On November 15, Valerie took on the role of Insurance Ombudsman previously held by Paul-Charles Origer. This function is in addition to her current role as Legal and Tax Advisor and to the Commissions and Working Groups she manages.
This role, which is not well known, is of public utility. Mediation takes place once the insurer’s appeals have been exhausted, and before legal proceedings. The Mediator’s function is to examine the disputes between an individual and an insurance company in order to allow an amicable resolution. Thus, the insured can address a request to the mediator, who will examine his or her file and re-establish a dialogue with the insurer. Valérie explains what mediation is:
A body called “Insurance Mediator” was set up by the ACA and the Union Luxembourgeoise des Consommateurs (ULC) in order to find extra-judicial solutions to insurance disputes between insurance companies established in Luxembourg and consumers residing in Luxembourg or in another European Union country.
It is therefore a process through which two or more parties to a dispute voluntarily try to reach an agreement on the resolution of their dispute with the help of a mediator. The mediator is not a judge but rather an “assistant” or “facilitator”.
Through mediation, policyholders are offered an alternative solution to litigation. Mediation will also reinforce the quality of the services made available to the insured, assist them in their procedures and bring a certain pedagogy in their understanding of the problems. Mediation also allows insurance companies to clarify the disputes they have with their policyholders and the real difficulties they have encountered.
The procedure before the mediator is free.
The main objective of mediation is to find a balanced solution, acceptable to all parties, in order to avoid long and costly legal proceedings. The challenge is to keep the confidence of both the insurance companies and the policyholders in the search for this right balance, which is essential to reach a mediation and try to put an end to any conflict.
Communication remains key in the insurance industry: it must be clear and precise. Customer service must remain at the center of the insurance companies’ concerns.
Mediation also has a societal role to play in a society that is becoming increasingly digitalized and that tends to put the human aspect in the background.
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