Tuesday, November 8, 2016

These days it is easy to shop around online and find your perfect match when it comes to insurance. Whether it is cheaper premiums or better benefits (or both) that you are after, online technology makes switching from one provider to the next a breeze.


But what happens when the relationship turns sour after it has been discovered that you have not disclosed important information to your insurer pertaining to your insurance policy or claim?


Take for example a recent case from the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI) 1. Mr. R submitted a claim for fire damage to his house and the claim was rejected by his insurer as he did not disclose information pertaining to previous losses suffered. At the time of taking out the cover, Mr. R was asked by the consultant to disclose any previous losses. Mr. R disclosed one past incident and during the validation of the claim, it was discovered that Mr. R had eight previous claims.


The claim was rejected by the insurer and the ombudsman ruled in favour of the insurer’s decision. Disclosing certain information, however, also counts for the insurer.


In another OSTI case2, an insurer rejected Mr. H’s claim as he did not disclose that his 25-year-old son was a driver of the insured motorcycle. After investigating the proposal form and listening to a recording of the underwriting process, it was found that the insurer did not inform Mr. H that he had to provide named drivers on the policy. The insurer agreed to settle Mr. H’s claim.


“When taking out a new insurance policy, many people may not be aware of certain things that could affect their monthly premiums,” says Derek Wilson, Head of online insurance and financial comparison website,, “Ensure that you disclose all information to the insurer to avoid claims being rejected in the future”.


“If you are looking to switch insurers, provides a free-to-use service to compare financial products such as Car Insurance, Household Insurance, Life Insurance, Funeral Cover, Motor Warranties and more. Millions of South Africans use the website each year to compare whether they are getting the best deal,” concludes Wilson.

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