You’ve probably heard about Unity Insurance, but if you’re thinking of using their services for household insurance and if you want to find out what the Siyabonga Bonus is, you should definitely keep reading.
Unity Insurance was established towards the end of 2004 by Telesure Investment Holdings which is part of the Telesure Group which also owns a few other insurance companies such as Auto & General Insurance, Budget Insurance, Dial Direct Insurance, Virgin Money Insurance, and Prosper Insurance. In describing their business goals and strengths, founding CEO, Simon Phage, said: "We believe our strength and prospects for growth are based on a fine balance between people, innovative products and services, competitive pricing and state-of-the-art technology. The successful combination of these factors enables us to address the market's requirements for complete, personalized and cost-effective insurance solutions.”
As of July 2012, all policies that were undersigned (backed) by Unity Insurance, including all home insurance policies, were renamed as policies underwritten by the Budget Insurance Company following the official approval of the Register of Short-term Insurance. Therefore, Unity Insurance currently operates as a product of Budget Insurance. According to the company’s web site, the current General Manager is Ricardo Coetzee.
Where is Unity Insurance located?
The main office of Unity Insurance is located at the 17th Floor, 25 Owl Street, Milpark, Johannesburg, 2092.
What services does Unity Insurance provide?
Unity Insurance offers a full range of insurance products including vehicle insurance, household insurance, personal accidents and legal insurance.
But we are here to talk about what Unity Insurance calls its Household Insurance – “Home Contents Cover” (which is also the same as “contents insurance” or "home insurance").
Tip:If you aren’t sure if Household Insurance is right for you, check out our article on "Frequently asked home insurance questions and answers".
Standard features of Unity's Insurance home insurance policies include coverage for:
- Loss or damage to household goods and personal possessions that you (or any family members who live with you) have inside your house, whether caused by fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, falling trees, storm, flood, the bursting of equipment or pipes, break-in or theft.
- Food that spoils because of power failure or if your freezer breaks down.
- Garden furniture stolen from your yard.
- Accidental breakage of mirrors and glass.
- Accidental breakage of televisions.
- Any of your guest's belongings which are stolen while they stay in your home.
- Money or valuables stolen from your home.
- Loss of personal documents, coins and or a stamp collection.
- Loss or damage to locks or keys.
- Loss due to someone stealing your credit or bank cards.
- Fire Brigade fees.
- The rent you have to pay to live elsewhere if your home was damaged by anything covered by the Policy. (Tip: Ask about the limits of this and don't expect this to pay for a stay at a 5 star hotel! This usually covers rent at a residence of similar value to yours.)
- You and your spouses' death if it is caused by fire or break in while at home.
- Your domestic employees' belongings (they’ll need to prove that they were stolen).
- Liability to domestic employees, if they die in your home while working.
- Veterinary expenses which might happen if your dog or cat is injured by road accident (we found this last feature to be a pleasant surprise).
Added value features in the Unity Insurance household insurance policy:
One of Unity’s home insurance policy features is the possibility of receiving a 100% refund of an entire year’s cost in cash if you have not filed a claim in the past 4 years. In other words, as a reward for not making a claim for 4 years, you can get all of the money you paid for 1 year’s insurance given back to you (or 25% of the premiums paid over the previous 4 years, whichever is less). This is what Unity calls its “Siyabonga Bonus.”
Additional features include Medical Assist, Trauma Assist, and Home Assist. It was unclear whether these are part of the standard policy or not. We recommend that you assume they are not and that there is an additional fee for them.
Medical Assist will help in case of medical emergency, and features:
- Access to emergency telephone numbers.
- Helicopter or ambulance transportation from your home to the appropriate medical facility.
- Delivery of medication that could be lifesaving.
- Access to rape crisis centres.
Trauma Assist helps policy holders after a traumatic experience.
Home Assist offers useful professional services for free, including labor for one hour, in case of an emergency inside your home. These include:
- Glaziers (window and glass installers)
How is Unity’s Insurance Customer Service?
Overall, it seems that Unity Insurance has a positive profile on the HelloPeter.com consumer review website, although it is a bit hard to rely on this 100% due to the fact that they received very few reports in the last 12 months (110 reports to be exact) compared to other insurance companies which usually receive hundreds or thousands of reports – both positive and negative. Nonetheless, the reports that they did receive, reflect positively: 92 favorable reviews against 18 negative ones. That’s more than 5 times more compliments than complaints!
The Unity Insurance website
The Unity website is fairly plain, but easy to navigate. It provides potential customers with some information but definitely not enough – this is especially true in regards to their car insurance and company history. Luckily, they do share a fair amount of information in regards to their home insurance although it is not completely clear which services are included and which come at an additional cost. As a new customer, the website is not very supportive and only provides the option to leave your name and phone number so that an agent can call you back. In today’s world, you would expect something more interactive and informative, allowing you to call in once you have all, or most, of the information you need to make a decision or perhaps even sign up online. This would help save their agents a lot of time as well as potential customers would already have most of the information they need. It is also not possible to see any online household insurance quotes, thus, a potential client can't really know how competitive Unity Insurance is compared to other companies. Current clients however, can manage their policies or file a claim directly from the website after entering their email and password – this type of "self service" is always good to have and should be furthered to the rest of their services, although not at the expense of still retaining their personal representatives of course.
Compared to what could have been done with their web site, Unity’s current offering is a bit too basic and needs to be brought up to speed (the most recent article in the news archive is from 2006!).
Unity’s Insurance level of customer service seems to be positive and their household insurance policy includes a fair amount of features, amongst them the Siyabonga Bonus which rewards customers who achieve 4 years of claims free insurance. On the other hand, due to recent insurance companies shaking up the market, many people have begun asking “Why do I have to wait 4 years to get a bonus?” and “Why do I only get a bonus if I don’t claim? After all, isn’t my insurance there for the exact opposite reason?” – and these people may be right! After all, why can't customers get bonuses for being loyal and staying with company or help us reduce yearly premiums by making sure we only insure the things we really need insured by updating our inventory list?
If you’re looking to get a great household insurance quote, just fill in the form below and an agent will get back to you.
Main subject: Unity Insurance