OLHI vows to improve service amid strong growth for industry

The information and complaints service for Canadian life and health insurance has reported a solid performance over the past year in its annual report

The Ombudsman for Life and Health Insurance has released its annual report for 2015-2016, with the general growth in the industry being replicated by the association’s activity.

Over that period, the organization managed to collect more than 86,000 public contacts, matching historical levels. Complaint investigations increased 27.6% over last year and doubled the number observed two years ago. The OLHI also boasted that all final, non-binding recommendations were accepted – a record that it has maintained since its inception.

They received a total of 2,136 complaints last year. Broken down by region, Quebec accounted for the most at 986, followed by Ontario at 699. The rest of the provinces account for just over 20% of the complaints filed. The top three product complaint categories are disability, life, and extended health and dental, together making up 82.1% of all complaints.

"We are always refining our process to ensure all complaints with merit are thoroughly investigated," said Holly Nicholson, Executive Director. "At the same time, we can't lose sight of the fact that most complaints are settled either by the insurance company directly or by OLHI before consumers reach our investigation stage."

Not content to rest on its laurels, the body has also declared designs to improve its service to the Canadian public even further.

“OLHI's five-year strategic plan is our road map to continued success, with six key markers we need to pass along our travels," said Chair Dr. Janice MacKinnon at the organization’s annual meeting held on September 15, 2016. "Among these goals are a broader public profile and high stakeholder satisfaction, with increased visibility outside central Canada. To accomplish this, we have made key investments in a new case management system and website – true game-changers that transform the way OLHI does business.”

OLHI also renewed its Framework for Collaboration with the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators, which is in place to ensure that OLHI meets its public service mandate.

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