Despite previously sticking to their guns over a rejected life cover insurance payout to a client who had not disclosed a pre-existing condition even though it was not related to his death, life insurer Momentum has been shamed into paying back Nathan Ganas’s premiums to his family in addition to letting them keep the R50,000 instant cash benefit they used to pay for Ganas’ funeral.
The company became the number one topic of discussion over the weekend after it was revealed that they had declined an application for a R2.4 million life insurance payout for Durban resident, who was killed in a hail of bullets trying to protect his wife, Denise, during a hijacking in the driveway of their Shallcross home last March.
Ganas’s claim was declined by the insurer on the grounds he had not disclosed that he was diagnosed with raised blood sugar levels which may have occurred before he completed his application for the policy in 2014.
This past weekend, Momentum contended on social media with users expressing their disappointment over the insurer’s rejection to pay the life cover. In a lengthy statement, Momentum said it was truly sorry for Ganas’ tragic death and also had sympathy for the views that the cause of death was not related to the non-disclosure.
But the insurer said that paying the claim would result in an increase in claims which would ultimately increase the premiums for all other clients just because “a client has not acted in good faith”.
“The rejection of the claim was referred to the Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance, who determined that Momentum’s decision was the correct one under the circumstances. In this instance, had the information been known to us, no cover would have been issued in the first place, and no claim would have been paid, regardless of the cause of death,” said Momentum.
Power FM host Iman Rappetti has since revealed that the insurer had agreed to refund premiums paid by Ganas since the inception of his policy in 2014 and they will also allow his family to keep the R50,000 instant cash benefit that they had initially asked them to pay back.
The drama surrounding their refusal to pay the claim has had a major impact on the public perception of the company, with many vowing to move their policies to different service providers.