Dial Direct vs Outsurance

I’m the kind of guy that carefully evaluates things before signing up. When I bought my first car, I checked out the various insurance options. It came down to a choice between Dial Direct and Outsurance and they seem to offer very similar value adds. The Dial Direct premium was cheaper, so I went with them.

When I bought a second car, I obtained a quote from Dial Direct and was happy with their quote so I insured my second car with them. Two months later, they increased the premium on the second car by 20%. I was always under the impression that a quote on premiums was for 12 months, so I asked them what the story was. They said that because the car was added to my previous policy, all premiums are adjusted on the anniversary of the policy.

This made me very unhappy, so I waited six months until they paid me my Bucks Back Bonus (25% of my premiums of the last 4 years) and then I moved my insurance over to Outsurance. Luckily Outsurance also offered me a much better premium, so that was a bonus because I was moving anyway, on principle.

I didn’t have any accidents while I was with Dial Direct, so I never had the chance to test their claims department. Unfortunately though, someone drove into me in the traffic yesterday morning so I am going to be testing the claims department of Outsurance.

So far they have been very efficient. I phoned them yesterday and they took down the details of the accident on the phone and sent me a text message with my claim number and contact person. Then they made an appointment at the assessing panel beaters for this morning and sent me a text message with the panel beater’s address and contact details, along with the time and date of the appointment. I also received a third sms reminding me of the details which they still required from me  (a description and sketch of the accident and a copy of my driver’s licence, as well as the police case number).

I have now had the damage assessed (at Stingray Panel Beaters in Woodstock – they appear to be quite jacked) and I have reported the accident to the police and have submitted all outstanding details to my claim advisor. Let’s see how things go from here.

UPDATE (January 2014): I didn’t have any hassles with Outsurance but I switched to Discovery because they were cheaper and had some additional benefits.

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28 Responses

  1. Signe says:

    I’ve been with outsurance for close on 6 years now, and been involved in various claims, which they always handled very (surprisingly!) efficiently, as you describe. Also got my first outbonus earlier this year – hope all goes as smoothly for you.

  2. Dax says:

    So stage 2 has gone smoothly, I got a call later in the day (the day after the accident) to tell me the claim has been approved and I can call the panel beater (same one that assessed the car) to arrange a convenient time to book the car in.

    Let’s see how the panel beaters fare in the next stage of this process.

  3. Hi,

    Personally I’ve never had a good think happen with Outsurance. They suck. They’ve never paid me out for any claim and they cost me a lot of money.

    I wouldn’t recommend them but that’s just me.

  4. Mandy says:

    Hi. My handbag and laptop were stolen last week Wednesday. Outsurance gave me authorisation to have the window fixed the same day of my call to them. However I’m still waiting for a response regarding my claim for the contents of my handbag and the missing laptop. It’s been a week since the break-in. I’ve called them to follow up. I’m still waitng for someone to phone me.

    My last experience was even worse. Our house was broken into last year. We were practically cleaned out. The preferred Outsurance dealer who worked on replacing all the stolen items placed such a high mark up on the goods that we literally landed up paying double for most of our electronic goods + he didn’t offer to deliver the items. We had to make arrangements to collect TV’s, HiFi’s, Video machines and kitchen equipment ourselves at our own cost.

    In certain areas Outsurance excels. These last two experiences have left a bad taste though.

  5. Dax says:

    @Mandy, I hope your issue gets resolved. Being without a laptop is a pain! Í don’t know what the deal is with smash and grab, do they cover contents or is that only if it was in the boot?

    Update on my claim:
    I take the car in tomorrow. I’ve hired a car for the week which I have to pay for as I did not take that option in my Outsurance cover.

    I also received a call from their legal department. They let me know who is handling my case, and that they had initiated the process to reclaim my excess from the other party. Then I received an sms with the contact details of the person in the legal department, along with my reference number. Quite efficient I must say.

    I’m interested to see how long it takes to get my excess back. I know they need the invoice from the repairs so that will delay things a bit.

  6. Dax says:

    I have received the car back now and it appears they have done an excellent job. They said 5 to 7 days and I received it on the 7th day.

    Let’s see how long it takes to get my excess back now.

  7. kim says:

    Oh i should change then, Dial Direct are rubbish!!

  8. Jeannette says:

    Ek is besig om van Outsurance af weg te gaan want ek wag nou al vanaf 14 April vir ‘n eis om uit te betaal. Ek dink hulle diens is net goed aan die begin en verder is dit maar power

  9. Dax says:

    I received a call today to tell me they have recovered my excess from the other party and will be paying it into my account today.

    That means the accident was reported, car repaired and excess returned in less than 6 weeks. That’s not bad.

  10. Wicks says:

    I used Dial Direct for my motorcycle insurance, they were the cheapest but YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS REALLY REALLY BAD.

    I tried to add a pillion passenger and that was no problem – except a £25 admin charge! Then they tried to increase my policy by adding law protection, payment proctection, breakdown cover – all of which doubled my cover. Well no thanks dial direct, i took all this cover off my policy, much to the annoyance of the customer service rep, who i guess has been trained to sell as much as possible to me.

    Now i have my insurance i’ve read a few reviews about dial direct and i really regret going with them, hopefully i will never have to make a claim and can get rid of them as soon as possible – although reading other peoples reviews this is easier said than done.

  11. LT says:

    In 2004 I bought a 2002 VW Microbus to accommodate a sales team and due to all the Dial Direct ads then flooding the media, I decided to give them a chance with my newly acquired vehicle. Shortly thereafter, I moved to George and started my own sales business. Since then I purchased a few more vehicles, for personal use and for business, and as Dial Direct seemed a good, hassle free insurer, I insured all vehicles with them, i.e.
    1. 2001 BMW 323i
    2. 2000 VW Microbus destroys
    3. 1992 VW Caravelle
    4. 2003 Opel Corsa Utility
    5. 2002 VW Microbus (mentioned above)
    6. 2004 BMW M3
    The last three on the list was still insured with Dial Direct till September 2008.
    As you probably know, in the direct sales industry employees change quite often, thus the regular drivers to. Although all the above vehicles are covered for any driver, I took it upon myself to be a compliant and truthful client and notified Dial Direct each and every time the regular driver of any vehicle changed, even though notifying them pushed my premium up every time. In September 2008 when I cancelled my insurance with Dial Direct, I was paying a monthly premium of R2962.42 for the 3 vehicles still insured, never skipped a single month since inception, and I doubt they even took the time to look at my profile with their company before repudiating my claim.
    THE ACCIDENT
    On Saturday 31st of May 2008 at around 8:30pm, I had a big accident with my M3, I went to the garage to get fuel for a friend who got stuck, and on my way back to him, I had the accident in which my car was severely damaged. I called the Dial Direct hotline, but at the time I was very shaken and handed them over to the towing service that had arrived on the scene. The towing guys who happened to be a Dial Direct approved agent then loaded my car and took it to the SMD yard.
    THE CLAIM
    I only called Dial Direct on Tuesday 3rd June as I thought that the hotline guys I called automatically log the claim to find that it is not so and I still had to log a claim with Dial Direct. I then logged the claim and waited for a response. After a few more calls on the status of my claim, and Dial Direct telling me that they did not know my car’s at their yard, I finally got a response from Dial Direct via sms on Saturday 7th June stating that my car will be towed to an assessment center. With my calling Dial Direct, I found out that the person who would be handling my claim is Mr. Calvin Heiberg. I called Calvin the following Monday 9th or Tuesday 10th and he told me that the assessment would probably be complete by Friday 13th and that he is waiting on my application conversation. He also asked me if I was previously insured, I replied that I honestly can’t remember as it was so long ago, but think that I might have been on my moms insurance. He added that according to their records I’m on an NCB 5 and if I had no previous insurance I should only be on a 4. I then immediately checked through some old paperwork I had at my moms place and found 2 previous policies on my name(before which, I was on my mom’s policy), V Plus Brokers dated Feb 2003 and one with Santam after that, which was the last insurance cover I had before moving over to Dial Direct, and faxed the complete policy with all documentation to Calvin I got an sms confirming completion of the assessment on Thursday 12th and called Calvin on Friday 13th but he had left early and the person who answered told me that Calvin is still waiting for the conversation. I called Calvin on Monday 16th and he had received the conversation. He told me that according to the conversation, I said that I was previously insured for 4 years uninterrupted. I completely disagreed, and said that he should check if he’s got the correct conversation. I called again on Tuesday 17th, and Calvin told me that he called the previous insurance(V Plus) and they don’t have me on their system, and they’ve checked on all three client numbers found on that policy, but he’s still checking. Santam, apparently, also could not find the policy numbers I provided on their systems either.
    THE REPUDIATION
    On Thursday 19th June, Calvin called and told me that my claim has been repudiated due to me not being able to supply them with complete information on my previous insurance, this after I sent him complete policy documents of V Plus and supplied him with policy numbers for Santam. I asked Calvin how can V Plus/Santam losing my info now be my fault, and my claim be repudiated, to which he replied that’s just the way it is, I have seven days to get my car from the SMD yard and if I send them a letter accompanying documentation from V Plus/Santam stating that I was with them within 7 days, they’ll re-look at the claim. I told Calvin this is bullshit and he agreed. I asked Calvin who his superior is that repudiated the claim, and asked when I can come in to listen to the conversation and see his superior(John King). Calvin said he’ll speak to John and let me know. He never called. I called V Plus brokers on Thursday 19th and spoke to a manager, Suna Warrington, explained the situation to her and she told me that once a policy is cancelled, they remove it from the system and it gets archived so there is no way it will be found on their system. She asked me to give her a day or two to find it. I called Suna again on Friday 20th and she asked me to fax the policy to her as she cannot locate it on her side. I sent it to her and she called me back on Monday 23rd after finding it in their archive. Then on Tuesday 24th June 2008 at 11am I went to speak to John and listen to the conversation. In the application conversation I said that I had previous insurance for ‘I think ABOUT 4 years’ and John told me that since they cannot find Previous insurance for a full 4 years, he can do nothing.
    Then a few days later I received another repudiation letter from Dial Direct, totally different to the first. It stated that the reason for repudiation is unroadworthiness of my vehicle. HOWEVER, my vehicle was inspected by an independent assessor (regarding a small 3rd party claim) 1 day before my accident, less than a week prior to their inspection, and found to be 100% roadworthy.
    FURTHERMORE, This Is Also Not My First Claim From Dial Direct, It Is In Actual Fact My Second. My First Claim Was A Small Claim(+-R5500), Which They Had Absolutely No Problem Paying For. So If There Was Really A Problem With My Policy And My Previous Insurances, Why Did They Not Mention It With That First Claim, And Given Me A Chance To Resolve Any Discrepancies, Only Because The Claim Is Now A Large Amount To Pay(R247 000), Are They Giving Me Various Reasons Why They “Cannot” Entertain My Claim?
    If I knew there were any problems with my policy, I would not have insured all those vehicles with them and risked so much if anything happened!!!
    I also queried the matter with my attorney who advised me that this is a daily thing to them(agents get bonuses/commission for repudiating a claim), as they know that it will take about 2 years for the matter to reach the court room, by which time your legal bill is so high that you have to accept the 30% settlement they offer you in the passage. They know that no-one can really touch them, so they are free to do just as they please. My attorney’s advice was that I hand the matter to the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance, as this was my only option, I did this in June 2008, which was futile as it took the OSTI a year to tell me that Dial Direct says they can’t find my previous insurance. WTF??? Useless!
    IN CONCLUSION
    Well as you can see, I am quite upset about the whole matter as I really do not see what my previous insurance has to do with the paying out of my claim. I have been a loyal, rule abiding client to Dial Direct for years, sticking to their requirements as well as I knew how. I have also lost my Bucks Back Bonus which was due. Is this not what insurance is there for, to soften the blow when you lose things dear to you, things you have worked so hard, even slaved for. Insurance premiums, whether it be my life insurance, car insurance, household insurance, is at the top of my priority list. Why is it that when we need our insurance, we are not at all a priority to them…

    PLEASE ALSO NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
    TELESURE is the ADMINISTRATOR under-which DIAL DIRECT falls, they are THE UMBRELLA so THEY make the rules and it is THEIR PRINCIPLES AND BUSINESS ETHICS which is the foundation of DIAL DIRECT.
    THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES ARE ALSO UNDER THE TELESURE UMBRELLA:
    Auto and General
    Budget Insurance
    First for Women
    Woolworths Insurance
    Prosper Insurance and
    Unity Insurance

    IT IS MY SUGGESTION THAT YOU STAY AWAY FROM ALL ABOVE MENTIONED INSURANCE COMPANIES AS AN UNPAID INSURANCE CLAIM, IS A KNOCK THAT CAN COMPLETELY DESTROY YOUR LIFE AND PUT YOU ON THE STREET IN NO TIME!!!

  12. Dax says:

    I think that might officially be the longest comment on Relax with Dax ever.

    It’s a horror story, thanks for sharing with us. We can all see that Dial Direct is screwing you and we’re all praying that it doesn’t happen to us, because like you, what can we do?

    At least Outsurance wasn’t on your list so I feel a little better.

    Have you posted this at http://www.hellopeter.com?

  13. LT says:

    I found it impossible to shorten this story to the 1200 characters including spaces permitted on hellopeter, so i did not post there.

  14. Tax says:

    I have had a similar story to LT happen to me recently i think you can add miway or should i say theirway to the list of insurance companies to stay away from my matter is still being resolved.

  15. Quintin van Niekerk says:

    OUTSURANCE = NOSURANCE
    They are an excuse for an insurance company , they are just there for collecting premiums and no service and lots of bad excuses not to pay claims.
    Its been 3 month’s just to repair the door of my vehicle.
    Rather stop advertising bullshit and start paying claims

  16. Arno says:

    Outsurance is expensive and their service delivery is poor. I baught a brand new opel corsa utility 18i and they charged me R896 a month just for my Opel even though i havnt claimed for anything in 6 Years!!!! Dial Direct insured my house and all my contents and my Opel for R859 a month with better benifits. Makes you think twice

  17. Matt says:

    WOW- just goes to show the effect of direct marketing! I amin insurance broker and am not at all surprised by these negative stories. Truth – Outsurance spend R 100 mil annually on adervitising/marketing ( where do you think that money comes from ? ) ; their staff get bonuses for repudiation of claims; the Ombudsman has instructed Outsurance to have a desk specially dedicated to the complaints revolving them i.e he gets tons of issues to adjudicate on related to Outsurance repudiations. The answer is to get a broker who services you. Find one that you trust and who actually cares for you and who cares to service you as well as having technical expertise. And this doesn’t cost you !!!!! The notion that it is more expensive to have a broker is utter rubbish, propogagted by direct marketers to convice the public thereof. Make the move !

  18. Lisa Schultz says:

    Matt, your info about OUTsurance is slanderous and factually incorrect. OUTsurance staff do not get bonuses for claim rejections and nor does OUTsurance have have a dedicated desk at the Ombudsman’s offices. On the contrary OUTsurance received the Ombudsman’s award twice for fast and fair claims processing and being able to resolve claim complaints effectively. Check out http://www.osti.co.za/index.php?page=the-isabel-jones-ukusizana-award for the details.

  19. David says:

    Just registered a claim with outsurance few days ago. First thing I was told that I would forfit my bonus which would be payable in August. Was told that the towing company would collect vehicle early morning. Late afternoon I had to phone to get the vehicle towed by 911 Service Centre. Had to make few phone calls to follow up and keep them on their toes. Got a call from their rep this afternoon asking me to give permission for the claim to proceed and in the same breath told me that it would only be activated after premium deduction authorised. I have never skipped a premium. So I am not too chuffed with their service. Would maybe give Mi-way a go. By the way, I hit a dog and was traumatised as I am an animal lover.

  20. C Boshoff says:

    I had a bad experiene with Dial Direct and My son with Ato and general. Dial Direct is not interested what happend at the accident, they’ve got many many fine prints that they use noe to pay your claim.I have send the a bank statemet requesting a pay back that they incorrectly subtracted from my bank account.On the bank statement i have shade out all private matters and only showed the Dial direct deduction. Now the refuse that bank statement.Their comment is that i must not shade out my other deduction/payment.
    Beware people Beware of Dial Drect

  21. Annonomous says:

    I am a consultant in a Short-term insurance call centre. I deal with clients on a daily basis that has problems with their insurance not paying out due to fine print and additional excesses which they where not informed about beforehand. Some work directly with these companies, some work through brokers. Why does some companies ask an administration fee of R100 or more per month???? If you go through the Fineprint you will see that this is not refundable ever… See when an insurance company declare a contract nul and void in some cases they have to pay back all the premiums less the administration fees, your no claims bonus works on a % of you premiums (which excludes administration fees). The most likely reasons for insurance claims not getting paid is non disclosure, driving under the influence or fineprint. Many companies start you off with a cheap premium, but soon after you joined they increase premiums with no reason what so ever. My advice, whenever you do a quote for insurance make sure you have details with regards to previous insurance and claims history. I have spoken to a few clients that forgot that they had accidents etc. This will result in claims not being paid out as the premium is based on the risk profile of the regular driver. Insurance history automatically qualifies you for a discount on the premium, that is why the insurance history is important and that is why companies require proof of insurance history at claimstage. I am not going to bad mouth any insurer, but a little advice, before looking at premium, make sure you understand what the claims process is. Any company has to legally inform a client of the consequences of certain actions on a policy. Therefore it is procedure to inform a client that they will loose a bonus if they claim – if the claim amount is less than the bonus, the client will suffer a financial loss and might gain more by not claiming as not only do they loose their bonusses but they also change their risk profile as you are penalised if there is a claim on a facility. It is all about charging the correct premium for a certain risk. Financial records does play a role in the premium as well, so ITC will influence the premium. This is standard to the industry as insurance companies is financial institutions and therefore have to take it in consideration. The colour of the vehicle makes a huge difference as well. My own opinion is that a white vehicle is more visible in misty conditions than for example a black car and I think the colour paint is also cheaper, so the cheapest vehicle to insure is normally white. If you use vehicles for a business and there is a change in regular drivers, the premiums is based on the regular driver and not the facility holder, therefore it would benefit you more if the person has had their drivers licence for many years and never had incidents, and also if the regular driver has insurance history as that is the only way to determine the risk. I personally have family members insured at the company I work for, which has been insured there for a lot longer than I have been employed. In fact that is the reason why I decided to apply there because I know about the service they deliver. On the other hand I have heard so many stories about people claiming for things they did not even own. Sometimes it will happen that an insurance company might pay out a fraudulent claim and turn down an honest claim which is really sad, unfortunately even for me working in the industry it is difficult to say what exactly what will happen in the event of a claim. I know what the procedure is but it all depend on if the application information is correct. When you do apply for insurance make sure that you have the correct information at hand, and instead of looking at where you will pay the cheapest premium, rather look at how much will go to administration and how much actually goes towards the premium. Also go through the policy document as soon as you receive it and make sure you know exactly what you are covered for. Rather pay a bit more – quality never comes cheap.. and this does not apply just to insurance but to life in general. Also look into the claims history of a company, that does say a lot about them.

  22. Werner says:

    Can anyone help me. Im with Outsurance, do I need to sent a inventory list to outsurance for my house contents?

  23. Val Hamann says:

    I have placed a claim with Outsurance – a 78 year old lady rode into the back of my car. All paperwork in place, etc… and now claim at legal department… why do they take so long to pay out? The accident was not my fault, I was standing stationary, minding my own business when WHAM I got hit!

    They slow in coming back to me… I am getting fed up! I have been with them for a long time now, thinking of cancelling my own insurance with them, if they don’t perform soon! Its ridiculous…

  24. Amith says:

    Dial direct are useless. Stay far away. They do not pay even for legitimate claims. I will not bore you with my story but eventually they said i must claim from my top up cover! They even asked me how many people living at my house. They must be some techinciality they looking for but be warned they will investigate you like a criminal and not pay out.

    All those with dial direct good luck or pray you never have to claim.

    • David says:

      Agreed Amith, they (Dial Direct) are the absolute worst, stay very far away from them people. They screwed me so badly that I actually lost a car in the end. I will never ever recommend them to anybody.

  25. david says:

    Hi Dax,

    Thanks for the great posts. I have read quite a few of them and enjoyed each and everyone. I might be a bit daft but I couldn’t find any contact form? Is this intentional or just me before my coffee?
    I saw that you had a few posts about car related issues, like the one here above about your experience with car insurance, and was just wondering if you could mention my website (if you like it). It is called http://www.carinfo.co.za and it is all car related and has some really useful info and will have much more. It has reviews about insurance companies (objective reviews and stuff that people don’t know), tips on how to reduce your car insurance and terms and definitions to better understand things and will soon have a buying and selling platform for cars and a business index for car related business – so basically, it will be a one stop car information shop.
    Anyway, have a look.

    Thanks
    David

  26. prisca says:

    I’ll say one thing…Outsurance is the best…those who don’t understand why their claims were nver accepted is because they didn’t follow protocol! What’s there to lose out on! Their exess is not percentage based,meaning no surprises when you have to claim! Their axcess is fixd! Nomater how many times u claim.:hotel accomodation shld u be stranded on the road.no waitn period for claims. Last year they payd over millions through their outbonus benefits! My brother plays golf,whenever he hits a hole in one outsurance givs hm a R1000 to cater evryone for drinks.yes outsurance is a little expensive because it delivers quality..I mean why buy an expensive car,house n contents if u wana insure it for quantity?outsurance will put u in the same financial position u were in before. Wow I cld go on and on although I uderstand its not for everyone!!!

    • Danny says:

      Your response just helped me make up ma mind…go ahead and cover me outsurance. Thanx, i know now that it wasnt a mistake to join OUT, saves me more than 2000 a month