Twitter backlash after Momentum’s R2.4m pay-out snub
Life insurer Momentum came under increasing fire on Monday following its rejection of a life insurance payout, but the insurer has stood its ground saying the claimant did not act in good faith because he did not disclose a pre-existing medical condition.
Nathan Ganas, of Durban, was killed in a hail of bullets while trying to protect his wife in a hijacking last year, but Momentum declined to pay out the R2,4m life insurance because it says he did not disclose that he suffered from high blood sugar at the time of signing the contract in 2014.
In a statement, Momentum said: “The rejection of the claim was referred to the Ombudsman for long-term Insurance, who determined that Momentum’s decision was the correct one under the circumstances. In this instance, had the information been known to us, no cover would have been issued in the first place, and no claim would have been paid, regardless of the cause of death."
The matter has been taken on appeal at the Ombud’s office, which has declined to comment on the matter while it is still pending.
Twitter was not having it. From declaring the “callous loathing” of insurers to threatening consumer revolt, Twitter was raging after Momentum declined to pay out to Ganas’s widow. He had the policy for three years before the fatal shooting at his home in Shallcross.
Hillie Meyer, CEO of MMI, told Talk Radio 702 on Monday morning if Ganas had answered truthfully at application there would not have been a contract. He denied Momentum was trying to find reasons not to pay out.
Momentum’s tweet with statement:
His answers may be perfectly legal, but “the question is, is it just and ethical?” asked former public protector Thuli Madonsela as she weighed in on the debate alongside many other high-profile people. Below is some of the reaction on twitter:
Dear executive management @Momentum_za . If indeed true, you know very well that this man’s death had nothing to do with his blood sugar levels. Please clarify this matter of “unreasonable claim rejection” or face consumer fall-out. https://t.co/YQkX4aFWLK— Wayne Duvenage (@wayneduv) November 18, 2018
Dear Momentum: 1. Find middle ground +compensate the family even though you are legally correct. 2. Do an education drive to remind consumers about the T+Cs of making sure policies are valid. Brands are more than legal frameworks. People always remember how you made them feel.— Wendy Tlou (@mswendyt) November 19, 2018
It seems we are no longer debating non-disclosure from MURDERED client. What should have been addressed by your statement @Momentum_za is whether or not it is ethical for you to even HAVE a rule that EMPOWERS YOU to repudiate claim when cause of death is not related to condition?— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) November 19, 2018
So an insurer like @Momentum_za et al have time, expertise & tenacity to snoop around AFTER you die (cause unrelated to your health)..but they don't have commitment to conduct SAME rigorous test before they approve your policy? Oh, them finding out BEFORE, means less 💰💰💰— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) November 19, 2018