Insurance fraud remains one of the biggest contribitors to rising insurance premiums for both individuals and businesses. The only way to reduce fraud and apply brakes to these premium increases is to create greater cooperation between insurers, the public and businesses!
The South African Insurance Association (SAIA), on behalf of its members donated over R 1.7 million to Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) and handed over the symbolic cheque at a function in Illovo in May 2010.
“Our industry has, since 2002 donated over R10 million towards BACSA‟s crime-combating activities and we remain committed to contributing towards improving the crime situation in our country to ensure a sustainable and successful future for all,‟ said Ronnie Napier, Chairperson of the SAIA Board.
Mr Napier, in handing over the contribution to BACSA said that the funds, as approved by the SAIA Board for an eighth consecutive year, would assist BACSA with trio crime-combating activities in conjunction with the relevant authorities and partners.
Mr Napier reported that through the continuous efforts of the industry working with partners such as BACSA and the South African Police Services (SAPS) that motor vehicle crime had reduced since 2002 by 50%. He further stressed that “while incidences of vehicle theft had greatly reduced over the years, there was no room for complacency concerning crime.‟
Mr Napier highlighted that in previous years support to BACSA had focused on combating motor-vehicle crime. However, now that such crimes were no longer the most pressing priority for the short-term insurance industry, SAIA was for the first time making a contribution that was borne by all of its members, rather than “only by SAIA‟s motor insurance members”.
“Motor insurance remained the largest class of business for the industry and the high cost of claims related to the issue of road safety was becoming increasingly problematic for many members within the short-term insurance industry‟, said Napier.
“As about 70% of insurance claims were road-accident related, the Association had adopted a strategy to address the causes of claims, while also maintaining a focus on crime-combating‟, said Napier.
Dr Graham Wright, CEO of BACSA, concurred with Mr Napier that the initiatives undertaken to prevent crime could serve as a springboard for efforts aimed at reducing the high accident rates.
“We believe that systemic improvements are necessary, in addition to addressing the culture of non-compliance in South Africa”, said Dr Wright.
Dr Wright stressed the importance of partnerships in combating crime and building a responsible citizenry. He stressed that all had a role to play as the police and the relevant Government agencies could not do it alone.
Successes had been experienced and some of the trio crimes appeared to be stabilising. Dr Wright attributed this to the leadership within the Department of Police to address crime with renewed vigour and determination.
Other success factors included a business sector focused on information-sharing and doing what it could to `put its own house in order‟.
Dr Wright thanked SAIA for its contribution as a good corporate citizen that recognised that the fight against crime needed a holistic response to sustain current gains.
“BACSA was committed to working closely with Government and business partners at this time of renewal, re-commitment and action to progressively realise the shared vision of a South Africa in which people both were safe and felt safe‟, said Dr Wright.
SAIA was thanked for being a stalwart and important partner in the fight against crime!