Self-regulation is very important for the functioning of the industry and customer-oriented action. It contributes to a positive reputation of the sector. The basis for the self-regulation of the insurance sector is the Insurers' Code of Conduct. It contains the core values on which the system of self-regulation is based.
What is self-regulation?
Insurers strive for the best quality for their customers. Self-regulation and control thereof contribute to this and strengthen the trust of consumers and stakeholders. This self-regulation consists of a system of company regulations, covenants, protocols and codes of conduct. In order to remain in line with (social) developments, self-regulation is regularly updated.
Uniform working method
Most schemes encourage a uniform working method among insurers. By standardizing processes and connecting them to each other, reports are processed faster, services are more transparent and members save costs. We record these agreements in self-regulation, which are periodically tested via a self-assessment.
Core codes customer interest
A dozen schemes go further. This concerns, for example, the handling of privacy-sensitive data, clear information provision, fraud prevention and proper handling of claims and complaints. From 2021, the insurance sector will be one of the first sectors with an ethical framework for data applications; this is also contained in a code of conduct. Together, this ten Core Codes Customer Interest forms a quality standard for the sector; they are extensively tested by the independent Foundation for the Assessment of Insurers.
Benefits for insurer and policyholder
- Insurers are more actively involved in the development of self-regulation than in legislation. This usually makes the arrangements workable and feasible. As a result, the support base is also large.
- Self-regulation stimulates the self-cleaning capacity of the sector: it keeps us on our toes and provides clarity about what we expect from each other.
- The rules we impose on ourselves help to protect the customer's interests, to ensure that business processes run efficiently and to combat and prevent insurance fraud. This often saves us time and money.
For which insurers?
More than 60 regulations are binding on members of the Association. The binding regulations can be found in the Code Guide binding self-regulation. Part of this applies to all members of the Association. Another part applies to a part of the branch, for example the non-life or life insurance branch.
Supervision of compliance by stichting toetsing verzekeraars (Stv)
The rules that insurers agree with each other about self-regulation are not without obligation. The supervision of compliance with this is organised in different ways: the independent Foundation for the Assessment of Insurers (Stv) periodically assesses compliance with 55 binding regulations.
- The 10 Core Codes Customer Interest is intensively tested by the STV through research and company visits.
- For the 45 more process-oriented schemes, this is done through self-assessments.
- The Stv does not review a small number of binding regulations, because these regulations are already being tested elsewhere.
Financial Services Complaints Institute and Financial Services Disciplinary Board
Members of the Dutch Association are compulsorily affiliated with the Financial Services Complaints Institute (Kifid). The Association has also set up the Financial Services Disciplinary Board (Assurantiën). Both bodies base their independent rulings on insurers partly on binding self-regulation by the Association.
Read more information about the Financial Services Complaints Institute and the Financial Services Disciplinary Board (Assurantiën).
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Part of the self-regulation that applies to non-life insurers provides for a special Disputes Committee for Non-Life Insurers or a Disputes Committee for Recourse Claims for Non-Life Insurers. Non-life insurers can submit disputes about the applicability, explanation and implementation of these regulations.