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How does your insurer measure up?

Published on: 25 June 2013

When it comes to car and household insurance, excellent service delivery and affordable premiums are important factors to consider. However, how your insurer of choice responds when you need to claim can be more difficult to ascertain upfront, but is just as crucial to take into consideration. A good indication of an insurer's ability to act fairly and pay only valid claims is to see how they measure up according to the latest report by the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance (OSTI).

OSTI is a regulated and independent organisation that endeavours to resolve short-term insurance complaints fairly, efficiently and impartially. Every year it produces an annual report on its work. Last month, for the first time ever, OSTI released individual insurer statistics in its annual report. The statistics show the number of claims each insurer dealt with in 2012, as well as the number of complaints that the OSTI dealt with per insurer, and the number of these complaints that were overturned, i.e. where the OSTI ruled with some benefit to the complainant (consumer).

In the case of MiWay, the report indicated that the company was ahead of the industry average in almost all areas. "The Ombudsman agreed with our decisions on claims 78% of the time, compared to the lower 63% industry average. This means that we continue to deal with claims fairly and in keeping with the consumer's best interests," says Max Huggins, head of claims at MiWay.

Among its most recent initiatives to ensure overall consumer satisfaction, MiWay made its claims process more user-friendly with the launch of the AutoWatch system from Audatex, aimed at improving communication between panel beaters and MiWay customers by keeping customers informed, in real-time, on the progress of their car repairs.
The AutoWatch launch followed the establishment of Submit, Shoot & Send – an improvement that allows customers who have had minor accidents to email photographs of their cars' damages via their smartphones to help speed up claim assessments.
In addition to ensuring a fair and hassle-free claims process, MiWay CEO René Otto also emphasises MiWay's willingness to resolve disputes and openly address clients' concerns.

"MiWay is dedicated to resolving consumer queries and complaints, taking all our customers' feedback seriously, and we are still the only insurer in the country to have a completely transparent compliments and complaints page on our website," says Otto. He believes that when considering a short-term insurer, consumers should take note of a company's reputation and consider its commitment to overall transparency.

MiWay also has one of the highest Hellopeter.com compliment ratios in the industry, with 81% of all comments made about MiWay on the public consumer forum being compliments. This means that 8 out of 10 people go to Hellopeter.com to compliment MiWay for its service, against an industry average of 63%.

In 2011, MiWay was the youngest ever insurer to win the Ask Afrika Orange Index Award for Service Excellence, and in 2012, MiWay was runner-up in the SA Service Awards – both as voted by consumers.

For more information about MiWay, visit www.miway.co.za.