Ireland: Dealing with claims and complaints from consumers
Persons dealing with claims and complaints from consumers in Ireland must have a recognised professional qualification that is listed in the Minimum Competency Code 2011.
The Minimum Competency Code was introduced on 1 December 2011 by the Central Bank of Ireland as one of several regulatory measures to raise professional standards in the local insurance market. Please see previous newsletter articles in January 2013 and May 2013.
The Minimum Competency Code 2011 details the competency requirements for individuals performing “specified functions”, including qualifications, continuing professional development, training and supervision.
Impact on Lloyd’s market
The Minimum Competency Code applies to employees of managing agents in the UK and employees of insurance intermediaries in Ireland, including Lloyd’s coverholders and service companies. If an employee performs a “specified function” it must have one of the recognised professional qualifications listed in the Minimum Competency Code in order to do so. Some of the specified functions relate to dealing with claims or complaints from consumers.
Managing agents are reminded that if a specified function is undertaken by one of their own employees or by an employee of a service company or coverholder in Ireland on their behalf, that employee must have a recognised professional qualification that is listed in the Minimum Competency Code.
Table of professional qualifications
To assist managing agents, Lloyd’s has produced a table of recognised professional qualifications for each specified function, see below. The only UK professional qualifications that are recognised are an Associate or Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII or FCII) and an Associate or Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (ACILA or FCILA). All other recognised professional qualifications are awarded by institutions in Ireland. In addition, employees of third party administrators in Ireland are only permitted to undertake specified functions if the firm is an authorised insurance intermediary and the employee has a recognised professional qualification in the Minimum Competency Code.
Managing agents must ensure that affected employees have a recognised professional qualification for the specified function they carry out and they are encouraged to provide appropriate study support for those employees. With regard to the handling of complaints from consumers, the Lloyd’s Country Manager for Ireland is qualified to review final response letters for such complaints as a strictly short-term measure whilst individuals undertake the appropriate study and until an appropriate professional qualification has been obtained.
Further details are available in the Insurance law and regulation section of Crystal.