Ombudsman takes stock of short-term insurance complaints

2014-06-06 16:47

Absa Insurance had the most complaints before the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance last year, according to the Ombudsman’s 2013 annual report.

The recently released statistics do not include businesses, and only look at individual and family protection.

Ombudsman Dennis Jooste received 839 complaints from Absa Insurance customers.

Santam was the short-term insurance company with the second most complaints – 744. Mutual and Federal came in third with 635. OUTsurance came in fourth position with 624 complaints, and Hollard Insurance came fifth with 503 complaints.

Jooste urged caution in analysing the figures.

“No adverse conclusions should be drawn against any insurer based purely on the number of complaints against them received by this office.

“Larger insurers issue proportionately more policies that cannot form the basis of a complaint to this office than do smaller insurers,” he said, adding that a more accurate picture would be to look at the number of complaints per 1 000 claims received by an insurer.

“Where an insurer receives a high number of complaints to this office per 1 000 claims, this may be an indicator that claims are dealt with unfairly by the insurer,” he said.

Using this measurement, the above mentioned companies look better and the smaller ones start to show their true colours.

Ace Insurance, with 19 complaints per 1 000, had the highest number of complaints, followed by King Price Insurance with 18 complaints per 1 000.

Another measure that is important is the overturn rate per insurer, which shows how many claim decisions by the company were overturned by the Ombudsman.

“If a high overturn rate is registered, this may, but not necessarily, indicate that the insurer is not treating its customers as fairly as it should. However, the overturn rate should be treated with considerable caution as a high overturn rate can also be indicative of a high degree of co-operation being received by the Ombudsman’s office from a particular insurer in resolving a complaint to the satisfaction of the customer,” said Jooste.

The average overturn rate was 33% and OUTsurance was one of the few direct insurers that were way below that mark with an overturn rate of about 14%.

OUTsurance CEO Ernst Gouws said they were happy with the statistics of the Ombudsman.

“At OUTsurance, we view our responsibility to pay claims promptly and fairly as the most important thing we do,” he said.

“In all insurance, the rubber really hits the road when you claim. In this very competitive market, you can save money by shopping around, but you would be wise to also double check independent statistics like what the Ombudsman makes available. Your insurer needs to be there when you need them most.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.