Complaints against insurance companies at record high

2013-05-14 15:38

A record number of complaints against long-term insurance companies were recorded last year, the long-term insurance ombudsman has said.

There were 9 592 complaints in 2012, 4% more than in 2011, Judge Brian Galgut said in a statement today.

“Consumerism (consumers standing up for their rights) has arrived to stay, and with it have come ever more persistent complainants, who do not take no for an answer even when their complaints are without merit, a trend experienced by other ombudsman schemes both in South Africa and internationally.”

His office had recovered a total of R94.3 million for consumers, with 37.4 percent of cases resolved wholly or partially in favour of complainants.

Compensation of R413 428 was paid to consumers for poor service.

Galgut’s term ends on May 31. Judge Ronald McLaren takes over as ombudsman on June 1.

Deputy ombud Jennifer Preiss said a hospital cash plan scam appeared to be operating in KwaZulu-Natal.

People with hospital cash plans appeared to be staying in hospital longer than required. “The longer the stay, the better the pay,” she said.

“Almost all our complaints [about this] come from KwaZulu-Natal.”

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