The Association of British Insurers has told members they should not view the Financial Ombudsman Service as their enemy.
Speaking at the annual Protection Review conference in London last week, ABI director general Otto Thoresen argued that insurers should work clo-ser with the FOS rather than viewing it as the opposition.
He said: “We have to work hard and keep working hard at being honest where we do not do things well. We should not see the FOS as our enemy. We should see it as a necessary part of an important process. An alternative dispute resolution system is critical if people are going to have confidence in the way the industry works and we should work more closely with the FOS to use it as a way of understanding what we are doing well and doing badly.”
Thoresen also considered the suggestion from some industry commentators to extend the workplace auto-enrolment initiative to include protection.
He said: “We need to think very carefully about that. Auto-enrolment itself is a big change for employees and employers. Potentially, a lot of people will start contributing to a pension for the first time in their lives but many of those will reject this and opt out. If they will not accept auto-enrolment into a pension, why do we believe that they would accept auto-enrolment into any other product?”
Thoresen also revealed ABI plans to set up a formal working group between the Government and the industry to tackle the issue of welfare reform and develop models by the end of the year to address the gap left by reducing state benefits.