Con­sumer pro­tec­tion re­quire­ments

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

Roseanne Mur­phy Har­ris says rules in­tro­duced by the de­mar­ca­tion reg­u­la­tions for the pro­tec­tion of con­sumers in­clude the fol­low­ing:

• Com­mis­sion payable to in­sur­ance bro­kers on health in­sur­ance poli­cies has been lim­ited to pre­vent mis-sell­ing. Com­mis­sion is now set ac­cord­ing to monthly pre­mium bands, rang­ing from a max­i­mum of 20% of pre­mi­ums less than R300 a month, to a max­i­mum of 5% of pre­mi­ums above R1 200 a month.

• In­sur­ers are pro­hib­ited from dis­crim­i­nat­ing against in­di­vid­u­als by re­fus­ing them cover or in­creas­ing their pre­mi­ums on the ba­sis of their state of health, be­cause they have a dis­abil­ity or be­cause they are preg­nant. How­ever, in­sur­ers may price pre­mi­ums based on the age of the pol­i­cy­holder when tak­ing out a con­tract, pro­vided that this pric­ing af­fects all new pol­i­cy­hold­ers of the same age.

• In­sur­ers may im­pose a gen­eral wait­ing pe­riod of up to three months on pol­i­cy­hold­ers be­fore they can sub­mit a claim, as well as a con­di­tion-spe­cific wait­ing pe­riod of up to 12 months. This will ap­ply to in­di­vid­u­als who have been di­ag­nosed with or sought treat­ment for an ill­ness or con­di­tion in the year pre­ced­ing the date on which they take out a new pol­icy.

• As part of the Treat­ing Cus­tomers Fairly prin­ci­ples adopted by the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try, the terms of poli­cies, the pre­mi­ums payable, as well as any re­stric­tions on ben­e­fits, must be dis­closed when a pol­icy is taken out.

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