R100m recovered from insurers
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.