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03 April 2018
In Hong Kong, if a policyholder is dissatisfied with any aspect of the conduct of an insurer, agent or broker, there are various channels for making a complaint. For instance, if a policyholder's claim is unfairly denied, he or she could make a complaint to the Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau.
On January 16 2018 the Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau was revamped to provide Hong Kong's insurance industry with improved methods of settling personal insurance claims and disputes by providing policyholders with an alternative dispute resolution process. It is now known as the Insurance Complaints Bureau (ICB).(1)
The main changes which have been implemented are:
According to the ICB, the revamp should:
The current jurisdictional limit is HK$1 million. If policyholders are unsatisfied with the outcome of the ICB's complaints procedure, they can seek redress through legal proceedings.
The ICB will not handle complaints relating to alleged misconduct or breach of professional ethics by an insurance agent or broker. Instead, these complaints are handled by three self-regulatory organisations (SROs):
The SRO concerned will depend on which body the agent or broker is registered with.
The ICB will not handle complaints which are subject to or have completed legal or arbitration proceedings. Consequently, policyholders should consider whether to make a complaint to the ICB before commencing a court action or arbitration proceedings.
For further information on this topic please contact Kevin Bowers or Michael Withington at Howse Williams Bowers by telephone (+852 2803 3688) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Howse Williams Bowers website can be accessed at www.hwbhk.com.
(1) Further information can be found on the ICB website.
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