It has recently come to light that insurance companies can repudiate insurance claims on the basis of having adverse listings on a credit record.

A consumer’s vehicle was irreparably damaged, and even though the vehicle was comprehensively insured and the monthly premiums up to date, the claim was repudiated on the basis that when the consumer took out the policy she failed to disclose any adverse listings. The consumer’s defence was that she was unaware of these listings, but the insurance company’s response was that she should have known.

My advice to consumers under debt review, is to contact your insurance company and inform them that you are under debt review, and make a note of the date and time the call is made, who is spoken to and what is said during this conversation. In this case you are being pro-active and can not be accused of trying to mislead the company at a later stage.

For all consumers I would advise that you get a copy of your credit report on a yearly basis. Should there be any information on the credit report that you do not agree with, there are steps that can be taken to rectify the matter.

All consumers are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months, which can be obtained from the credit bureaus directly:

TransUnion:
www.mytransunion.co.za, call centre: 0861 482 482

Experian:
www.experian.co.za, call centre: 0861 105 665

XDS:
www.xds.co.za, 011 645 9100

If you feel that an adverse listing on your record is incorrect or unfair, lodge a dispute with the bureau concerned, and request that the listing be removed.

If, after 20 days, the listing remains, you may approach the Credit Ombud for help.