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Success for ABI protection insurance nondisclosure initiative

ABI guidance on insurance claims has helped halve long-term protection complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) since it was introduced in January 2008 according to new figures. The guidance was established to ensure that all ABI members were treating customers fairly in dealing with claims where they had made unintentional mistakes by failing to disclose medical and other information.

New figures from the FOS show that since the guidance was introduced the number of referrals they have received for disputed protection claims of this nature have declined dramatically throughout the year. The first quarter of 2008 saw 85 cases referred to the FOS, compared to 40 cases in the last quarter of the year.

As from today, the guidance has been formally upgraded to a Code of Conduct, in order to avoid any doubt that it was not mandatory for ABI members. The new code has also been extended to include group protection, extending the benefits to more customers. This sends a powerful signal that insurers put their customers’ interests first.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:

"We're delighted that this initiative has worked so well and complaints have halved. The inclusion of group protection insurance in the Code extends its benefits to even more customers.

"As always, it remains essential for people to answer all questions carefully, to the best of their knowledge and belief, when they take out any protection insurance cover. However, the Code means that no-one should ever be worse off as a result of a genuine mistake.

"The guidance, introduced last year, was always mandatory for ABI members. However, we've taken this opportunity to upgrade it to a Code to remove any doubt that compliance with it is compulsory for ABI members. We are sure that this will help increase consumer confidence in it."

Last updated 01/07/2016