The latest AFCA Datacube results show complaints against brokers at an all-time low, despite increasing complaints against general insurers.
The Australian Financial Compliants Authority (AFCA) recently updated the Datacube to include complaint data from the later half of 2021 (1/7/2021-31/12/2021) . These figures are the first figures released since the RG271 came into effect in October last year.
During this period, AFCA received 32,834 complaints, slightly fewer than the previous six months. Of these complaints, 6,474 complaints, or almost 20%, related to the conduct of general insurers. In the previous six months, general insurers recorded 5,068 complaints, accounting for 16% of total complaints. While complaints against general insurers increased, insurance brokers recorded just 50 complaints, the lowest figure recorded by brokers in a six-month period since the inception of AFCA.
Small business/farm insurance, home building insurance, motor vehicle, professional indemnity, and sickness and accident insurance recorded the highest number of complaints. Credit insurance, which received a large number of complaints last year, did not record a single complaint.
Of the complaints received, 26% did not receive a response from the financial firm at the registration and referral stage. This figure is significantly higher than the average of 6% across all AFCA jurisdictions. Insurance brokers were also less likely to resolve complaints at the referral stage, with only 40% of cases involving brokers resolved at this phase, compared to an average of 52%. This figure is however, a significant increase on last year.
Only 5 complaints reached the decision stage, the final stage in the complaint resolution process where AFCA makes a binding determination. Of these, 60% were resolved in favour of the broker.
The latest AFCA Datacube release is a testament to the role brokers play in delivering good claims outcomes for their clients and the internal dispute resolution processes they have in place to support their clients.