It’s all about a balance of probabilities
You’ve taken out short-term insurance to cover your most valuable possessions like your cell phone, car or house. What happens in the unfortunate event that you need to submit a claim but, for some or the other reason, your insurer finds that they cannot honour your claim? You can turn to the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance, or OSTI.
Understanding OSTI’s role in resolving disputes is essential to developing a better working relationship between the ombudsman, policyholders and insurers. So, who is OSTI? OSTI is an independent, non-profit industry ombud scheme that provides “the insuring public and the short-term industry with a free, efficient and fair dispute resolution mechanism through and alternative dispute resolution process, applying the law and principles of fairness and equity.” (www.osti.co.za/about/, 22/10/2021.)
OSTI is not, however, a court of law. It evaluates all relevant information and evidence, and then offers recommendations based on the legal position and principles of fairness and equality. Amid a possible increase in disputes resulting from the current pandemic, OSTI recently published an article that discusses its independent and impartial role. “OSTI remains an independent organisation. It continues to deliver fair and just outcomes,” wrote Haroon Laher, chairman of the board. “The general expectation of almost every complainant in our office is that because they are paying their premiums, their claims, which are true and honest, should be honoured by the insurers.” Unfortunately not all claims are as “true and honest” as they may at first appear.
Should a dispute escalate and either of the parties involved ask OSTI to step in, the insured, insurer and OSTI have specific roles and responsibilities.
What is the insured (claimant’s) role?
What is the insurer’s role?
What is OSTI’s role?
To put it very simply, OSTI gives both parties a chance to present their case before considering its recommendations. This aims to ensure fair resolutions without an escalation in conflict.
At GRIB we understand the importance of providing comprehensive solutions at a reasonable rate, and we understand that at claims stage you expect impeccable service and attention to detail. We are committed to honouring our clients’ policies if we believe you have a valid claim and strive to make the claims procedure as smooth and easy as possible. Contact us should you have any queries on lodging claims, the claim processing procedures or OSTI.