How-do-I-lodge-a-car-insurance-complaint-with-the-OmbudsmanWe have previously raised this topic in 2 separate Blog posts titled:

I have found the process to be very effective and have personally experienced the favourable outcome of such a complaint to the Ombudsman. We have also found that it is worthwhile to take some time to find and follow the correct steps to follow in this process.

Many visitors to the Car Insurance Blog have searched for information on the procedures to follow when raising a complaint – and we would like to provide more clarity.

The Ombudsman provides a handy guide on the steps that every complainant should follow.

Before you raise a car insurance complaint

You must complain to the Insurance Company first, before we can look at your complaint. Remember that the Insurance Company must first respond on you claim before you can take this matter to the Ombudsman.

Attitude, Facts, Documentation and Records

Once you have submitted a car insurance claim, the car insurer could accept the claim and make payment, reject your claim or decide to make partial payment under the claim. It is at this stage where many consumers may become unhappy, agitated and seek further action.

Your attitude is most important and we would like to suggest keeping the following in mind:

  • Remain calm and give the insurer the benefit of doubt.
  • Accept that there is no intentional malice on the side of the insurer and person who has responded.
  • Accept that someone could have erred in having overlooked something in your claim.
  • There could be many reasons why the answer received does not meet your expectations.
  • It is important to focus on the facts – the law will look after itself!
  • Focus on collecting and gathering all the documentation needed for your complaint as well as all your communications with your insurer, your broker and parties to this claims process.

Complaining to the Car Insurance Company:

Here are some hints to help you complain effectively to the Insurer and details of what to do next if you are still unhappy with their decision.

  1. It is usually best to complain in writing. But if you phone, ask for the name of the person you speak to. Keep a note of this information, with details such as, the date and time of your call and what was said. This may be required at a later stage.
  2. Remain calm and polite, however emotional, angry or upset you may be. You are more likely to explain your complaint clearly and effectively if you can stay calm.
  3. Initially attempt contacting the person you originally dealt with. If they cannot help, indicate that the matter will be taken further. Seek details of the name or job title of the person who will be handling your complaint and for details of the Insurer’s complaints procedure.
  4. Make an attempt to take up the matter with a Senior Official at the Insurer.
  5. When you write a letter of complaint, set out the facts as clearly as possible.
  6. Write down the facts in a logical order and stick to what is relevant. Include important details like your claim number or your policy number.
  7. Keep a copy of all letters between you and the Insurer.

What to do after complaining to the Car Insurance Company:

If you are not happy with the Insurer’s decision you may:

  1. Issue a summons out of the Small Claims Court ( there is a small cost involved ) on the Insurance Company. The maximum amount that can be claimed in the Small Claims Court is R 7,000.00.
  2. Consult with an Attorney to pursue the matter by means of further legal action.
  3. Submit a complaint to the Ombudsman of Short Term Isurance.

There are 2 Options available for submitting a complaint to the Ombudsman

You can either complete the complaint form by hand and post or fax it or complete the complaint form online and post or fax it. Visit the website of the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance for more information.

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20 thoughts on “How do I lodge a car insurance complaint with the Ombudsman?

  1. maire jansson

    My car was written off. I have the police report. my driver was not at fault. After finally complaining, AAMI refunded my $500 excess. AAMI did not represent me, although they were my insurer. I lost a car valued $5000.
    Police report clearly states what happened.
    I am not satisfied with the outcome, please help.

  2. Hi,
    Am not sure how to do this but I hope you can help.
    what I want to know is how I find out why my car insurance has doubled in a year.
    I have been driving for 23 years and have never made a claim and yet my car insurance is going higher each year. When I ask the insurers why they reply “it’s your area” and yet I have a large family network that all live in the same postcode and their insurance gets cheaper each year.
    Am confused yet no one seems to know why? Hope you can help.

    Gary McCluskey

  3. Gordon

    In over 40 years, I’ve made no claims against any insurance company. Suddenly, my insurance premium has increase by 130%!! Why! I’t to pay for all the Accident Helpline claims. The insurance companies started this claim business; solicitors need people on which to “practice” – it’s a vicious circle, that’s turning into a spiral, which will become out of control. That’s capitalism – it ruins planets.

  4. Mpho Ncube

    Good Day

    I Am a Customer of Prime Meredian Insurance. I Took their Prime Total Loss Protection Cover. I unfortunately had an accident on the 20th January 2012. I then followed all procedure when a person has an accident. I Spoke to a gentlemen at prime meridian who told me what to do to lodge a claim after my accident.( I am not going to bore you with the whole email I wrote to the claims department on the day of the accident detailing the accident)

    I want to just detail day-to-day accounts that I Had with Prime Meredian Since my Accident.

    Monday 23 January 2012

    I made a Phone Call to the Prime Meredian Claims Number and I spoke to the Gentlemen by The Name of Botshelo Mokwena. Explained the Whole Accident Story.(To my Surprise he had already Received an email that I had sent to their claims department on the day of the accident). He was a very Helpful chap and explained to me what was going to happen, he sent me forms to fill about the Accident and sent me an E-mail Documenting all the required documents for my Claim. He also informed me about my car Towing Charges etc.

    Tuesday 24 January 2012

    I Make an Effort to get all the required documents (Accident Report, Registration papers, Proof of Service the worx) to make sure that I can speed up the processing of my Claim. I Speak to Botshelo on the phone again to let him know that I have sent through all the Documents that he requested. He Confirms receipt and then tells me that the Car will be sent to the Assessors and I must allow for 48hrs to know what the assessors report will say. I also receive a confirmation Message

    Thursday 26 January 2012

    I Receive a Phone Call From Botshelo Mokwena informing me that the assessors have Written off my car. I am Saddened, he tells me of the next Step: in his Words “I Am going to compile the file and send it to the Main Investigator Mr Hugo Theunissen for further Investigation. He will be giving you a call to conduct an interview with you in due Course.

    Friday 27 January 2012

    Botshelo Mokwena calls me to confirm that he has sent the File through to Hugo for Investigation and I must expect his Call. I thank him dearly for his speedy response and he says from now on I must liaise with Hugo Directly.

    Monday 30 January 2012

    I Call The Claims department and I am Told Hugo Theunissen is not in the Office for the Whole week by Caroline Ndlovu(Consultant) she informs me that she is not sure when he will be back. I Inquire if there isn’t someone to assist me and I am told he is the only person dealing with my file as a result they won’t be able to assist! I decide to be patient(I Suppose a week of Waiting is not Bad enough)

    Monday 6 February 2012

    I Call Prime Meredian looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Raditjhaba.

    Tuesday 7 February 2012

    I Call Prime Meredian looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Mpho.

    Wednesday 8 February 2012

    I Call Prime Meredian looking For Hugo. He is nowhere to be found! I get the Same Response from Consultant named Mellissa. I Throw a Tantrum and I eventually Get put through to a gentlemen who I suppose works closer with Hugo. He consoles me and says that if I have sent through the documents Hugo must have received them. He tells me Hugo is out investigating cases and he will attend to me when he gets back on Monday 13 February 2012 (apparently he was in Durban)

    Monday 13 February 2012

    I Finally Get Hold of Hugo: he sounds very disorganised, he asks me for the same Documents that Botshelo said I should send. He has no idea where my file is and he requests these documents again in an Email. He also explains that he will be conducting an interview with me once he has received the docs! I remain calm and send him the documents again(You must remember I am hoping that the less rampant I become the quicker will my claim be Processed)

    Tuesday 14 February 2012

    I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

    Wednesday 15 February 2012

    I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

    Thursday 16 February 2012

    I Call in to try and confirm receipt of my email to Hugo and Hugo is Nowhere to be Found! I call countless times for the Day and left messages for Hugo and he Never Got Back To me!

    Friday 17 February 2012

    I am told Hugo is Not in The Office and he will be Back on Monday by Raditjhaba. This is after I called over 6 times and told Hugo is on the line and he will get back to me!

    Monday 20 February 2012

    I Call in and luckily Get Hold of Hugo, I tell him of my Frustrations and he tells me that he has been busy but confirms receipt of my Email. He says he is still compiling “Documents” and he Will call me Back later for an Interview, I Asked him What Interview he tells me just questions about the accident.

    HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I called back around 3pm and I was told he is not in the office!

    Monday 20 February 2012

    HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I Called about 4 Times and all the Consultants were doing was to read me out comments he made on the System! some comments read out to me were “…Called Barons Woodmead to Confirm service…” This will go on until Friday 24 February 2012.

    Tuesday 21 February 2012

    HUGO NEVER CALLED THE WHOLE DAY! I Called about 4 Times and all the Consultants were doing was to read me out comments he made on the System! some comments read out to me were “…Called Barons Woodmead to Confirm service…” I Eventually got hold of him and insisted we do an interview there and Then! Sounding disorganised as usual he conducted the interview and informed me that he will investigate further and let me know once all is Done!

    Wednesday 22 February 2012

    No Word From Hugo!

    Thursday 23 February 2012

    No Word From Hugo!

    Friday 24 February 2012

    No Word From Hugo! I decide to call in and he tells me that he is still busy with the file but he is almost finished.

    Monday 27 February 2012

    No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

    Tuesday 28 February 2012

    No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

    Wednesday 29 February 2012

    Annoyed I Demand to Speak to Hugo. He is in the office(Still sounding disorganised he tells me he will call me back) I refuse to Hang up but he Assures me that he will be completing my File! HE Never Does, The Whole Day! I am angry, but at the same time patient because I want my claim to be sorted out! I eventually speak to a gentlemen(forgot his name) he takes it upon him to make sure that he investigates.

    The Gentlemen calls me back and tells me that he has personally spoken to Hugo and Hugo confirms that he has completed the file and sent the Motivation letter to Linda(I Suppose she is the Manager)

    Thursday 1 March 2012

    No Word From Hugo or My Insurer!

    Friday 2 March 2012

    No Word From Hugo or My Insurer! Countless phone calls bear no Fruit! I am dejected and Angry beyond Words!

    Monday 5 March 2012

    No Word From Hugo or My Insurer! Countless phone calls bear no Fruit! I am dejected and Angry beyond Words! I Call and Demand to speak to Hugo! I Get Hold of him and he tells me my File is with Linda and The Committee She Tells me I must Give it at least 4 Working Days before I can get feedback! He assures me that as soon as the decision is taken he will personally Call me!

    Its Friday 9 March 16H30 and there is Still no Word from Either Hugo, Linda or anyone at Prime Meredian! I am way beyond frustrated now as I have lost all hope of getting feedback from them!

    Wednesday 7 March 2012

    Good News I Get a Call from Linda Mathee informing me that my Claim was approved with the Insurer and they will be paying the Trade value of the car seeing that the vehicle was written off: I Am Told R81 000 will be paid. Linda Tells me that she will be sending me an agreement of loss to me. And my Bank that is financing the Vehicle.

    Thursday 8 March 2012

    I call my Bank and I inform them of the outcome. Then i call Linda to try and speed up sending the letter, She tells me she will send, she is still busy, she will send the letter as soon as she can

    Friday 9 March 2012

    Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings.

    Monday 12 March 2012

    Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

    Tuesday 13 March 2012

    Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

    Wednesday 14 March 2012

    Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

    Thursday 15 March 2012

    Same Story from Linda, no Letter received, Linda is constantly in meetings. I am sent from pillar to post again, no one wants to send the letter

    Friday 16 March 2012

    I Get a call From Linda saying She Made a mistake, My claim is not approved, She says they have found evidence that I wasn’t driving my Car on the date of the Accident, I am MAAAD beyond words! They tell me all sorts of nonsense about not being the driver and not on the scene etc. She Sends me a letter saying that i am not going to get my Claim paid out!

    I have never seen such ridicule in my Life!

    Here are Some of my Frustrations:

    I signed for Car hire option when I took the Policy (I understood the Terms and conditions) I Have Exhausted all my Funds as I have to hire the car from my own pocket and then claim back for reimbursement after the claim process is completed! 7 weeks of Car Renting is way more costly and unaffordable for me! It is because of their delays in turnaround times that I am currently walking and taking a Taxi!

    I So Wish This Email can land on the hands of someone that can assist me to get my Claim sorted out once and For all.

    Thanks

    Mpho Ncube
    Data Analyst

    TransUnion Credit Bureau
    Wanderers Office Park
    52 Corlett Drive, Illovo
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    Tel: +27 11 214 6570
    Fax: +27 86 260 4506
    Cell: +27 76 894 6849
    MNcube@ransunion.co.za

  5. Suretha Nass

    I have cancelled my insurance with Chartis South Africa Limited early December 2011 and up until May 2012 this company is still debiting my Bank account. I have placed a stop order with the bank but they change the amount and now I am sitting with high bank cost and is in the proses of getting a very bad credit record due to the RD’s. I have also on numouris occassions e-mailed this company and have asked my laywer about there requests but they still carry on debiting my account. Please I need help as my bank charges are now over R1000.00 already.

  6. gale

    Good morning, my daughter was invoived in motor vehicle accident which was not her fault , the lady who drove into her , her car was not licenced, she did not stop at the stopstreet drove into my daughter causing her to go to hospital, my daughter car was towed to a garage , and subsequently its been taken to springs. it now 28 grand to get the car out , she is a student , it was not her fault , and she did not have insurance, so its a 3rd party claim, . this lady belings to santam , and im not getting any help , i want my daughter to be in the same position as what she was before the accident, i have got medical bill s up to my neck as well from the accident , and im not getting any joy

  7. andrew

    ive took a delivery on the 14december and went to giyani and ive used the giyani adress while im working at lephalale.ive got the accident on 16january at lephalale ad unity is refusing to pay they say i should hev used lephalale address.and what suprise me is the car has spent more days at giyani than lephalale.and the other car which ive bought and insured it with auto and general is still at giyani as im talking.im suprised bcos i can park a car at home and use public transport just lyk im intending to do.bt i hope you can help me.they also avoid mfc venter armand if he calls them

  8. William Nel

    Vehicle accident claim submitted to Car Insurance, 4 Feb 13, told Assessors will determine claim amount. Informed R81,0000 damages and approval/non approval to be advised. 3 Weeks later informed by Insurance Company, sorry details from witnesses at accident scene state there was a possibility that alcohol was present by the driver (Me). (Not in this case) No blood tests to confirm this allegation. No alcohol intake at time of accident.
    Case of Reckless & Negilgent driving opened by other driver against me & to appear in court for this charge.
    How can the Insurance Company go by hear say from scene bystanders that alcohol was involved and no proof is evident/available. 5Yrs at Dial Direct & this is the service I get? I now have to repair vehicle at my own costs, appear in court for Negligent & Reckless driving, what next??? What other costs are hidden away at this stage that wil eventually creep out of the closets and bite. How do I proceed from here. My appear date is in 2 Weeks time.

  9. Harneck Kalogwile

    I want to lodge a complain, where do I get the forms to fill?
    H f Kalogwile

  10. Monica Rakoma

    My car has since been with Zambesi in Pretoria North. it is almsot five months now and when ever ask I get different responses. Now they told me last week that they do have the car key I must bring a spare key. How possible is that? now they argue that my car did not go directly to them, it means before it was taken to them i was stripped some parts. They are not even specific which parts. Please help.

  11. Luvuyo

    Dear Sir

    I reported the accident on the 23rd of April 2013 to my insurance (Rook Insurance) and they required all the necessary documentation and I forwarded them on the 25th of April. After close to 5 days I made a follow up whereby they told me to send the bank statement again. After sending it they claimed that the month on April premium was not paid yet. I responded by telling that it is still April so they can make the deduction as I was never consulted about the missing of April payment. To cut a long story short they do not want to pay the claim but funny enough though- they have continued with their normal premuim deduction as they have already deducted for May. Please intervine as this is white collar crime and corruption

  12. Precious

    My car has been written off by Winchester Insurance. I bought the car on December 2012. The agreed loss from the Innovation maven (new national assurance company) is R118 627.75 now they want to pay R79 518.25 they charge me Basic 10% R11 862.75 No third party 10% R11 862.75 Licence R2 500.00 Total loss 10% R11 862.75 Towing R3 021.00 total deductiible is R39 109.25. I won’t be able to pay a written off car while I’m struggling travelling with taxis. I need to buy another car. Can u please assist me on that.

  13. Sego

    Is Affernity Underwritters a registered car insurance company?

  14. Jeanetta Seatile

    i was involved in an accident 10th june 2013 . the car was towed by towing service of the insurances choice and they instructed the towing to tow the car to pronto panel beaters. The panelbeaters quoted 51000rand damages insurance recieved all documentation by the 13th june. By the 18th the insurance company send assessors and damage was assessed at 44000rand. On 25th june i was contacted by insurance investigator who said investigation was finalised and sent back to insurance managers. Only on 18th july the insurance company adviced us that they will only pay 26000rand. We lodged a complaint with our lawyer and the insurance promised to deal with the complaint. Up till today 5th August no word from insurance group. I am without transportation. As it is an only vehicle. My way to work and transport for my children to school. What can i do about this situation.because already i have 2 months of continuing paying for a car and insurance that is not beneficial to me. Oakhurst Insurance a big disappointment

  15. Thembelihle L. Ngcobo

    I foned Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Making a quotation to insure my vehicle. After realising that thier premiums were high than Auto & General during my conversation with their broker/ consultant, Sello, I requested that everything be put on hold. Twpo months dpwn the line I realised that Mutual & Federal was deducting money towards the cover of the vehicle that is already coverd by Auto & General. On 2013/08/16 R1036.49 was deducted and on 2013/09/16 R740.06 was also deducted from my bank account, bring the unauthorised deductions to R1776.55. After numerous attempts, begging them to pay my money back, I was only paid back R724.86. I need to be assisted in order to get every cent of my monies paid plus interest.
    Mr. TL Ngcobo
    0839779597

  16. Irais Ramalho

    is anyone out there that can help me??????? I had an accident on mid June ( a drunken driver run the red light)… aami took our car in on the 17/06 to the repairers and since then all we hear from them are a lot of excuses also we have had a lot of deadline dates to go and pick up our car, but these dates come and go without anyone ever calling us to confirm the pick up and when WE call there is the same excuse ….”, we don’t have all the parts, or , we ordered all the parts , or all the parts are here and we are working with the repairers, and the air bags are being ordered, the car now is at the DEALER, MAGIC NISSAN….” and the list goes on…. we have sent them a letter with a formal complaint, and a couple more after that… have contacted them lots of time and I really don’t know what else to do…. please , please can someone help us???? we are pensioners, so it is with great sacrifice that we manage to secure a little deposit for this car, and we had only had it for a week before all this happened,,, well at least we manage to get the excess money back on the olicy as it was proven we’re were not at fault. Ihope someone will read this and will be able to give some hope, thank you

    dealer like we don’t have all the parts , parts did not arrive , we don’t have the air bags

  17. Melissa

    I had an accident where the driver of the other vehicle was in the wrong. He drives for a well renowned security company in South Africa. I battled for 2 months trying to get them to pay out.
    I had to pay R190 to get a copy of the AR form filed by SAPS that came out to the accident scene when it happened.
    Their insurance company told me this was not enough, I got an independent eyewitness statement.
    Submitted this too.
    Then I noticed something. There was absolutely no record of the their driver’s drivers license on the AR form, only mine. When requesting a copy from the managers of this company, they passed the buck & referred me to their insurance broker, who then referred me to their insurance. I requested a copy daily, to no avail. They were avoiding the topic. I then lodged a complaint with the complaints officer of their insurance, who forwarded my request to the 3rd party claims manager, & a day later I received a call to say they were paying out.

    The question is…does their insured’s driver have a driver’s license? It would seem like he doesn’t. It surely can’t be legal for an insurance company to insure driver who have no drivers/learners licenses? What happens in a case like this?
    I mean surely something needs to be done to ensure this guy isn’t back on the road, causing more accidents, without a driver’s license.

    Any advice?

  18. Gabane David

    I got involved in an accident on the 27th sept 2013,I reported the matter immediately to my insurer(affernity insurance)I forwarded the neccessary documents the following week,they called me to confirm that they received them.Two weeks past without any feedback and when I call them they sent me from pillar to post.Even now they claim that they are still investigating.Where and how can I lodge a complaint?Please help.

  19. phillipine

    im very much desapointed with my way. my car was involved in an accident on december last year, up to now. now the want me to pay 11000,00 acess.and my car is not in my satification, the cant even tell me anything about my car.i have to call dent pro polokwane to find out. when i ask them why that money the say i must pay 10% of my insuared value the even told me the took their car to proffesionals and the replace with origal patrs.they didnt even bother to go and check the car they want me to pay that amount

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