Over what seemed like an eternity, a bereft widow known only as Mrs M, has finally been granted due consideration in her battle against a South African life assurance company. Consumer watch expert, Wendy Knowler, added that so many of SA’s consumers remained unaware of their purchasing rights, and thus corporates looked to take advantage. The win over the nearly two year long case comes as more a triumph of principle than money, for Mrs M.
Mrs M had confirmed her intention to purchase a life insurance policy, to the value of R2m, covering both her and her husband, in the event of their respective deaths. Completing her purchase in March of 2015, she was informed that the inception date of the policy would be set for 1 May 2015. Unforeseen circumstances led to the tragic passing of Mr M in a motor vehicle collision on 18 April 2015, a full 13 days prior to the policy’s inception date, leaving Mrs M cornered and helpless.
Grappling with the sudden loss of her husband, Mrs M sought help through every avenue available to her, eventually relying on the assistance of the Ombud for Financial Services Providers. Staying the course over a gruelling two years, Mrs M displayed an amazing resolve and willingness to cooperate. Her patience rewarded her in the form of the Ombud’s accute attention to the details of the case, and then some.
Acknowledging that Mrs M previously held no life cover, as well as her husband, that the service provider was responsible for informing her [as a client] of the potential waiting periods, limitations, flexibility of inception and so on. In addition to this, the Ombud acknowledged that Mrs M’s husband would have been covered at the time of his passing, had Mrs M been made aware of the relevant information and had the opportunity to select an inception date as soon as possible to her date of purchase. Signalling a sign of the times, that no longer can our community members be taken for granted, Mrs M’s win is a massive victory not only for her, but for others fighting similar battles across South Africa.