General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand
General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand

Understanding the General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand

Hello, Readers! Today, we will delve into the General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand, exploring its purpose, key principles, and benefits for consumers. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the insurance landscape in New Zealand with confidence.

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The Purpose of the General Insurance Code of Practice

The General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand is a voluntary code designed to promote good practice and foster trust between insurers and their customers. It sets out minimum service standards and guidelines for insurers to follow, ensuring transparent, fair, and ethical conduct throughout the insurance process.

Key Principles of the Code

The General Insurance Code of Practice is built on several fundamental principles that form the foundation of ethical insurance practices in New Zealand. These include:

1. Clear Communication

Insurers must communicate in a clear, timely, and effective manner, providing customers with all relevant information about their policies, claims processes, and any changes to their coverage.

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2. Fair and Transparent Claims Handling

Insurers must handle claims fairly, transparently, and promptly. They must provide clear information about the claims process and keep customers informed about the progress of their claims.

3. Responsible Sales Practices

Insurers must sell policies responsibly, ensuring that their customers understand the coverage they are purchasing and how it meets their needs.

4. Customer Support and Assistance

Insurers must provide support and assistance to customers in a fair and respectful manner, including offering assistance to those facing financial hardship.

5. Complaint Resolution

Insurers must have an accessible and effective complaints resolution process, ensuring that customer concerns are addressed promptly and fairly.

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Benefits of the Code for Consumers

Adherence to the General Insurance Code of Practice provides numerous benefits for consumers, including:

1. Enhanced Consumer Confidence

Knowing that insurers are committed to following the Code’s principles can help consumers feel more confident in their dealings with insurance providers.

2. Improved Service Standards

The Code establishes minimum service standards that insurers must meet, ensuring a consistent and high-quality experience for consumers.

3. Fair and Transparent Processes

The Code promotes fairness and transparency in claims handling and other insurance processes, helping to protect consumers from potential disputes or misunderstandings.

4. Access to Independent Services

Consumers who are not satisfied with their insurer’s response to a complaint can access independent dispute resolution services, which can help to resolve issues fairly and efficiently.

5. Support for Customers in Financial Hardship

The Code requires insurers to offer assistance to customers experiencing financial hardship, ensuring that those facing difficult circumstances receive the support they need.

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How to Know if Your Insurer Adheres to the Code

While the General Insurance Code of Practice is voluntary, many insurers in New Zealand choose to adhere to it as a demonstration of their commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. To determine if your insurer is a signatory to the Code, check their website or policy documentation, or contact them directly for confirmation.

What to Do if You Believe Your Insurer Has Breached the Code

If you suspect that your insurer has breached the General Insurance Code of Practice, it’s essential to raise your concerns with them directly. If they are unable to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, you may escalate the matter to their internal complaints department or the independent dispute resolution service, such as the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO) Scheme.


The General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand is a vital tool for promoting trust, transparency, and fairness in the insurance industry. By understanding its principles and how it benefits consumers, you can make more informed decisions when purchasing insurance and dealing with insurers. As always, it’s crucial to research and compare different providers to find the best coverage for your needs.

Thank you for visiting and reading this article on the General Insurance Code of Practice in New Zealand. We hope you found it informative and helpful. Don’t forget to explore our other articles on finance and insurance for more valuable insights and advice. Happy reading!