Policyholder Protection

Protection issues

For life assurance companies, the Isle of Man's Life Assurance (Compensation of Policyholders) Regulations 1991 ensure that, in the event of a life assurance company being unable to meet its liabilities to its policyholders, and subject to the Regulations, the scheme manager shall pay to the policyholder out of the Policyholders' Compensation Fund a sum equal to 90% of the amount of any liability of the insurer under the contract.

The Island's scheme operates globally, providing protection to policyholders no matter where they reside.

The scheme would be funded by a levy on the funds of the other life assurance companies.

The Financial Services Ombudsman

The role of the Authority does not extend to acting as arbitrator for individual policyholder complaints. However, it should be noted that the Isle of Man has a Financial Services Ombudsman scheme which has a broader remit. This service is free and designed to handle consumer disputes in the areas of Insurance, Banking, Investment and Pensions from consumers of Isle of Man regulated businesses from around the World.

To pursue a complaint, the complainant must first have formally taken the matter up with the institution concerned, and must contact the Ombudsman within 6 years of the act or omission taking place, or within 2 years of the date at which the act or omission came to the notice of the complainant.

Complaints where the act or omission occurred prior to April 20th 1999 do not fall under the scheme.

The scheme's adjudicator has the power to impose directions to remedy the position, and can make monetary awards of up to £100,000 in respect of an act or omission which occurred before 1st April 2012 or £150,000 if that act or omission occurrred on or after 1st April 2012.

Q&A

The Authority has produced a document setting out answers to a range of frequently asked questions in relation to the protection afforded to the policyholders of a long term business contract of insurance issued by an Isle of Man authorised insurer.