48-year-old Boksburg resident Purdey Smith has been involved in an insurance claim battle with the City of Ekurhuleni since April 24, after an unworthy Ekurhuleni refuse truck rammed into her vehicle and two others at a red traffic light on Voortrekker Road.
Smith’s claim of nearly R53,000 was rejected by the City’s external insurers as the truck was not roadworthy, reports Kempton Express.
According to Smith, the driver of the refuse truck admitted at the scene of the accident that it experienced a brake failure.
“We were required to complete forms and get quotes and submit it immediately,” Smith told Kempton Express.
Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the metro, told Express on June 27: “The City of Ekurhuleni confirms that all relevant documents were filled in after the accident and forwarded to the finance department (risk and insurance claims) for processing in accordance with the City’s liability claim processes.
“Furthermore, as part of the necessary claim-handling procedures, it was forwarded to the City’s insurers to make necessary determinations, as the insurance part of the process is underwritten by external insurers. The City will continue to give the claim necessary priority until it has gone through all phases.
“Once the insurers give feedback, after considering all relevant factors and conducting necessary due diligence, the City will immediately communicate that decision to the claimant.”
Smith received an email from Dries van den Berg, executive manager of insurance and risks in the finance department, on July 15, stating: “It is true that your claim has been rejected by the council’s insurers, as there apparently was fault with the council vehicle.
“This does not mean your claim against the council was invalid, it merely means the insurance can’t handle the claim since the prescriptions are that the council’s vehicles need to be roadworthy at all times.”
Van den Berg also told Smith that her claim was referred to the corporate and legal department.
On July 22, Smith received an email from a Gugu Moloi, stating: “Kindly note that we were advised by our insurance department that your claim was rejected. The legal department is, however, unable to assist you in your claim at this moment, as you have not issued summons against the City of Ekurhuleni.”
“So basically, even though they have admitted guilt, I now have to get a lawyer and proceed to court,” said Smith.
“I am driving a car which is no longer roadworthy as I don’t have other transport and I don’t have insurance, being a single mother.”
Another driver, Mlungisi Tebekhulu, whose bakkie was severely damaged in the same accident, was behind her at the time of the accident.
“He wasn’t as lucky, as he can no longer drive his vehicle. He is also desperate as he can’t work without his bakkie,” Smith said.