Client feels duped by car insurer

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Mercedes-Benz A250, which is similar to the one mentioned in the story.
Mercedes-Benz A250, which is similar to the one mentioned in the story.

Renasa Insurance Company Limited's client is accusing the company of unfair business practice and bullying him.

Mfundo Zungu of Bryanston, northern Johannesburg, is angry that Renasa has asked him to lodge a claim with his broker or Mercedes-Benz because the car still has a warranty which will expire in May.

Apart from that, Renasa did not fully investigate his claim or the scene of accident but it told him that the oil from his car had been leaking for quiet a long time and suffered from a manufacturer's defect, he said.

Zungu, 25, was driving to work on July 15 when he heard a load thump coming from his car. He did not know whether the noise came from a pothole or he had hit something, he said.

Zungu proceeded but when he was about to reach his place of employment all lights from his dashboard turned on and funny sound, as if the car was struggling to shift gears, he said.

He had just taken his Mercedes-Benz A250 Sport A/T for its regular service and did not expect any shortcomings from a month-old service, he said.

" I stopped to examine what was going on but could not identify anything. But surprisingly the car could not start," he said.

He said he informed Renasa about the accident but claimed the insurance company did now show up for an hour to assist him.

In the presence of his father, Sandile, they then called VAG specs center who immediately came to his assistance, he said.

"When VAG started towing the car away we noticed that there was puddle of oil on the road which was where the car had been stationary while waiting for assistance," he said.

He said VAG struggled to get the car onto their truck because of the suspension for about 10 minutes and when they finally did, there was a second puddle of oil left from where that car was stationary for the ten minutes.

"Clearly the leakage was caused by the object that caused the loud bang I heard before it lost its power and eventually stopped," Zungu said.

He said after completing the claim form he was questioned and guided on how to answer questions which he found intimidating and bullied to lodge a claim with Mercedes-Benz or his broker instead.

"A few days after the interrogation which I did not succumb to, I was required to provide a trip report since my car is fitted with a Matrix tracker," Zungu said. He said just over a month later, Renasa repudiated his claim on the grounds that he drove the car with an oil leak for a long time after the accident.

Zungu said Renasa did not bother to visit the scene of the accident or get a report from VAG. They appealed and requested Renasa to reconsider their decision and their appeal was also rejected, he said.

Consumer Line sent queries to Renasa about Zungu's complaint and an email from the insurance company said its complaints' section needed more time to investigate the matter.

"Renasa treats complaints seriously and we will ensure that fair treatment [is given to our clients]" read the email.

The individual also referred Consumer Line to its policy which said it limits its clients to Ombudsman for short-term insurance and financial advisory and intermediary services Ombuds in which they abide to respond within their mandates.

- Thuli Zungu is not related to the complainant Mfundo Zungu

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