Old Mutual to pay hit-and-run victim

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Finding your car dented or scratched after parking at a mall or other public places can break your heart./123RF
Finding your car dented or scratched after parking at a mall or other public places can break your heart./123RF

Old Mutual has had a change of heart and agreed to pay a claim it was accused of rejecting unfairly.

Alice Mametja, 36, had parked her car safely at Paledi Mall in Mankweng, Limpopo, only to find it damaged on her return in a hit-and-run incident.

She lodged a claim for damages, knowing that she was covered to restore her car to the condition in which it was before the hit-and-run.

To her surprise, her claim was rejected on the grounds that it was a hit-and-run.

"I went through my policy contract and I could not find such a clause," said the mother of three.

Mametja said she was aggrieved and disappointed because her claim was rejected on the grounds that are not even stipulated on the contract. Mametja said she recalled the story of the aggrieved family which took the corpse of their beloved one to Old Mutual offices, which compelled them to settle the claim.

"I read a story where Old Mutual refused to pay a funeral claim last year until the bereaved family took the corpse to their offices and it was then settled. I never thought I would be next in line to have a claim refused," she said.

She said she would never blame that family for doing so.

Her claim was approved after Consumer Line stepped in. Without explaining why the claim was initially rejected, Nthabiseng Skhosana of Iwyze only said they have approved Mametja's claim.

"Unfortunately, we are not able to recover her excess amount from the responsible third party or their insurance as it was not possible for her to identify them," said Skhosana. Mametja found this acceptable and was happy that her claim was eventually approved.

Old Mutual has also responded on the billions of rands which belong to about 100,000 members which is in their possession.

A week ago, Consumer Line published an article alerting people who had taken out a retirement policy, cancelled it and never claimed their outstanding amounts.

The article stated that more than 4,5-million South Africans have R42bn in unclaimed retirement savings and insurance policy benefits.

Subsequently, we were flooded with inquiries from readers who wanted to know if Old Mutual was searching for them and how they should claim their money.

Ursula van der Westhuizen of Old Mutual said since 2018 they have been trying to trace their clients who have unclaimed benefits with them.

She said Old Mutual has R1,5bn which remains unclaimed and encourages Sowetan readers to make an inquiry to see if they qualify.

Van der Westhuizen encouraged people who took out an Old Mutual policy and cancelled it or relatives of deceased people who had such a policy, to contact them.

To have any unclaimed funds from Old Mutual from an old policy verified, send your ID number or your deceased relative's ID number to 43685 to see if you qualify. If you do not have an ID number, send the surname and date of birth in this format: surname dd/mm/yyyy to 43685 to see if you qualify.

She said Old Mutual is also spreading this message via Ukhozi and Umhlobo Wenene radio stations, Facebook and SMSes because they want to find every single person who has a legitimate claim.

Can all insurance companies who have unclaimed benefits tell us how they intend paying their clients? Just asking.

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