ICNZ fines Youi New Zealand
Further to my recent post regarding Youi in NZ and following from their conviction on 15 representative charges bought by the Commerce Commission for misleading sales techniques, Youi NZ have now been fined $100,000 by the Insurance Council of New Zealand for breaches of the Fair Insurance Code.
Following a disciplinary process, the ICNZ Board decided on imposing a financial penalty rather than the most severe sanction it could impose, termination of Youi’s membership of ICNZ, but warned Youi that any future misconduct risked their membership being terminated.
My initial thoughts were that Youi got off lightly and should have been expelled, but after considering the comments of the ICNZ President, Chris Black and giving the matter further consideration, I believe that this is the best outcome.
I can certainly understand the logic of the approach taken from ICNZ in that had Youi been expelled, they would no longer be held accountable for the standards set by the ICNZ. Although their actions have brought disrepute onto the insurance industry in New Zealand, they have demonstrated remorse, have made commitments to reviewing and changing its systems, processes and monitoring to prevent a recurrence and are strong supporter of the industry.
The ICNZ made significant changes to strengthen its Fair Insurance Code to raise the standards of service to consumers when it issued the revised Fair Insurance Code early this year. To my knowledge, this is the first time they have imposed a significant penalty on a member for breaches of the code and it is pleasing to see that they are prepared to do this to protect the rights of insureds.