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The success of the Insurance Mediation

Consumers are increasingly resorting to insurance mediation. But what does it involve? And what does it achieve?

Insurance Mediation (La Médiation de l’Assurance), an association created in September 2015, seeks to reach an amicable settlement in disputes between consumers and their insurers. Any policyholders or any persons duly appointed to represent them, consumer associations or the public authorities can submit their cases to the Mediator. 

 

 

But before doing so, policyholders need to have met one condition: they must have sent a written complaint to their insurer’s dispute management department according to the terms set out in the policy in question. If they were unhappy with the response received or did not receive a response (within a period of at least two months), and provided that no legal proceedings are in progress, they may then submit their case to the mediation service.

In addition, the insurance company – like Crédit Agricole Assurances – or the mutual insurer, if it is established in France, must be a member of the Insurance Mediation association and have signed the “Insurance Mediation” charter. The Mediator also deals with cross-border cases if the companies concerned are based in the European Union.

• 16,151 cases were submitted in 2017 – up 9% in relation to 2016, and 67% in relation to 2015. 30% of submissions are made online, and 26% of them are refused after the case has been examined (on grounds of unjustified applications, insufficient information, etc.).  

 

 

The Mediator then has a period of three months from the date of receipt of the submission and the related documentation in which to issue a judgement. The two parties to the dispute can freely decide whether to accept it. In practice, this is what happens.

 

 

• 76% of the Mediator’s judgements in 2017 confirmed the professional’s position. In this case, the Mediator’s role is to educate the consumer by explaining and justifying the company’s arguments and clearing up any misunderstandings. 

• 24% of the judgements were in favour of the consumer. 

• Over 99% of judgements were accepted by the parties. If an insurer refuses to accept the judgement, it must explain its reasons for doing so in a letter signed by the Senior Management.

 

 

The mediation budget has been increased to take account of the rise in the number of cases submitted. This is a distributive budget, with insurance companies paying into it on a pro rata basis according to the number of cases received on their behalf. For insurance companies, the Mediator helps to improve the services they offer and the wording of their policies by feeding back information about possibly contentious issues. Another positive effect is to have reduced the number of legal proceedings to the absolute minimum. 

According to the Mediator, this success would not have been possible without the “active participation of all stakeholders”.

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