'The waiting is over'
"THANK YOU Consumer Line, my prayers have now been answered. The waiting is over!" exclaimed Thulani Ndaba, who waited for five years to get Chartis Life to pay up his claim.
Ndaba approached Consumer Line after battling to resolve his problem with Chartis Life, formally AIG.
His mother's death claim of R100,000 was paid last Thursday, 14 days after Consumer Line's intervention.
Ndaba said he had lost all hope when he decided to write to Sowetan.
"I went to my mother's grave and prayed that she show me the light and point me to the right person who will help me with her death claim. I never thought it would be so quick. There is real power in praying," said Ndaba.
Ndaba had accused Chartis Life of rejecting the claim on the grounds that the claimant used an incorrect identity number when signing up with them.
Seven years ago, Ndaba of Bramley, Johannesburg, submitted an affidavit and a letter from Home Affairs stating that the department was to blame for the error, but Chartis ignored it.
Ndaba said his mother was issued with an identity document bearing an incorrect date of birth, making her much older than she actually was.
He said she tried for 11 years to get it corrected and died 18 months ago after getting a correct one.
While his mother was busy rectifying her ID, Ndaba said he received an unsolicited phone call from AIG insurance. They were selling an insurance cover. Ndaba decided to buy a cover for himself and his parents under the impression that this was a life cover.
"I did not know that they had sold me accident policies. I only got clarity when they rejected my father's death claim," Ndaba said.
Ndaba's father died of natural causes in 2005 but he had no policy documents to refer to. "The insurance company could only trace my father's membership using my ID number."
At that stage Ndaba said his mother had a similar policy. He said he continued to pay the monthly premiums until her death. His mother was involved in an accident in July 2007 and died a month later.
On reporting his mother's death he received a letter of condolence from the insurance company in which he was told that his claim was being processed.
But, Ndaba said, the insurance company later told him they could not find his mother's details on their system. It later transpired that the problem was due to the discrepancy on his mother's new ID and the death certificate.
Chartis allegedly advised Ndaba to submit an affidavit and a letter from Home Affairs confirming that the department had indeed issued both the ID and death certificate to his mother.
But the insurance company did not settle the claim even on receipt of the said documents.
A day after Sowetan took up Ndaba's complaint, Chartis asked him to resubmit his mother's documents so they could process his claim.
A grateful Ndaba said he will slaughter a goat and brew umqombothi to thank his ancestors.