediaries is based on these guidelines from EIOPA. The guidelines apply in Norway for all insurance brokers and insurance agents, and also for branches of foreign insurance intermediaries in Norway.

An important consideration underlying these guidelines from EIOPA is to attend to and strengthen the consumer protection.

The Financial Supervisory Authority issued on the of 4th June 2014 Circular letter 4/2014: Guidelines for processing complaints by insurance intermediaries.

These guidelines only apply to complaints about the insurance mediation business.

Insurance intermediaries shall prepare a written appeal routine that will apply to clients, the insured, injured third parties, holder of rights, etc. There shall be appointed one or more person at the insurance intermediary responsible for conducting and complying with the routine, and these individuals must have the necessary authority, expertise, resources and access to relevant information. The routine should be communicated to all relevant employees of the insurance intermediary.

The insurance intermediary have to publish information about their complaints procedure in easily accessible ways, like brochures, contracts, on their websites etc., and shall provide written information about the complaints procedure upon request and upon confirmation of reception of the complaint.

The insurance intermediary must comply with the following rules for the complaints procedure, see Section 7 in the circular from FSA:

  1. Collect and examine all information related to a complaint.
  2. Communicate with the complainant in a clear and concise language.
  3. Respond without delay. If the answer is not given within the expected time, the intermediary should inform the complainant of the cause and the expected date of finalization.
  4. Explain the intermediary’s decision. The decision must be in writing.
  5. Explain the complainant’s opportunity to appeal the case before the Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board and Appeals for insurance and reinsurance brokerage agency.

The circular letter from FSA is available on The Financial Supervisory Authority`s website, where you will also find a link to EIOPA “Guidelines on complaints handling by insurance intermediaries”.

By Guri Rodal

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