What the Code means for Consumers

This Code aims to enhance and promote the professionalism and standing of NIBA members, and further increase community confidence in insurance brokers.

Dallas Booth
NIBA CEO

WHY USE AN INSURANCE BROKER?

Insurance is one of the most complex products you can buy. That is why you need a qualified insurance broker to help you understand your unique risks and insurance needs, and to find the best cover for you from the insurance market at the best price.

That's where a broker can be worth their weight in gold, helping to save you time, money and worry - particularly in the event of a claim.

Whether it's home, car, life or business insurance, brokers provide tailored advice and assistance to make sure you and your property are properly protected. The service standards they offer you - and the protections in place to ensure you are treated in an open and honest way - are set out in the Insurance Brokers Code of Practice.

Find an insurance broker near you, or one who specialises in your area of need, by visiting the online Need a Broker service, or call 1300 53 10 73.

WHAT IS THE INSURANCE BROKERS CODE OF PRACTICE?

All reputable professions are governed by a strong Code of Practice - and insurance broking is no different.

Our Code of Practice sets out the minimum service standards you can expect when you use an insurance broker and outlines what you need to do in the unlikely event you have a complaint to make.

The Code sets out our commitment in a number of areas, including:

  • Managing conflicts of interest;
  • Explaining what our services will be;
  • Acting for you diligently, competently, fairly and with honesty and integrity;
  • Informing you how we are paid for the services we provide;
  • Ensuring our staff are competent and adequately trained; and
  • Providing an opportunity to resolve complaints and disputes.

In short, it's our profession's promise to you that we will act in your best interests at all times and be open and honest with you at every step of the way.

This online version of the Code of Practice features additional guidance notes to help brokers and their clients understand the Code more fully. Clicking on this icon will bring up the additional guidance notes.

WHAT IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A BROKER?

If you do have a complaint about the services being provided by your insurance broker, in the first instance you should raise it with them. All insurance brokers have an internal complaints and disputes handling process designed to help resolve any concern or complaint.

If it is not possible to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction through this process, you can refer the unresolved complaint (called a dispute) to the free and independent external dispute resolution process administered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

FOS will examine your dispute and, if it is within its jurisdiction, seek to resolve it by liaising with you and the insurance broker. If the dispute cannot be resolved, FOS can make a determination imposing binding sanctions on an insurance broker after considering the available evidence. While the above process is designed to make things easier for you, you still have your normal legal rights regarding any dispute.

Reassuringly, there are very few disputes involving insurance brokers each year. In the 2012/13 financial year, disputes against brokers made up only 2.5% of the total number of general insurance disputes made to FOS across the nation.

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