If you are dissatisfied with any aspects of the conduct of an insurance company, agent or broker, you can make a complaint.
The first step is to raise the matter directly with the company you dealt with. A complaint can take different forms but a written one with full details may be more effective:
- Mark the letter/email 'complaint' clearly.
- Put the date on the letter/email.
- Give your name and policy number.
- Explain your complaint clearly, stating why you think your claim should not have been rejected (if applicable).
- Include any evidence you have to support your complaint.
- Make copies of any supporting documentation to the insurance company.
- Say what you would like the company to do to put things right.
If you are not satisfied with the response from the company or firm you dealt with, you can refer the matter to the regulatory bodies.
Complaints about an insurer
If you are not satisfied with the way in which the insurer has dealt with your complaint, you may contact the Insurance Authority, who plays a monitoring role to ensure that the complaints are properly handled within the confines of the Insurance Ordinance (Cap.41).
The contacts of the IA are:
Complaints about the conduct of an insurance agent
If your complaint is about the conduct of an individual agent, you can lodge the complaint with the Insurance Agents Registration Board (IARB) of the HKFI. The contact details of the IARB are:
Complaints about the conduct of an insurance broker
If your complaint is about the conduct of an insurance broker, you can lodge the complaint with either the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers (HKCIB) or the Professional Insurance Brokers Association depending on which body the broker is registered with. Their contact details are:
Complaints about rejected insurance claims
If you think your claim has been unfairly denied, you can make a complaint. The first step is to raise the matter directly with the company you dealt with.
If you don't get a satisfactory outcome, you can contact the Insurance Complaints Bureau (ICB) with your complaint. The ICB was established to resolve disputes between insurers and individual (not corporate) policyholders relating to rejected or partially-rejected claims. At present, ICB's jurisdiction limit is HKD1,000,000 ie the total claim amount does not exceed HKD1,000,000. Besides, the ICB provides mediation service to handle non-claim related disputes.
The contact details for the ICB are:
- The Insurance Complaints Bureau
29/F, Sunshine Plaza
353 Lockhart Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: 2520 2728
Fax: 2520 1967
If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome of your complaint and seek for legal redress, you may decide to take the matter to court:
- The Small Claims Tribunal: for claims of HKD50,000 or less.
- The District Court: for claims that exceed HKD50,000 but do not exceed HKD1,000,000.
- The Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong, which has unlimited jurisdiction.
You are recommended to seek legal advice before commencing legal proceedings.
18 January 2018