A man denied R505 in an insurance promotion, for cars worth R2.7m, fought Old Mutual – and won
- Old Mutual iWyze has been ordered to withdraw an advertising campaign that promises at least R505 in cash if it can't provide cheaper insurance cover.
- A client who wanted to insure two cars worth R2.7 million was turned away – because of a R1.2 million limit on iWyze contracts.
- He complained to the Advertising Regulatory Board, which agreed that fine print was nowhere to be found, making the ads misleading.
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In a current advertising campaign, the iWyze insurance brand from Old Mutual makes a promise that has become fairly common in South Africa's competitive insurance landscape: if it can't offer insurance cheaper than your current contract, it will pay you at least R505 in cash. (And, if you have been with the same insurer for three years without any claims, that amount goes up to R1,750.)
But after failing to pay up, in a single case, it must now withdraw such advertising, at least until it has amended all material to make it clear that thresholds apply.
In other words, if your cars are too expensive, you won't qualify for anything.
That was what happened to one man, who then turned to the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB).
When he asked for a quote on two vehicles – a 2019 Mercedes Benz S400D, which retails at R1.4 million, and a 2018 Porsche Cayenne S worth just shy of R1.3 million – he was told they fall outside the scope of iWyze, which only insures items worth up to R1.2 million.
Because it could not offer a quote, Old Mutual apparently did not feel itself bound to pay up.
But there was nothing in the advertising to suggest such a limit, the ARB said.
"The reality is that the advertiser was not able to save the complainant money, and that the implication of the advertisement is therefore that he would receive the benefit of the offer."
In its defence, Old Mutual offered up a copy of terms and conditions which, the ARB said, did not actually contain the limitation. Nor was it clear where viewers of its ads would find the terms and conditions in the first place.
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)
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