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ombudsman news

issue 7

July 2001

It's holiday time again for the insurance ombudsmen! Airport delays and flight cancellations, lost baggage, accidents, illness, and even - in a few tragic cases - deaths. The holidays we look at are usually the ones where the holidaymaker is pleased to return to work! In this edition of ombudsman news we feature a selection of recent cases illustrating different aspects of travel insurance. We also highlight some of our concerns.

When assessing claims relating to medical conditions, insurers frequently require medical reports. It is becoming increasingly common for doctors to charge a fee for such reports, but practice appears to vary among insurers as to whether the policyholder or the firm should pay. Our views are frequently sought about this. We highlight some of the issues and invite your comments.

Motor insurance provides the case studies for our discussion about our approach to "innocent non-disclosure", where policyholders have unintentionally failed to disclose a material fact to their insurers.

In this edition we also explain the approach we take when assessing whether a complaint involving a group insurance policy falls within our jurisdiction. And we announce details of the new rate of interest we will use in all awards we make from 1 September 2001 onwards.

As always, we welcome your comments about ombudsman news. Please let us know if there are any particular topics you would like us to include in future editions.

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.