Insurance Companies

South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to their ability to choose between insurance companies. There are many companies that all offer a bewildering array of products that will ensure that assets are protected, income provided during retirement or periods of disability, medical treatment at the best possible facilities when necessary and that families are assured of an income if a breadwinner should die or become disabled.
How to Choose an Insurance Company
The South African public is protected against abuse by several strict laws that govern all insurance providers. Yet consumers must take responsibility for their own decisions and should not expect the regulating authorities to protect them against poor choices. When considering the many insurance companies, these factors should be kept in mind:

Most people are not financial experts and they may find it difficult to comprehend the many terms and conditions that are part of every policy document. It is vital to make sure that insurance quotes are fully understood and that the terms and conditions are acceptable. If a company is not able to clarify uncertainties or to answer questions fully and in understandable language it may perhaps be better to avoid that company.
Most underwriting companies are large corporations but there are also many smaller ones. It is especially the latter companies that tend to offer very attractive policies. However, consumers would normally be better off to deal with companies that have a proven track record, that are financially sound and that have an established record of serving the South African public.
Many people make use of an insurance broker, believing that they are dealing with an independent expert that has no vested interest in any particular company. Unfortunately this is often simply not the case. Many brokers recommend certain products simply because they are more profitable or because they are paid a finding fee by the underwriting company. When dealing with such a financial expert it may be wise to ask proof that the adviser is accredited by several insurance companies.
Reliable companies keep their clients informed. New products are launched all the time and many companies do not inform their clients that they are able to take advantage of these new products. Consumers should keep abreast of the products offered by their insurers and they should not feel afraid to negotiate for better rates and terms.
Reputable companies also make sure that their clients are provided with clear, easy-to-access and friendly ways in which to communicate with the company. Questions should be answered promptly and complaints should be solved within a reasonable time frame.
Consumer feedback sites can be extremely useful in finding out just who the best insurance company is. Many of these sites, such HelloPeter and many others keep records of consumer complaints and compliments. The way in which the various companies addressed complaints can be of particular value. Nobody is perfect, but those companies that take complaints seriously and that take active steps to solve problems are more likely to perform as expected.



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