A NEW GATEWAY FOR INSURANCE COMPLAINTS

A NEW GATEWAY FOR INSURANCE COMPLAINTS
 3 February 2020

In an effort to assist complainants who are unsure where to lodge an insurance complaint, a new portal or gateway has been launched.

The introduction of the additional point of entry for complaints relating to insurance products coincides with the coming into office of a joint Ombudsman for long-term (life) and short-term (non-life) insurance complaints from 1 January 2020.

Retired Judge McLaren, the current Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance, in addition takes over the adjudicative role in the office of the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance.  Judge Ron McLaren brings with him a wealth of judicial experience and knowledge in dealing with and resolving insurance disputes.  Edite Teixeira-Mckinon has been appointed by the Board of the office of the Short-term Insurance Ombudsman as Chief Executive Officer of the office of the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance and will head up all operations.

For some time, National Treasury has advocated a self-rationalisation process for the four statutorily recognised voluntary financial services ombudsman schemes, namely long-term insurance, short-term insurance, banking and credit.

Against the backdrop of changes in the policy and insurance environment, the Boards of both insurance ombudsman schemes made an in-principle decision to enter into a shared services agreement and have a joint Ombudsman for the adjudication of both long-term and short-term insurance complaints.

The office of the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance and the office of the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance will remain in existence and continue to operate separately within their current defined jurisdictions.

Judge McLaren said the single port of entry will be a welcome facility for complainants who are uncertain at which office to lodge a complaint. Complainants of both life and non-life insurance can also continue to use the existing entry points. If a complaint needs to be transferred to the other office, it will be a seamless process.

Photography by Jeremy Glyn for OSTI in November 2019
Ron McLaren and Deanne Wood

The portal provides complainants with the following contact points:
Website: www.insuranceombudsman.co.za
Telefax: 086 589 0696
Email: info@insuranceombudsman.co.za
Share call number:  0860 103 236

ABOUT THE OFFICES

The Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance will continue to have jurisdiction over complaints about long-term insurance products such as life insurance, funeral, long-term disability, credit life and health insurance policies.

The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance will continue to have jurisdiction over all types of short-term insurance products, including motor, house owners (buildings), householders (contents), cell phone, travel, disability and credit protection insurance, and commercial insurance for small businesses and sole proprietors.

The offices of both the Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance and the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance will continue to provide the insuring public with a free, efficient and fair dispute resolution mechanism through an alternative dispute resolution process, applying the law and principles of fairness and equity.

For the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, visit website www.osti.co.za or call 0860 726 890 or email info@osti.co.za.

For the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance, visit website www.ombud.co.za or call 0860 103 236 or email info@ombud.co.za.

Issued by:
Yogin Devan
Meropa Communications
(031) 201 0550 / 083 326 3962
On behalf of the:
Offices of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance and the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance

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