Media Releases

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

Enquiries to the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme) have broken records for three months in a row, due to the knock-on effects of the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle.

Until now, there has been limited formal training available in complaint response for providers of insurance and financial services. That’s set to change with a new course launched by Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s Financial Education and Research (Fin-Ed) Centre, with content from the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (IFSO Scheme).

With unprecedented flooding in Auckland over the last weekend, and severe weather warnings for the upper North Island early this week, the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO), Karen Stevens, says now’s the time to get the next steps right.

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.