'Avbob has given me hell'

A BITTER three-year wrangle between an insurance company and its client over a burial payout ended last Friday.

A BITTER three-year wrangle between an insurance company and its client over a burial payout ended last Friday.

Thoko Magcai breathed a sigh of relief when Consumer Line told her that Avbob had agreed to settle a burial claim plus a refund of about R10 000 in premiums debited after her sister's death in December 2006.

Magcai said her parents took a funeral cover from Avbob because it provided cover for the whole family and have continued using the company for more than a decade.

She said her parents have taught her to "be there" for her family in times of need and she took their advice.

In 2001 she insured her sister and paid her monthly premiums without fail until now.

"Following her death, a sudden and inexplicable family feud emanating from her children ensued. All family members were barred from identifying her body from the clinic and funeral parlour.

"Even elders who came from Eastern Cape were treated with the same arrogance," Magcai said.

She said her nephews later refused to give her her sister's death certificate, making it impossible for her to make a claim from Avbob though they were aware she had taken a burial policy for her.

Magcai said it was the most painful thing that ever happened to her family, adding that most of them have not yet had closure on her death.

"Her children have since sold the house and relocated elsewhere, the last time I saw them was two days after the memorial service, and due to the traumatic experience it was extremely difficult for me to attend my sister's funeral," she said.

She lodged a claim only after her sister was buried.

Magcai said it was not only her nieces who gave her a hard time. The department of education also refused to furnish her with copies of her sister's ID and death certificate, claiming that they were following her niece's instructions. Avbob gave her hell, she said.

"The insurance company, Avbob, also tossed me around, demanding various proof of documents and affidavits.

"I supplied those but my claim remains unpaid until now," she said.

Avbob has also not stopped debiting her account, she said: "They are still taking premiums for her policy even though they are aware she died three years ago."

Magcai has been struggling to get the funeral payout and her sister's premiums cancelled since 2006, she said.

"I need closure. Avbob's delay is causing me unnecessary pain and trauma. I don't know how long must I wait for this torture to end."

Avbob did not explain why it took them three years to resolve Magcai's complaint.

Avbob media liaison officer Marius du Plessis said they had resolved the matter to Magcai's satisfaction and thanked Consumer Line for bringing her complaint to their attention.