South African Short-term Insurance Industry distances itself from tow-truck turf war

22 January 2015 Viviene Pearson, SAIA
Ms Viviene Pearson, SAIA Acting Chief Executive.

Ms Viviene Pearson, SAIA Acting Chief Executive.

In the wake of the recent incidents of violence and intimidation in the tow truck environment in Cape Town, the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has categorically distanced itself, as well as the short-term insurance industry, from any acts of violence and intimidation, as it believes that violence is not a solution to challenges.

SAIA Acting Chief Executive, Ms Viviene Pearson said: “We are particularly concerned about the outbreak of violence and intimidation which took place in the past week. As an association we have always worked toward inclusivity and equality with a view to encourage a sustainable economic environment together with a variety of business stakeholders as role players, including the small business community.”

“Only 35% of motor vehicles on South African roads are insured. It is impossible for the insurance industry to provide work to all service providers in the repair environment.”

Ms Pearson added that insurers have a responsibility to remain financially viable to pay future claims and to keep insurance affordable. “In addition insurers are committed to customer service. It is for these reasons that insurers generally follow the practice of contracting suppliers to ensure affordable, safe and quality repairs,” she said.

“The SAIA and its members are committed to transformation and all insurers have targets to achieve as per the Financial Sector Code (FSC). The accusation that insurers are favouring white-owned business does not make sense against this background.”

Ms Pearson also stated that the SAIA and its members are committed to find ways in which to create a sustainable and transformed situation in the repair environment, together with the relevant role-players, and especially in relation to small black-owned businesses.

The SAIA also expressed its deep regret at the loss of life which took place in past week due to violent crime.

“Violence can never be a solution. We call on the relevant parties to find sustainable solutions to the challenges experienced in an overtraded environment and to continue exploring such solutions with the SAIA and individual insurers, as well as with other relevant role players instead,” concluded Ms Pearson.

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