The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance (OSTI) has warned that South Africans could find their mobile phone insurance claim rejected if they have changed their number.
Ayanda Mazwi, a senior assistant Ombudsman, said that simply changing a number (through porting) could invalidate a claim for the damage, loss or theft of a phone.
This is problematic as most people who are faced with a mass of paperwork at the purchase point often accept the deal without checking the contract, said Christelle Colman, insurance expert at Old Mutual Insure.
“It is only later when a phone is lost or stolen that many are shocked to find that because they have changed their numbers or acquired a new SIM card that their claims are invalid,” she said.
Colman said that the phone’s owner needs to notify their insurance company when getting a new SIM card or when they change their number. If this is not done, claims can be rejected, she said.
“It is vital that consumers understand that they do not have to accept an insurance policy offered to them when they buy phones. Everyone has the right to arrange their insurance.
“Making sure that you are getting the right deal and that you are not caught unawares by clauses within a policy is, however, your responsibility,” Colman said.