Insurance consumer complaint resolution group has busy beginning

February 24, 2003, Vancouver � The Board of Directors for the ombudservice for Canada�s private insurance companies will be meeting in Vancouver February 25, 2003 to review the organization�s national progress. The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) � in its first year of operation � is the dispute resolution mechanism for federally regulated insurance companies and their customers.

�The GIO is proving to be an efficient and impartial way to reconcile disputes between insurers and their customers,� says Lea Algar, chair of the GIO. �Consumer services officers have helped many policyholders to solve their problems even before they escalated to the point of activating the formal
mediation process.�

From July to December 2002, there were almost 37,000 calls, which included both complaints and general enquiries. Only 17 of those calls have gone on to mediation.

The board meeting in Vancouver will focus on fine-tuning the organization�s bylaws, reviewing communications activities and strategic planning.

Established in July 2002, the GIO assists in resolving differences between home, car and business insurance companies and their customers. GIO�s professional mediators and experienced customer services officers assist insurance companies and customers work towards a solution that is in the best interest of all parties in a fair, independent and impartial environment.

For more information about the GIO, contact head office at 613-236-5043 or visit the web site at