A long overdue amendment to the PPR states that the 90 day representation period cannot be part of the 180 days enforced minimum prescription period.
Insurers also have to provide reasons for rejection, and respond timeously for a decision to an insured, once all claims documents have been submitted.
The new rule became effective on 1 January 2011 and is in line with some further expected changes to the PPR over the next 18 months, to align insurance practice with the Consumer Protection Act.
Insurance policy holder protection now allows an insured to apply for condonation to a court, even if the prescription period had come and gone. South African courts rarely refuse condonation applications, so this provision may have a big impact, commented Danny Joffe, legal director of Hollard Select Brokers.
The Minister has approved of a variation of Rule 7.4 for short term insurance policy holder protection, and rule 16 relevant to long term insurance. See Notice 1213 and 1214 in extra-ordinary Government Gazette 33881 of 17 December 2010, advised Financial Services Board (FSB) officer Melonie van Zyl.
PHOTO; Hollard Select Brokers legal director, Danny Joffe.