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Sanadak: UAE's Ombudsman Unit for Resolving Consumer Complaints Against Insurance Companies

Sanadak- Ombudsman Unit- Insurance Broker- Gargash Insurance- UAE 14 May, 2024

Sanadak is your go-to platform for addressing grievances with insurance companies in the UAE. Read more about Sanadak here!

Sanadak, UAE's ombudsman unit, provides a platform for UAE consumers to lodge complaints against licensed insurance companies and banks, eliminating the need for legal proceedings. This is one of the first ombudsman units in the UAE.

This article details the services offered by Sanadak and its role in protecting consumers' rights within the financial sector.

Quick Read Section

  • Sanadak is a consumer support system that provides easy access and swift resolution of financial complaints.
  • It accepts complaints free of charge and addresses concerns related to Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs) and insurance companies.
  • Sanadak can assist with various types of financial product complaints, related to bank accounts, credit cards, loans, insurance, and more.
  • To submit a complaint, individuals can register on the Sanadak website, use the mobile application, call the helpline, visit the office, or send an email.
  • Complaints must meet eligibility criteria and may be rejected if they fall under certain circumstances.

 

What are the services provided by Sanadak?

Sanadak, meaning ‘Your Support’ in Arabic, serves as a consumer support system, ensuring easy access and swift resolution of financial complaints. By submitting complaints through Sanadak, consumers can avoid the complexities of court proceedings and engage in a streamlined complaint resolution process.

Sanadak accepts complaints free of charge, addressing any concerns related to financial institutions and insurance companies. Its primary objective is to enforce consumer protection standards and foster compliance among financial institutions and insurance companies.

Sanadak can help with a wide range of complaints related to financial and insurance products and services. This includes issues concerning bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans, as well as health insurance, car insurance, property insurance, compensation disputes, general insurance matters, marine shipping, and life insurance, etc.

 

Eligibility and Rejection Criteria:

Customers can register complaints if they have experienced problems with the services provided by Licensed Financial Institutions (LFIs) or insurers.

For a complaint to be eligible, it must involve situations where the institution or insurer has failed to provide a specific service or product that customers requested due to arbitrary reasons, discriminatory practices, or financial loss resulting from deceptive, misleading, fraudulent, or unfair conduct.

In the event that consumers are dissatisfied with the decision made by Sanadak regarding their complaint, they have the option to lodge an appeal. However, it is important to note that there is a fee of AED 500 associated with the appeals process. (subject to change in future)

Furthermore, if a complaint is accepted for review by Sanadak, it is possible that additional information may be requested from the involved parties.

 

How to Submit a Complaint on Sanadak?

Consumers can lodge complaints and track their resolutions by:

 

Sanadak's Complaint Submission Process:

For submitting a complaint through the Sanadak website or app, customers need to choose the type of complaint they want to submit or track.

Here are the two options available for customers to choose from at the initial step:

  1. For issues related to Licenses Financial Institutions
  2. For complaints against Insurance Companies

 

Whether you are an individual, sole proprietor, or a small to medium-sized enterprise as defined in the Ombudsman Regulation, you have the right to submit a complaint through Sanadak.

Submitting a complaint to Sanadak is a simple process. Here's what customers need to do:

  • Figure out what your complaint is about and which category it falls into.
  • Try to resolve the issue by directly contacting the financial institution or insurance company involved.
  • Decide how you want to submit your complaint to Sanadak. Choose the method that is most suitable for you.
  • Give all the necessary details and provide any relevant documents related to your complaint.
  • Wait for Sanadak to respond and review your complaint. They will look into the matter and get back to you.

 

When is the deadline for filing a complaint?

Customers can file a complaint within three years from the date of the conduct that led to the complaint, or within two years from the date you became aware of the conduct, whichever is longer. However, it is important to note that there may be exceptions to this timeframe based on the specific circumstances involved.

 

How much does it cost to register a complaint with Sanadak?

Filing complaints is free for Consumers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, there is a fee of AED 500 per appeal for those who wish to challenge the decision.

Sanadak doesn't charge any fees for initial complaints. If Customers choose to appeal and the appeal decision is in their favor, the fees paid for the appeal will be refunded to the customer.

 

Can your complaint get rejected by Sanadak?

Sanadak may reject complaints related to a Licensed Financial Institution (LFI) or Insurance Company under certain circumstances.

The following are the scenarios in which a complaint may be rejected:

  • No Prior Official Complaint: If the consumer did not raise an official complaint with the relevant LFI or Insurance Company before submitting the complaint to Sanadak.
  • Minimum Waiting Period: If the consumer fails to observe a minimum waiting period of 30 calendar days after lodging the complaint with the LFI or Insurance Company.
  • Identical Complaints: Complaints that are identical in nature to those already received and being addressed by Sanadak.
  • Ongoing Court Proceedings: If the consumer's complaint is already being dealt with in a court of law.
  • Outside Regulatory Mandate: Complaints that fall outside the regulatory mandate of the Central Bank.
  • Internal Policies and Practices: Complaints that primarily relate to an LFI or Insurance Company's risk management, internal pricing policy, or anti-money laundering policies and practices.
  • Pre-Settlement: Complaints that have already been settled between the complainant and the LFI or Insurance Company prior to being submitted to Sanadak.

 

It is important to be aware of these rejection criteria to ensure that complaints meet the necessary requirements for consideration by Sanadak.

 

Sanadak's Resolution Process:

Sanadak follows a structured process to handle complaints:

  • Submission of complaint: Consumers submit a complaint that meets Sanadak's eligibility criteria and provide the necessary information and documentation.
  • Deciding the outcome: Sanadak reviews the case, may request additional documentation, and issues a decision in writing, partially upholding, upholding, or rejecting the complaint.
  • Tracking of progress: Sanadak updates the complainant through the portal, SMS, and email notifications, allowing them to check the status of their complaint at any time.
  • Case closure or appeal: If the consumer accepts the outcome, the case is closed. However, dissatisfied parties can appeal the decision to the Appeals Committee or Insurance Dispute Resolution Committee for a fee, which is refundable if the appeal concludes in their favor.

 

Resolution Timelines:

Sanadak aims to resolve complaints within specific timeframes: (Timelines and process may be subject to change in future)

Acknowledgment of Complaint

Within 3 business days

Initial Response from Sanadak to the consumer, LFI/ Insurance Company

Upto 30 calendar days

Decision by consumer to withdraw complaint

Upto 5 business days

Request for Additional Information on Submitted Complaint by Sanadak

Upto 10 business days

Initial Decision in Writing submitted by LFI/Insurance company

Upto 3 business days

Request for Appeal by either party

30 Business Days

Inform Sanadak in writing of actions to resolve complaint

Upto 14 business days

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Against which type of companies can customers file complaints through Sanadak?

Customers can file complaints against any Licensed Financial Institution or Insurance Company that is licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE.

How can an aggrieved customer escalate an appeal if they’re unhappy with the decision by Sanadak?

If you're dissatisfied with the decision regarding your complaint, you have the option to escalate your case to either the Appeals Committee for Licensed Financial Institutions or the Insurance Dispute Resolution Committee (IDRC). Please note that there is an initial fee for this process, which may be refundable if the decision is in your favor.

Are Insurance Companies required to participate with Sanadak?

Yes, all Licensed Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE are obligated to operate under the jurisdiction of Sanadak.

Do Insurance Companies need to notify Sanadak when a complaint is raised by customer on company’s website /email etc ?

No, complaints that are directly lodged with Licensed Financial Institutions or Insurance Companies are considered internal matters and fall outside the scope of Sanadak's authority.

What if an Insurance Company is already handling a complaint appeal through the Central Bank's Insurance Dispute Resolution Committee?

Any existing complaints being processed by the Central Bank's Insurance Dispute Resolution Committee will be transferred to Sanadak, maintaining the same Reference Number.

Can customers complaint against an insurance company to court instead of filing it with Sanadak?

For complaints against Insurance Companies, customers must first file the complaint with Sanadak before considering legal action. It's worth noting that the courts may consider Sanadak's detailed investigation when making their decisions.

Can a customer withdraw a complaint after filing it?

Customers have the right to withdraw their complaint at any time by providing a formal written notice of withdrawal to Sanadak. Upon receiving the notice, Sanadak will notify the Insurance Company about the withdrawal within five business days.

 

Conclusion:

Sanadak plays a vital role in safeguarding consumer rights in the UAE's financial sector. By providing a platform for lodging complaints and facilitating their resolution, Sanadak ensures transparency, fairness, and compliance with consumer protection standards. UAE consumers can now seek recourse and resolution for their grievances against licensed financial institutions and insurance companies through the efficient and accessible services offered by Sanadak.

We encourage our customers to familiarize themselves with Sanadak and utilize this valuable resource in the event of any complaints or concerns. At Gargash Insurance, we value your feedback and are dedicated to continuously improving our services to meet and exceed your expectations.

Contact us today for all your insurance needs!

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