Consumer Protection and asking the right questions

16 January 2014 —
An insurance policy is nothing more than a promise that a client will be compensated when a certain risk occurs. Contractually binding nonetheless, this promise is therefore the central pillar of the insurance system as a whole and this principle managed to bring the global insurance industry to proportions that the LLOYD's coffee house attendants could only dream of.

Also, knowing your rights and obligations beforehand is considered good business practice and will only enhance the client's trust in a company. Yet, the trust established between an insurer and his client is only as strong as the first's willingness to play a fair game. This means the insurer must learn how to ask the questions they want answers to. A client is to be considered profane, uneducated and in need of professional guidance when entering the insurance world.

After all, once the contract is signed, both parties hope not to see each other again. Still, once that happens, it's almost like going to the dentist. The patient is in pain, doesn't know what to expect, but he needs to do it and is hoping for the best along the way. And not every time it is pain free.

Unfortunately, significant consumer protection problems still exist, including misselling issues, claims abuses and market imperfections.

On the other hand, consumers buying insurance are getting better protection thanks to new rules which will stop insurers unfairly rejecting claims because they didn't bother to ask those crucial questions. That is why consumer protection is probably going to be the next big issue for the European insurance industry.

In this context, we are waiting for you on March 13th 2014, at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, at the European Conference on Consumer Protection in Financial Services. Mr. Gabriel BERNARDINO the Chairman of EIOPA, as a Keynote Speaker, will bring his insight about this key issue at the European level.

Mihai CRACEA

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