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Santam once again a leader in the industry in paying claims and treating customers fairly

22 May 2014 Ian Kirk, Santam
Ian Kirk, Chief Executive Officer of Santam.

Ian Kirk, Chief Executive Officer of Santam.

The Ombudsman’s 2013 report, which was released last week, indicated that Santam, South Africa’s leading short-term insurer can be ranked as an industry leader in claims payment and dealing fairly with policyholder complaints.

According to the latest statistics by the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI), Santam’ s number of complaints dealt with by the OSTI per 1000 claims (2/1000) is well below the industry results.
 
Furthermore, the industry’s average overturn rate of 32, 91% indicated that the OSTI overturns 1 in every 3 claims referred by complainants/insured’s. Again at 29% Santam is below the industry level.
 
"Santam is the country’s largest short-term insurer and the published results by the Ombudsman recognises our commitment to paying claims which we believe is the real test of insurance. It also demonstrates the fairness, consistency and accuracy of our claims assessment process which currently pays out 99% of claims submitted,” said Ian Kirk, Chief Executive Officer of Santam.
 
The recently published OSTI statistics revealed that of the total number of claims that Santam received in 2013, only 2 in every thousand were contested and, even on independent third party reassessment by the Ombudsman, only 29% of these contested claims were overturned.
 
This means that by far the majority of contested claims (over 70%), are upheld by the Ombudsman in favour of Santam. This is better than the industry standard of 32.91%. The overturn rate is for personal lines claims only.
 
Moreover the latest report shows that Santam’s share of the total number of complaints received by the OSTI fell from 9.53% in 2012 to 8.36% in 2013. "Notwithstanding that our claims registered increased by nearly 4% (see table below) – a positive trend indicating that the group’s significant investment in improving our claims process is paying off in better service and more claims paid,” added Kirk.
 
Santam has invested R287 million in the 2013 financial year in strategic projects in its Commercial and Personal businesses to update and reconfigure legacy systems in order to improve efficiencies and create automation. A further R240 million has been allocated in 2014.
 
Kirk says, "The real benefits of these systems will be realised in 2016 and will provide customers with better and improved services while allowing the business to provide its clients with cost-effective cover.”
 
"Currently 97% of all claims that come through Santam’s 24/7 emergency call-centre are digitised, indexed and then subjected to a predictive analytics test that differentiates between complex and standard claims, allowing for almost half of all claims to be settled within 24 hours,” explains Kirk.
 
Santam settled claims to the value of R13 billion last year. Santam’s track record of paying claims speaks to the effective claims process that lives up to the insurer’s promise of doing Insurance Good and Proper.
 
"Santam prides itself, as indicated in the OSTI’s report, on having a fair-minded approach to accommodating clients. We look for every available opportunity to reasonably settle matters when a claim has been referred to the OSTI,” says Kirk. He said this forms part of Santam’s culture of treating customers fairly.
 
"What we are doing at Santam is enabling individuals and businesses to be sensitive to and improve their own risks, thereby preventing loss and unnecessary disruption of lives,” concludes Kirk.

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