The General Insurance Standard Council (GISC) is the watchdog established to monitor and enforce standards in all areas of general insurance, including the fair
treatment of customers. The Government announced some time ago that the Financial Services Authority would regulate general insurance but this is unlikely to happen before 2004 and in the
meantime GISC continues to set and enforce good practice to ensure that general insurance customers are treated fairly.
Members of GISC include insurance companies and intermediaries and are monitored independently to ensure that they follow the GISC Code of Standards. In addition to
the GISC there are other regulatory bodies such as the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) and members normally include the relevant logo in
Information about proposed insurance
Members will provide adequate information in a comprehensive and timely way to enable commercial customers to make an informed decision about the General Insurance
Products or General Insurance Activity-related services being proposed.
If they are acting on behalf of the commercial customer, members will explain the differences in, and the relative costs of, the types of insurance, which in
the opinion of the member would suit the commercial customer’s needs. In so doing members will take into consideration the knowledge held by their commercial customers when deciding to what
extent it is appropriate for their commercial customers to have the terms and conditions of a particular insurance explained to them.
Members will advise commercial customers of the key features of the insurance proposed, including the essential cover and benefits, any significant or unusual
restrictions, exclusions, conditions or obligations, and the period of cover. In so doing, members will take into consideration the knowledge held by their commercial customers when deciding
to what extent it is appropriate for commercial customers to have the terms and conditions of a particular insurance explained to them.
If members are unable to match commercial customers’ requirements they will explain the differences in the insurance proposed. Detailed below are the ongoing
service requirements as stated in the GISC Commercial Code in addition to the standards for claims handling.
Providing Ongoing Service
Members will respond promptly to commercial customers
Queries and correspondence.
Members will deal promptly with commercial customers’ requests for amendments to cover and provide them with full details of any premium or changes to be paid
Members will provide written confirmation when amendments are made.
Members will remit any return premium and charges due to commercial customers without avoidable delay.
Members will notify commercial customers of the renewal or expiry of their policy in time to allow them to consider and arrange any continuing cover they may
Members will remind commercial customers at renewal of their duty to disclose all circumstances material to the insurance.
On expiry or cancellation of the insurance, at the request of the commercial customer, members will promptly make available all documentation and information to
which the commercial customer is entitled.
Members will, on request, give their commercial customers reasonable guidance in pursuing a claim under their policy.
Members will handle claims fairly and promptly and keep their commercial customers informed of progress.
Members will inform commercial customers in writing, with an explanation, if they are unable to deal with any part of a claim.
Members will forward settlement of a claim, without avoidable delay, once it has been agreed.
If your insurer, broker or intermediary is a member of the GISC you should ensure that these standards are met.