According to the annual Ombudsman for short-term insurance in South Africa on Thursday, a total of 9,784 complaints were lodged against short term insurers which was slightly down from the 10,253 in 2014. Out of all the complaints 48% of them related to car insurance, 18% to house-owner insurance, 8% to householder insurance, 7% to commercial insurance and the rest (19%) to other types of short term insurance.
Car Insurance Complaints:
The new ombudsman for short term insurance Deanne Wood said the reduction in the submission of complaints could be attributed to “the effect that initiatives such as the treating customers fairly campaign are having on the approach taken by insurers to claims resolution”. She added it is of great importance that insurance policies are written with clarity because many policy documents are unclear and have ambiguous clauses that are hard to understand and problematic to interpret.
Wood went on to say that the main faults between insurers and their clients was bad communication which is found in the scripts used by direct insurers during recorded sales conversations. Motor warranty policies continued to cause problems due to lack of understanding on the part of consumers as the precise nature of the cover provided.
Wood stated “Cellphone policies too were problematic‚ especially when it came to consumers understanding the concept of a specified SIM card having to be used with a particular handset at the time of a cellphone loss‚”.
Another reason for concern was the occasional forceful behavior of insurance assessors when addressing policyholders about claims.
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