6. The insurance company has delayed processing my claim. Can I claim interest due to such a delay?
If there is an expressed provision in the insurance policy providing for payment of interest by the insurance company for having delayed the payment of a claim, a demand for payment of interest would be self-operating, provided that you have not breached any terms in your policy.
However, the standard clauses of an insurance policy usually do not provide for payment of interest by the insurance company for late payment of a claim.
If it can be shown that there was an undue/improper delay on the part of the insurance company, a complaint can either be lodged with The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers ("HKFI") or The Insurance Claims Complaints Bureau (the "ICCB") to recover interest for the delay.
Under the Code of Conduct for Insurers of the HKFI (the "Insurers' Code"), Part III, Claims:
- Paragraph 22 requires the insurer (insurance company) to handle all claims efficiently, speedily and fairly;
- Paragraph 27 requires the insurer to promptly consider and determine the claim once all the required information has been submitted; and,
- Paragraph 30 requires the insurer to make payment as soon as practicable once the claim is admitted.