Deputy ombud issues her ruling
Noluntu Bam is gravely concerned that all interaction was left to a receptionist/clerk, and she will be reporting the matter to the FSB
The deputy ombud for Financial Service Providers, Noluntu Bam, ordered
Bitline Brokers to reimburse one of its customers for the loss of his car, after
a receptionist gave the customer, Morlon van Dorson the wrong information
regarding his car insurance policy.
Van Dorson approached Bitline Brokers and spoke to the receptionist, Yvonne
Barnard, about switching car insurers to Santam. After viewing the quotation
sent to him by Barnard, van Dorson okayed the procedure and signed an
authorization to have the premiums deducted from his bank account.
A few weeks later, van Dorson was asked to confirm that he still wanted to
take out car insurance with Santam, and to send copies of several more
documents. Thereafter, Barnard contacted Santam, asking them to begin cover, and
cc'd a copy of the Santam email to van Dorson. At this point, van Dorson
believed that since Barnard had made an official request to Santam, he did not
need to send copies of his documents.
One month later, van Dorson was involved in an accident and made a claim via
Bitline Brokers to Santam. Barnard asked him to resend his documents but two
weeks later, van Dorson was told that since he had not send them before the
policy was taken out, he was not covered.
The deputy ombud ruled that insurance advice should not have been given out
by a receptionist who was not trained to handle insurance and financial matters.
In addition, Bitline Brokers should not have cancelled van Dorson's insurance
policy with his previous insurer before ensuring that the Santam policy offered
As such, Bitline and the receptionist were found jointly liable and made to
pay van Dorson the cost of R113, 700 as well as interest of 15.5% from the
middle of last year.