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ISO no longer?

The Insurance and Savings Ombudsman scheme is planning a name change.

Wednesday, April 29th 2015, 11:16AM

by Susan Edmunds

Its terms of reference are being reviewed in line with Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act changes and recommendations made in a 2013 review of the scheme.

The proposed changes, to come into effect by July 1, include a name change, to become the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme, an increase in the weekly monetary limit for regular payments about which the ISO can make decisions and the timeframe for making complaints.

Ombudsman Karen Stevens said the scheme had been operating for 20 years and its name was no longer an accurate description of its activities.

In 1995, the “savings” component of the name related to investments placed through insurance-related companies.  But she said the ISO now covered very few savings entities and had a much wider reach.

“It’s important for our financial service provider members who aren’t insurers to feel valued. They are important members of our scheme.”

But it was important to retain “insurance” in the name because insurers still delivered the bulk of the ISO’s work and had been instrumental in the scheme beginning, she said.

It has been suggested that some of the ISO’s competitors may not welcome the change to the name because of the connotations of the word "ombudsman".

But Stevens said there was no reason for them to object.  She said other schemes had names that clearly reflected what they did.  "That's what we're trying to do...It’s better for consumers if we have a name that better reflects what we do, it’s a win/win for everyone.”

She said it was important for disputes resolution schemes to review their governing documents from time to time to make sure they were complying with the law and took into consideration all the issues that arose between each review.

Feedback is sought until the end of this week and consultation meetings will be held in May.

Tags: disputes health insurance ISO Life insurance

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