Policyholders in struggle over car insurance claims

Simon Leseke regrets ever having taken out a car insurance policy with New National Assurance.

Simon Leseke regrets ever having taken out a car insurance policy with New National Assurance.

And he is not the only one who is stressed. Kabelo Molao also is stressed. aDespite paying premiums regularly, both policyholders have struggled to have their claims honoured.

New National repudiated Leseke's claim on the basis that he had no vested interest in the vehicle or his mother's business.

But Consumer Line has confirmation from Standard Bank that Leseke has signing powers on his mother's business account and a copy of a resolution when he was given such powers.

Leseke said he was never asked about his creditworthiness and he was shocked when the company raised this as another reason to repudiate his claim.

"I also don't know why they would say I have no vested interest in driving my mother's vehicle when she has an affidavit allowing me to drive it as long as she has no driver's licence," said Leseke.

He said their brokers never spoke to his mother about him driving her car when she took the insurance and were satisfied after they confirmed all the details.

Consumer Line has tried to get comment for the past six months from New National Assurance, but without success.

Their broker, Unify Africa, felt their reason for repudiating the claim was too thin.

Stephan de Wet of Unify Africa said he had recommended that Leseke's claim be paid in full, but that New National had refused.

Kabelo Molao is now taking the company to court. He said he did not want to incur legal costs on such a straightforward matter, but that he felt compelled to follow that route.

He said he was previously insured through Niche Administrators, but that his policy was taken over by New National Assurance.

Molao said Niche had settled his previous claims, but when New National took over, they declined his claim on the basis that he had not disclosed previous claims.

Molao said when New National took over Niche's clients, they did not inform him of the change.

"When inquiring about the policy, they promised to post the new documents to me, but they only did so after I had an accident," he said.

Molao's problems started when someone drove his vehicle without his permission.

He later opened a criminal case against the person who drove his car without his permission.

He said New National received his increased premiums every month without fail, but repudiated his claim based on the information of a vehicle that was written off a long time ago.

He later bought another BMW. Niche Administrators were notified about the new car.

"I also had a subsequent claim, which was settled without a fight because they had my history and my premiums were increased to more than R2000 because I had previous claims with them," Molao added.

He asked, if Niche had failed to update his file, why should he be victimised for their inefficiency?

"I feel that the company is ripping me off. I want them to settle this claim. The basis on which this claim was repudiated is nonsensical," Molao said.

The damage to the car is R140000 and he believes they must apportion his damage and claim from the other motorist.

"New Administrators have been doing this with impunity. They are taking advantage of the people who cannot afford legal representation," Molao said.

Riaz Kader, the company's portfolio manager, said he could not comment on Molao's case because their attorneys were handling the matter.

But he said he was investigating Leseke's complaint and added that the person who had previously dealt with this matter had resigned and it was never attended to.