HOW THE CON­FU­SION AROSE

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

The crit­i­cism by Charles Pil­lai, the Om­bud for Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Providers, about the am­bi­gu­ity in in­sur­ers’ re­quire­ments for ve­hi­cle anti-theft de­vices re­lates to a com­plaint over an in­sur­ance claim for a 1995 VW Jetta Cli.

When Mart­i­nus de Jong of Gaut­eng in­sured his Jetta with San­tam, one of the pol­icy re­quire­ments was that De Jong in­stall a gear­lock ap­proved by the Ve­hi­cle Se­cu­rity As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa. He later switched his in­sur­ance to Mu­tual & Fed­eral, and this pol­icy re­quired that the ve­hi­cle be fit­ted with a gear­lock ap­proved by the Ac­cred­ited Bureau for Se­cu­rity within 14 days of the cover com­menc­ing.

De Jong did not have a gear­lock in­stalled, and he told Pil­lai that his bro­ker had not in­formed him of the con­di­tions of the Mu­tual & Fed­eral pol­icy.

Af­ter De Jong’s car was stolen and Mu­tual & Fed­eral re­jected his claim, Pil­lai asked the South African In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion (Saia) for its opin­ion on the Jetta’s fac­tory-fit­ted se­cu­rity sys­tem.

Saia con­sulted the ve­hi­cle se­cu­rity sys­tem (VSS) list (see “How the ve­hi­cle se­cu­rity list works”) and found that the 1995 Jetta Cli was not on it.

How­ever, Volk­swa­gen con­firmed that the se­cu­rity sys­tem in the 1995 Jetta Cli was the same as the one in the 1997 Jetta Cli, which was on the VSS list, and that hence the sys­tem in De Jong’s car was VSS-com­pli­ant.

Pil­lai said this ap­par­ent in­con­sis­tency be­tween the in­sur­ers, an in­sur­ance body and a man­u­fac­turer com­pounded De Jong’s con­fu­sion over whether or not his car’s se­cu­rity sys­tem was suf­fi­cient for in­sur­ance pur­poses.

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