TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - At its Annual General Meeting held on November 8th, 2013, the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance (OLHI) announced another successful year. Highlights include the following:
- Total Contacts with the public exceeded 66,000, led by a growth in Web visits of 35%;
- A significant increase in both complaint referrals from insurers and the number of Western consumers using OLHI's services;
- Successful completion of its 2nd Independent Review.
"We are pleased that OLHI's profile with the public continues to grow", said Dr. Janice MacKinnon, OLHI Chair. "It is excellent news that more consumers are hearing about OLHI's independent complaint review process and that knowledge of our services is growing in Western Canada. Support from our stakeholders has been instrumental in enhancing our profile among consumers".
"Another major highlight has been the completion of OLHI's 2nd Independent Review" added Dr. MacKinnon. "The review concludes that OLHI is fulfilling its mandate as an independent forum for consumer protection".
"We are particularly happy with the reviewer's conclusion that OLHI operates independently from the life and health insurance industry and that its current model for the selection of Directors should not be changed," added Dr. MacKinnon. "It is reassuring to have confirmed that OLHI's governing mechanisms meet the standard of independence in all aspects".
OLHI's Chair also clarified that OLHI will continue to handle consumer complaints related to segregated funds. "Since OLHI was founded in 2002, consumers of life and health insurance products have been able to file a complaint with OLHI pertaining to segregated funds" said Dr. MacKinnon. "Segregated funds are insurance products and OLHI has the expertise to handle these complaints. It makes sense that we continue to review them and to refer any related banking or mutual fund complaint to our sister OmbudService, OBSI". OLHI receives approximately 70 segregated fund complaints annually; fewer than 10% involve a mutual fund or banking component.
Further details on notable company events in the past year, including consumer case studies, are contained in OLHI's 2012 -13 Annual Report now available online at www.olhi.ca/annual_review.html
About the OmbudService for Life & Health Insurance
A not-for-profit corporation established in 2002, OLHI is a national independent complaint resolution and information service for consumers of Canadian life and health insurance products and services, including life, disability, employee health benefits, travel, and insurance investment products such as annuities and segregated funds.
OLHI's services are available free of charge, in both English and French, to any Canadian consumer whose life or health insurer is an OLHI member. OLHI is a member of the Financial Services OmbudsNetwork (FSON), a Canada wide network of dispute resolution services supported by Canada's financial services regulators and financial services firms. For more information visit www.olhi.ca.
For further information:
Media Contact: Jerry Grymek,
LMA Communications Inc.
Tel: 416 440-2500 ext 236