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27Jun 2014

What is the Ombudsman?

The insurance ombudsman in South Africa is a public advocate who investigates complaints against organisations and businesses. The ombudsman is not just one guy…  In fact, sometimes he’s a she. These individuals are found in all major areas and you can always approach them, whether it’s for help with life or motor vehicle insurance cover. They’re completely independent and work to resolve issues fairly and efficiently.

How to lodge a complaint

If you have problems with your short term insurance company that can’t be resolved by speaking directly to them, it’s best to get the help of an ombudsman. There are certain steps to take before submitting your complaint.

For starters, ensure that your interactions are in writing, then be certain to provide the following info:

We advise that you keep the details of your written report as neat and concise as possible and be sure to include any supporting documents that you refer to in the complaint. It’s also a good idea to keep your email records to use as evidence. Remember, for your ease and convenience you can state your grievance in your language of choice.

What’s comes next

You’ll receive a letter of acknowledgement once the ombudsman has received your complaint. The office then reviews the records and, if the grievance falls within their jurisdiction, they’ll contact the insurance company in question.

The insurer will then be expected to respond within six weeks. They will either be contacted to settle the cost immediately, or further information will be requested for an impartial decision.

Ombudsman officers are public protectors who protect your rights, and they’re free of charge.

If you’d like your insurance company to be held accountable for malpractice, we suggest that you speak to your nearest ombudsman.