Bank pledges to pay for hijacked car

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Sente Nkadimeng finally got justice after his insurance repudiated his claim, saying his son was regular driver.
Sente Nkadimeng finally got justice after his insurance repudiated his claim, saying his son was regular driver.

Using a company car almost prejudiced chances of a Mpumalanga man from lodging a successful claim with an insurance company on his insured, private vehicle.

Sente Nkadimeng, 62, of Odendaal Extension 16 in Emalahleni believes that using a company car should not be used as a valid reason to repudiate a valid claim.

Nkadimeng said his BMW was hijacked at gunpoint while being driven by his son in December.

His son Asanda said he had just picked up his girlfriend from her home when they were suddenly accosted by thugs, who pointed guns at them and bundled them into the boot of the car

The thugs drove around with them and eventually dropped them unharmed in the woods, Asanda said.

"We did not know where we were, but as we walked along the road we realised that we were in Klarinet, just 25 minutes away from home."

He said they were hijacked around 7pm and released about three hours later.

They found help when they reached the nearby flats, from where they managed to call the nearest police station for help, he said.

Asanda said his father, who is the owner of the car, later lodged a claim with Nedbank for compensation as he had bought his insurance cover from them.

Nkadimeng said he was told that he would be compensated and might even get a balance to pay a deposit for another vehicle.

But just when he was expecting compensation, he was suddenly told the claim was being repudiated on the grounds that he was not the regular driver of the car.

"I do not know where they got this information from as I was the regular driver," said Nkadimeng.

He said his son mostly drove the car in emergency situations and was not the regular driver.

"I had also allowed my son to use my car when he went for interviews as he was looking for a job, and I cannot understand how that made him the regular driver of my car," he said.

Nkadimeng said neighbours, friends and relatives were not contacted to verify this but Nedbank insisted his son was the regular driver based on the fact that Nkadimeng used his employer's vehicle. "I was still the regular driver [of my car] and it had not changed," he said.

He said if his son was the regular driver, he would have notified his insurance company

During the underwriting of a motor vehicle insurance policy, a prospective client must disclose the identity of the regular driver of the vehicle being insured.

Nkadimeng has been repaying the car loan since December and has a balance of R110000 for a car he does not have anymore.

Though Nedbank has not responded to our inquiry, the insurer contacted Nkadimeng on Monday and offered to pay off his outstanding balance on the car, he said.

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