Plain Language Standard

Life isn’t fair — but how we act can be

Image, cover for the ICNZ Fair Insurance Code 2020

The Fair Insurance Code ticks all the boxes for insurers and consumers. CC-BY-NC-ND

Fairer insurance for all New Zealanders dovetails perfectly with the WriteMark’s mission of a fairer society where everybody can get the information they need.

This week the Insurance Council of New Zealand published the Fair Insurance Code 2020. The Code helps to build trust and confidence in the insurance industry, which may lead to a fairer financial system for all of us.

The Code safeguards consumers by committing general insurers to:

  • act honestly and fairly
  • develop, market, and sell insurance products responsibly
  • identify and address instances of poor conduct.

A fair code is a clear code

As the Code has reached a high standard for plain language, we’re pleased to say it has also earned the WriteMark. This means it has a clear purpose, structure, language, and design. Readers can understand and act on the information they need. For example, the Code tells readers at the start what to expect:

…The code describes how your relationship with your insurer should work, including what you need to tell them and how they need to respond.
The code:

  • explains what the Fair Insurance Code covers and who it applies to
  • describes the responsibilities you and your insurance company have
  • explains what should happen when you make a claim or a complaint.

The Code uses straightforward language that talks directly to readers and is easy to understand. Sentences are short and uncomplicated. The writers have also made sure the Code is accessible for readers and speakers of other languages, and have produced a version in New Zealand Sign Language.

Life isn’t fair — but how we act can be WriteMark

A financial band-aid should be fair and clear. Image by Franck V / Unsplash licence

Working together to support consumers

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi describes insurance as a critical service that needs to support consumer financial resilience, and not undermine it. When insurers comply with the Code, consumers will find it easier to access financial support when the unexpected happens.

Allowing the insurance industry to self-regulate works with the law and helps to:

  • put customers at the centre
  • push for culture change in the industry
  • set up robust internal processes.

More than the sum of its parts

The Fair Insurance Code has ticked boxes for all 28 elements of the WriteMark plain language standard. But the Code’s impact and clarity add up to a lot more than that — and that’s fair.

Read the Fair Insurance Code

Watch Hon Kris Faafoi introduce the Code

April 7th, 2020

Posted In: The WriteMark, WriteMark Holders

Tags: , ,