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 Protect yourself against identity fraud

Identity fraud is one of the many common types of fraud to which an unsuspecting citizen can fall prey.

We found out exactly what constitutes identity fraud, how you can protect yourself from it, whether you can be covered in the event that it occurs, and what you should do if you lose your ID.

Can your tax refund be stolen?

Did you know that your tax refunds can be stolen? We find out how criminals can use your personal details to do this, and we consider some expert advice on how to prevent this from happening.

Should you trust your tax practitioner?

You hand over the burden of filing your taxes to your trusted tax practitioner. But who is responsible if there are errors in your tax return?

Your medical aid could be terminated – this is how

If you’re completely honest with your medical aid provider, you may be excluded from certain benefits. We find out what happens when you’re dishonest in order to avoid these restrictions.

Deals

Senior Citizens Discount at Marriott Hotels

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Worldwide

Happy Days Special at Crystal Rose Spa

Price: R550
When: Until 22 January 2022
Where: Krugersdorp

Clos Malverne Sauvignon Blanc Brut Deal

Price: R634
When: While stocks last
Where: Stellenbosch


Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions