R100m re­cov­ered from in­sur­ers

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - ZODIDI MHLANA zo­didim@the­newage.co.za

THE of­fice of the om­buds­man for short­term in­sur­ance re­cov­ered R100m from in­sur­ers and paid it back to con­sumers dur­ing 2016.

Deanne Wood, the om­buds­man for short-term in­sur­ance re­vealed this yes­ter­day when her of­fice re­leased its re­port for last year.

“It was re­cov­ered di­rectly from in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and R59m of this was re­cov­ered in re­la­tion to mo­tor ve­hi­cle claims,” Wood said.

A to­tal of 14 916 com­plaints of which 10 175 were reg­is­tered as for­mal com­plaints, were lodged with the of­fice last year.

She said that nearly 50% of the com­plaints lodged with her of­fice in 2016, were re­lated to mo­tor ve­hi­cle claims.

“A to­tal of 49% of the com­plaints that we re­ceived were mo­tor ve­hi­cle re­lated, so that made up the ma­jor­ity of the com­plaints,” she said.

Wood said that there were var­i­ous rea­sons be­hind these ve­hi­cle re­lated com­plaints.

“The other rea­son why we get com­plaints is that con­sumers do not un­der­stand how in­sur­ances works. There are a wide range of com­plaints in this cat­e­gory rang­ing from mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, to com­plaints that deal with war­ranties and ve­hi­cles be­ing stolen,” she said.

Wood said that one of the chal­lenges her of­fice faced was to re­solve com­plaints prop­erly and on time.

“Our biggest chal­lenge is try­ing to en­gage com­plaints as quickly as pos­si­ble, while try­ing to get a qual­ity out­come. Our goal is to re­solve com­plaints ef­fi­ciently, but we have to en­sure that we get this right,” she said.

Wood said that it was im­por­tant for con­sumers to un­der­stand the pur­pose of hav­ing in­sur­ance.

“In­sur­ance is not there to cover you for ev­ery loss that you suf­fer. The con­tract will spec­ify what ex­actly the peril or the danger you are in­sured for,” she said.

“Many peo­ple do not un­der­stand this and be­lieve that they are cov­ered for any loss.”

She em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing in­sur­ers with ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to avoid prob­lems at a later stage.

“Con­sumers should make sure that all the in­for­ma­tion that they have given is ac­cu­rate, make sure that they read the con­tracts and up­date their in­for­ma­tion if there are any changes, as this af­fects pre­mi­ums and the claim,” she said.

CLAIMS: A to­tal of 14 916 com­plaints were lodged with the of­fice of the om­buds­man for short-term in­sur­ance last year.

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