Guiding consumers since 2009

Fewer complaints for long-term ombudsman

By Staff Writer
As Long-term insurers started to implement Treating Customer Fairly (TCF) principles, complaints against the industry dropped during 2014, said the office of the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance.

“There seems to be improvement in the complaints handling procedures of at least some long-term insurers, if not all,” said Ombudsman Ron McLaren.

McLaren added that despite an increase in the number of policies sold, growing public awareness of the office and the role of social media, there was a decline in the number of complaints received over the past year.

The office received 9 246 written requests for assistance during 2014, a reduction of 8% over the previous year.

It finalised 3 822 complaints against long-term insurers and recovered more than R147 million for consumers, while awarding more than R450 000 in compensation for poor service. 

About 74% of the cases were finalised within six months and nearly 30% were resolved wholly or partially in favour of complainants.

Reasons for complaints

The main reason for complaints in 2014 was claim rejections, due to policy terms or conditions in the policy not being met. This section accounted for 50.3% of the complaints.

The second reason was due to poor communication, service, or documents and information not being supplied. This made up 29.1% of the complaints.

Most others related to poor communication and poor service. 
Other reasons included:
  • Claims being declined,
  • Dissatisfaction with the policy performance,
  • Dissatisfaction with the surrender of paid-up values,
  • Misselling of the policy, and
  • Lapsing of the policy.

Treating customers fairly

While there is no specific date for the implementation of TCF regulations, according to the ombudsman, the Financial Services Board (FSB) has stated that it expects regulated entities to already be applying fair treatment principles in their overall business processes.

TCF may be one of the factors which contributed to the reduction in the number of complaints to the office, said the ombudsman.

However, McLaren said while some insurers are busy with TCF implementation, there was a discernible failure on the part of others to apply the principles.

Recent Articles

Featured How to be “future greedy” with passive income

Setting up numerous streams of income is a safe way to protect yourself from the loss of your main stream of income. Better yet, setting up passive streams of income will ensure you always have money coming in, without costing you additional working hours. So, what is “passive income”, and how can you earn this?

Can your debt be cancelled?

It sometimes happens that you struggle so much to pay your debt that you think of asking your creditor to write it off. But debt doesn’t just get written off. There are conditions that must be met and procedures that must be followed before the creditor cancels your debt.

 

Be financially prepared to lose your job – here’s how

During uncertain times, it’s natural to be concerned about the security of your job. Regardless of your performance at work, you may be out of work if your company is no longer profitable. But what would that mean for your personal finances, and how would you survive if you suddenly lost your income?

Should you save for a new car or finance it over time?

Buying a car is a long-term commitment. You either need to save up for it or pay it off over time, and the option you choose will depend on your personal circumstances and preferences. So, what should you consider when deciding which payment method to make use of?

Deals

FNB senior customers can earn up to 30% back in eBucks at Clicks

Price: Available on request
When: From 5 August 2020
Where: Nationwide

Bakwena Spa Women’s Day Special

Price: R549 per person
When: Until 31 August 2020
Where: Centurion, Hartbeespoort, Kuils River

Dis-Chem Pap Test Special

Price: R180
When: From 3 August to 11 September 2020
Where: Nationwide


Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions