South African Insurance Association (SAIA) launches new industry Code of Conduct

car-insurance-fraudOn 16 March 2010, the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) launched its new industry Code of Conduct at the Johannesburg Country Club, Woodmead.

The South African Insurance Association (SAIA) represents the short-term insurance industry in South Africa at all levels and with all stakeholders to ensure a sustainable and dynamic short-term insurance industry for the benefit of all involved.

The SAIA acts as the spokesperson of the industry seeking to constructively work with all relevant stakeholders including consumers and users of short-term insurance, Government, the media and other relevant entities.

Purpose of the Code

The purpose of this Code is to: Promote high ethical standards and good business practices in the short-term insurance industry by giving specific guidance on acceptable and unacceptable practices in all the phases and relationships of short-term insurance business; and Give current and potential customers of short-term insurance products a clear indication of the self-imposed guidelines followed by SAIA members who provide such products to them.

Although the guidelines in this Code extend to the associates of SAIA members, the purpose of the Code is to regulate the services offered on behalf of SAIA members by their associates, and not to regulate entities outside the SAIA member base.

The Code therefore forms the basis for resolving any conflict which may arise between consumers and insurers and their associates – while acting on behalf of insurers – that relates to the requirements of this Code.

The sections in the Code relevant to the South African Insurance Crime Bureau are as follows:

11. Fraud and improper conduct
Members of the SAIA are unequivocally opposed to fraud and improper conduct, and will do everything in their power to identify, verify, investigate and prevent such behaviour. SAIA members will follow the following standards in this regard:
11.1 Insurers
All insurers are expected to participate in combating fraud and improper conduct.
11.1.2 Should an insurer cancel a contract with an associate due to the fact that that associate was found to have acted fraudulently or in an improper manner, the following procedure will be followed by the insurer: The insurer will inform the customers of the associate about the cancellation of the contract between the insurer and the associate, as well of the options available to the customers including retaining their current policies with the insurer directly or through another associate, or moving their business with the Associate; Inform the South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) of the cancellation of the contract with the associate and the reason for it;
11.1.3 Should an insurer be approached by an associate with a book of business, the insurer will establish with the SAICB whether another insurer has notified it about the cancellation of a contract with that particular associate due to the fact that that associate was found to have acted fraudulently or in an improper manner. Should the insurer find out that that associate had in fact been referred to the SAICB, the insurer should not accept business through that particular associate.
The SAICB has put in place systems to incorporate this function into its overall strategy. For further information on this or assistance, please feel free to contact Melanie Pillay on melaniep@saicb.co.za or Hugo van Zyl on hugovz@saicb.co.za
We would like to urge all role players in the car insurance industry to combat insurance fraud!!
[Information from the Newsletter of the South African Insurance Crime Bureau]

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