Top 5 most complained about insurance products in South Africa

The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance has revealed the types of insurance vehicles that receive the most complaints.

According to the Ombudsman’s annual report in 2015‚ the watchdog recovered in excess of R100 million for consumers from the short-term insurance industry.

It said that total of 9‚784 complaints against short-term insurers were received‚ down a fraction from 10‚253 complaints in 2014.

It took just 74 days on average for the office to resolve disputes in 2015, down from 223  days in 2011.

Matters resolved after six months numbered just 31 in 2015, compared to 1 319 in 2011, it said.

The top complaints were in the following areas:

  1. Motor insurance (48%)
  2. Homeowner insurance (18%)
  3. Householder insurance (8%)
  4.  Commercial insurance (7%)
  5. Other types of short-term insurance (19%)

The HouseOwner plan covers your house structure including the walls, roof, fixtures and fittings, garages, gates and fences.

The HouseHolder plan covers your house contents like household goods, personal effects and other moveable possessions.

Read: Best and worst insurance companies in South Africa

Commercial insurance relates to protection against potential losses through unforeseen circumstances including theft, liability, property damage, and for coverage in the event of an interruption of business or injured employees.

Ombudsman for short-term insurance‚ Deanne Wood‚ said of the industry: “Too many policy documents contain unclear and ambiguous clauses that are difficult to understand and problematic to interpret.”

Wood called for better communication between insurers and their clients citing poor scripts used by direct insurers during recorded sales conversation

She said that complaints against motor warranty policies continue to be high because of a lack of understanding by consumers as to the precise nature of the cover provided.

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Top 5 most complained about insurance products in South Africa