Consumer’s Protection in Insurance Sector after Consolidation of Financial Markets’ Supervision
Keywords: financial market supervisory authorities, insured protection, dispute resolution between insureds (consumers) and insurers, standard contractual provisions
AbstractThe crisis and its impacts have underscored yet again how important to fulfill consumer protection requirement in this specific field. Therefore, in this article we analyze the insurance sector related consumer protection. We emphasize that as of 1 January 2012 Lithuania made the significant financial markets supervision reform. Therefore, Bank of Lithuania (central bank of the Republic of Lithuania) is now the centralized financial market supervisor that is responsible for the consumer’s protection in this sector. After reform the Bank of Lithuania acts as independent “referee” who looks at both sides of the insurance dispute, makes enquiries, asks questions and comes up with a solution (recommendation) that he believes is fair. It is worth to stress that the out-of-court settlement procedure is not binding, therefore in some cases out-of-court settlement procedure is not efficient enough.
In the article we also rise the public administration problem – in some cases State Consumer Rights Protection Authority that is the main institution in the field of consumer protection, may revise the standard insurance contract terms. Such public administration functions are also delegated to the Bank of Lithuania. Therefore, where the insurance-related consumer dispute rises, it is not clear which public institution is responsible to provide the competent opinion on insurance contract standard terms fulfillment with consumer protection laws.
Experience of Public Administration Reforms