Funeral policy woes
WHEN Dithanako Motuba, 65, of Zone 3 in Pimville, Soweto, buried her mother in 2000, she learnt that a funeral costs a lot of money.
Her brothers were unemployed and she had to pay for all the costs of the funeral.
Motuba said she therefore decided to buy a burial policy that would cover her entire family.
While comparing prices and products, she said, Batho Batsho Bakopane (B3) Burials approached her.
Batho Batsho Bakopane stands for black people in unity said the retired teacher.
"I liked their concept, values and commitment to serve their clients with honesty, punctuality, empathy, loyalty and basic compassion, but I later found out that there was no service beyond ubuntu when they terminated my policy without telling me," she said.
She said her problems started in March this year after she upgraded her policy.
She went to the service provider to view their coffins.
"I really did not like their coffins. I would like to be buried in a casket when I die," Motuba said.
She was asked to upgrade her policy by adding R140 to the R95 she had been paying for the past 12 years, she said.
Motuba said to her surprise her premiums were not debited from her account though she gave B3 permission to do so.
She said she would not have known this had she not called them to inquire about her upgraded policy.
"I was shocked when they told me my policy had lapsed and I had to start afresh," Motuba said.
The diabetic pensioner said she expected to be notified once the policy had lapsed.
She said B3 never did so, even though they claim that they are successful because they treat their customers with respect and offer value for money.
"I am sick. My daughter is unemployed and I don't want her to incur unnecessary funeral costs. B3 should rectify their mistake," Motuba said.
She said she offered to pay the three months arrears that B3 had omitted to deduct, but they rejected her offer.
"They refused to reinstate my policy, yet their motto is to give customers service beyond ubuntu," she said.
Busisiwe Mahlalela, B3's client service team leader, has agreed to revive the contract.
She said Motuba's policy had lapsed because there were no funds in her bank account.
Mahlalela admitted that they did not send Motuba a notification letter her that her policy had lapsed as is required by law, but she said that it was equally Motuba's responsibility to check whether she had sufficient funds in her account.
"We will revive her account, but she will have to come through and sign the new documents," Mahlalela said.
It is vital to read your insurance policy
DO YOU know what your insurance policy entails and prohibits?
Bridget Mokwena, the chief executive officer at Assupol, says policy holders do not always read their life insurance policy documents.
She says reading a policy document helps you understand what you are covered for and not.
Mokwena says sometimes insurance companies decline to pay out claims because the claim arose from negligence, criminal or anti-social behaviour.
lLife insurance companies will not recognise any claim which is directly or indirectly caused or accelerated by attempted suicide, intentional or grossly negligent self-inflicted injuries during the first two years of the policy.
lThey will not settle if you are under the influence of any drugs or alcohol; or if you voluntarily expose yourself to danger by engaging in a criminal act.
lDon't lie, or withhold any vital information.
lIf you are travelling overseas or if your job changes, notify your insurer.
lIf you have stopped smoking or drinking alcohol, notify your insurer.
lIf you do not understand anything listed in your policy document, seek assistance from your insurer to avoid any misunderstandings when you claim.