JOHANNESBURG – Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware”. It refers to a contract law principle which deals with situations where the buyer knows less of what he buys than that of the seller who has a more intimate knowledge of the product.
Nathan Ganas was gunned down last year in an attempted hijacking. Momentum declined to pay out his life insurance after his murder, citing undisclosed raised blood sugar levels. The in a dramatic turnaround Momentum decided to pay out after a huge public outcry.
Last week we saw a lot of attention given by social and printed media to insurance policies and practices. It is, however, not just the man in the street who is a victim of the fine print, but the insurance industry itself.
Thirty insurers are clean bowled by practices and clever exclusion terms and conditions which they normally would apply to their clients.
For a change it applies to them.
Insurers will be taking some of their own medicine and they will find it a bitter pill to swallow.
During an interview with the writer – agreed to by the curator of insure – he dropped a bomb that left me speechless.
Questions were sent to the curator with the main aim to establish if the chief executive of Insure and or the other directors could be held responsible for reckless trading.
This would then invoke claims to Camargue Insurance in terms of the Professional Indemnity Policy held by Insure, with a maximum cover of R100 000 000.
Pieter Bezuidenhout, the curator, said the policy had an exclusion, determining that the policy would no longer be enforceable the minute a curator is appointed!
Previously we believed the insurers would at least have a R100 000 000 claim against Camargue due to the reckless trading of Insure.
This is no longer the case, no money will be paid and this time round there will be no campaigns and or sympathy from the man in the street.
Corrie Kruger is an independent correspondent.
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