Disability products most frequent source of complaints

By Andrew Rickard | September 21 2016 11:27AM

Photo: Freepik

The OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) says that disability insurance is the product that generates the most complaints from the public. Overall, almost half of all insurance-related complaints came from Quebec.

OLHI released its annual report for 2015/16 yesterday, and it breaks down the complaints the organization has received by both product line and region: 40.2% were related to disability insurance, 26.3% had to do with life insurance, 15% dealt with extended health care and dental insurance, 8.7% concerned travel coverage, 2.1% were about retirement products, and the remaining 7.1% of complaints involved other insurance products.

The regional distribution of complaints was similar to previous years with bulk originating in Quebec (46.2%) and Ontario (32.7%). The Prairie provinces generated 10.1% of all complaints, British Columbia accounted for 6.3%, while the Atlantic provinces contributed 3.9%. Other areas accounted for 0.8% of complaints.

"The vast majority (85-90%) of complaints are resolved by speaking directly with consumers without requiring a detailed review," reads the report. "A lot of these contacts are from consumers who have not started or completed their insurance company’s internal review process. In these cases, we provide advice on how to present their complaint to their insurance company."

OLHI says it conducted 209 detailed complaint reviews and closed 58 investigations during the most recent reporting period, which is the highest number in its history. The majority of settled cases involved retirement products (41.4%), followed by disability insurance (31%).

"We are always refining our process to ensure all complaints with merit are thoroughly investigated," says OLHI’s executive director Holly Nicholson. "At the same time, we can't lose sight of the fact that most complaints are settled either by the insurance company directly or by OLHI before consumers reach our investigation stage."

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