Media Releases

See IFSO Scheme media releases with updates on industry issues and complaints.

Despite a year of more COVID-19 disruption, increased service delivery legislation and big weather events, Karen Stevens, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO), says there was an overall drop in the number of complaints accepted by the IFSO Scheme. There were 2,847 complaint enquiries from consumers who were dissatisfied with their financial service providers, down from last year’s total of 3,626. Similarly, only 10% of those resulted in 285 complaints, with more than $1.2m paid to consumers.

In its 2020 - 2021 Annual Report, the IFSO Scheme reports most complaints were about insurance, with a 25% increase across Fire and General, Life and Health.

After the Canterbury floods, IFSO Scheme Karen Stevens cautions farmers to check what business interruption (BI) cover they have.

Following devastating flooding in Canterbury, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, says to document your damage and call your insurer before cleaning up.

Following devastating flooding and landslips in Napier, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, says take care at home and on the roads, photograph the damage, and contact your insurer before you clean up.

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme received 3,922 enquiries and investigated 282 complaints last year. 64% of all enquiries (2,500) were about general insurance, including house, vehicle, travel and contents insurance; 14% (558) related to health, life and disability insurance; 12% (458) related to loans or credit contracts; and 4% (143) financial advisers.

We are delighted to welcome new IFSO Scheme Commissioners: Māori Women’s Leadership Inc CEO, Teresa Tepania-Ashton, and Founder and CEO of financial literacy platform Banqer, Kendall Flutey.

Contact your insurer or financial service provider before making decisions. The IFSO Scheme has received a steady number of Covid-19 related enquiries. The first thing we say to consumers in all circumstances is to understand your options so you can make informed choices.

The new IFSO Scheme website will make it easier for consumers to find information and make a complaint. "We’re here to help - if you have a question or complaint about your insurer or financial service provider, our service is free, independent and fair,” says Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens.

IFSO, Karen Stevens, says check with your airline, your travel agent and your travel insurer before you cancel, change or make travel plans. “We’re receiving a lot of calls from people wanting to change or cancel their travel plans, but they’re concerned about insurance."

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