Previous Ombudsmen’s reports have given the appearance – whether or not based in reality – that they were primarily the Ombudsman’s work.In thanking the authors for what they have written, I thank them also for the particular contributions they have made to the work of the IOB during the past year.The theme of this Report, borne out in the illustrations, strikes an upbeat note. It reflects our sense that, although the IOB is coming to an end, its Logo Design work continues.This is in part due to our members gaining greater familiarity with and insight into the Ombudsman’s approach.
Our training programmes and company liaison visits, as well as our publications, have given insurers a much better understanding of our approach to recurring problems such as the valuation of cars or the lack of documentation for stolen items. Recent Bulletins contain summaries of decisions on these cases.This means that many pursue complaints which are unlikely to succeed because the insurance company has followed previous decisions in responding to the complaint.In order to reach the public, we have made particular efforts to update consumer advisers in CABx and through Trading Standards Offices.
In this way, we can explain the Ombudsman’s assessment of situations which frequently give rise to disputes.They have read the information on our web and seek specific advice about their complaints.We have therefore expanded the material on the web to make more information available, both concerning the complaint process and providing answers to typical questions which occur frequently.
Nevertheless, it seems that the complainant’s greatest need in many situations is for a clear explanation.Not only do many claimants find it hard to understand why their claim has failed, but there are also many misconceptions as to the extent of cover provided by their policies.
However, even the most extensive training programme cannot anticipate every problem.