1) Where can I go to settle disputes with my insurer?

If you feel you have been treated unfairly by your insurer, you should lodge a complaint directly with the insurer, and provide the insurer with your details (name, contact numbers, etc.), the specific nature of your complaint and supporting documents.

The insurer should acknowledge your complaint within 3 business days, and if necessary, request additional information from you within 7 business days of the date of your complaint.

Depending on the nature of your complaint, the insurer may need more time to attend to it. If so, the insurer should contact you and update you on the progress within 14 business days of your last communication, before proceeding to resolve the problem.

If you have taken these steps and still feel the response is not satisfactory, or if there is no response within the timeframes stated above, you should then appeal to the principal officer of the insurer in writing. You can expect a response to this within 14 business days.

Finally, if you are still unsatisfied after going through these channels, you can contact the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd (FIDReC). FIDReC was set up to provide an affordable, independent channel for resolving insurance disputes involving claims between insureds and insurers of up to S$100,000 for both life and general insurance. In addition, FIDReC also handles motor third-party property damage claims of up to S$50,000. Its operation is provided for in the General Insurance Code of Practice.

2) How do I file a claim with FIDReC?

You may lodge your complaint/claim in person, by fax, post or e-mail.

Filing a claim and having a Case Manager review your claim is free of charge. If a Case Manager takes your claim up with the insurer concerned and is unable to facilitate a resolution, you can then refer your claim to an FIDReC mediator or panel of mediators depending on the size of the claim. If you choose to do so, you need to pay a nominal administrative fee of S$50.

The ruling of the mediator or panel is final and binding on the insurer, but not on you. If you are not happy with the ruling, you are free to reject it and pursue a settlement through mediation, arbitration or legal proceedings. However, if you accept the panel's ruling, this means you have chosen to give up your right to proceed with legal action against the insurer.

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