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How will insurance ombudsman work in Kazakhstan?

The President signed the amendments to the laws regulating the insurance market approved by the Majilis and Senate. The document introduces new products and restrictions for insurers. The powers and responsibilities of insurance ombudsman are also significantly expanded. Read more about the changes below.
How will insurance ombudsman work in Kazakhstan?

The institution of insurance ombudsman has been operating in our country since 2007. Since 2015, the scope of activities of insurance ombudsman covers all types of compulsory and voluntary insurance. Applicants can be individuals and small businesses. The limit on the amount of the claim should not exceed 10 thousand MCI.

“Reforming the institute of insurance ombudsman will improve the efficiency of pre-trial settlement of disputes between consumers and financial institutions, as well as reduce the number of disputes, including litigation, and increase consumer confidence in the insurance market,” explained the purpose of the changes, Deputy Director of Insurance Market and Actuarial Calculations Department of Agency on regulation and development of the financial market Yelena Filimonova.

Most of the amendments are to be introduced in 2024. The institute is facing global reforms that will require not only efforts but money.

Office

Insurance ombudsman has been previously elected by the insurance companies, now it will be done by the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for regulation and development of the financial market (ARDFM) from among the candidates proposed by the council of representatives. There are supposed to be at least three such candidates. The amendments also introduce requirements for ombudsman, a compulsory legal education. Previously, any higher education has been suitable, but the work of ombudsman is associated with litigation.

“The office of insurance ombudsman should now include specialists in the field of valuation, accounting, finance and information technology. These amendments will allow Ombudsman to become more independent of the market,” Yelena Filimonova stressed.

The number of appeals of Kazakhstanis to insurance ombudsman is growing from year to year. “The expansion of insurance ombudsman’s powers and increase in the office staff will help improve the quality of dispute resolution and cross the terms of disputes. As of June 20, the office has registered 770 dispute resolution applications,” said Pavel Zavalko, the insurance ombudsman of Kazakhstan.

The requirement for mandatory pre-trial appeal to insurance ombudsman and only then going to court will begin to work in 2024. “The increase in the duties of ombudsman entails additional costs; there are also changes here. The more dissatisfied customers the company has, the more people complain about the company, the more sanctions and enforcement measures are applied to the company, the greater the amount of contributions made by insurers. The logic is that for unsatisfactory work with clients, the amount of contributions will increase,” Yelena Filimonova noted.

Photos are from open sources.

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