How To Complain About Your Insurance Provider

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Are you unhappy with your car insurance provider, but aren’t sure what can be done about it? Read on, we’ve got you covered (literally).

Like many industries, car insurance shares an ombudsman with other short term insurances. The Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance (OSTI) settles disputes between providers and customers if a customer feels like they have been unfairly treated.

Short Term Insurance Disputes Covered By OSTI

  • Motor
  • Home (Buildings)
  • Household (Contents)
  • Cellphone
  • Travel
  • Disability
  • Credit protection insurance
  • Commercial Insurance on a limited basis
    • Claimants such as small business owners, including a sole proprietor or trader, a juristic person, partnership or trust that has a turnover in the last financial year of less than R25 million.
    • Claim disputes which the office can assist with, include fire and allied perils, glass, theft, motor, travel, sickness and accident and SASRIA claims (affiliated to the aforesaid covers).

When Can You Complain To The Ombudsman?

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To start the process, you must have already tried to settle the dispute with your insurance provider. It is best to lodge a complaint in writing. If, however, you do call, write down the name of the person you speak to as well as the time and date and what was discussed during the phone call. This may be used at a later stage.

  1. Remain calm – Remember to remain calm and polite, despite how angry or upset you may be. You are more likely to explain your complaint clearly and effectively if you stay calm.
  2. Deal with the same person every time (if possible) – It is best to attempt to contact the person you originally dealt with. If they cannot help, indicate that the matter will be taken further. Seek details of the name or job title of the person who will be handling your complaint and for details of the insurer’s complaints procedure.
  3. Ask to speak to a Senior Official – If your problem is not settled, ask to speak to someone in management.
  4. Be thorough – In your complaint, make sure you are thorough and lay the facts out as clearly as possible. It is not enough to say that you are dissatisfied. Explain exactly what has transpired and how the company dealt (or didn’t) with your issues and complaints. Write down the facts in logical order and stick to what is relevant. Lastly, and most importantly, include your claim number, or your policy number, so insurers can assess exactly what has been done
  5. Keep everything – Make sure to keep a copy of any letters between you and the insurer.

If You Cannot Settle With Your Insurer, Contact OSTI

  1. You will need to fill in and send a complaint form
  2. If there is a small cost involved, issue a summons out of the Small Claims Court on the Insurance Company. The maximum amount that can be claimed in the Small Claims Court is R15 000
  3. Consult with an attorney to pursue the matter by means of further legal action.

Types Of Disputes

  1. Dissatisfied with repairs
  2. Unfair claim rejection
  3. Low compensation for a damaged, stolen or hijacked vehicle
  4. Another party’s insurer not paying out correctly
  5. Insurer cancelling a policy unfairly

Guru Grade, Facebook, HelloPeter, And Twitter

We live in a digital age where all eyes are on the internet. This means, if we are disgruntled with a provider, it is commonplace to voice our displeasure online. Facebook, Twitter, HelloPeter and, our very own, Guru Grade have become platforms for live debate on service delivery

These platforms, however, are not only to berate service providers, but are also used to commend and congratulate companies on a job well done.

Guru Grade requires you to score your chosen provider out of ten and to submit a review of your experience. You can also suggest what others should watch out for when dealing with a provider, or give credit where credit is due.

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About Author

CompareGuru is the first truly independent online platform in South Africa that sources and provides a comprehensive comparative service of product options, with a focus on financial services including banking and insurance, as well as mobile and broadband. Through regular and in-depth market research, CompareGuru provides side-by-side comparisons that help consumers make informed decisions. At CompareGuru, we believe in the maxim that knowledge is power, and we strive to maximise the value for each consumer with clear, concise and up-to-date information. For more information visit http://compareguru.co.za/.