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Consumer Affairs
Monday, August 1, 2005
Significant milestones

In his Annual Report for 2004 the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance says he saw significant milestones for the office, including over R40 million being recovered on behalf of consumers who lodged a complaint against insurers with the office.

The year under review also saw the highest number of complaints ever received by his office from consumers totalling 5 435. Motor claims continue to dominate complaints at 64% of the total, followed by householder contents (15 %) and house structure (13 %).
Whilst the office has received more complaints than ever before it has nevertheless succeeded in finalising complaints more quickly, with the average time taken down to 85 days.
Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance, Helm van Zijl says, “In the coming year our Board and Council will merge, which will result in the insurance industry not having a majority on the Board. This clearly demonstrates the phenomenal support and confidence that our office receives from the industry.”
Consumer education continues to remain a top priority for the Ombudsman’s office where articles are regularly published and interviews conducted, providing consumers with practical advice and assistance.
Chairman of the Council, Isabel Jones says, “2004 was another successful year from the efforts of the Ombudsman and his team in helping to give the South African consumer an effective and speedy alternative dispute resolution channel that can be easily accessed.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:18.4 1st August, 2005
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