Picture: Bloomberg

CAPE TOWN - FNB Life has teamed up with the Department of Home Affairs to tackle the ongoing issue concerning unclaimed insurance benefits.

This partnership will allow the bank to access and analyse data in order to identify potential beneficiaries and pay out what is due to them. FNB Life has identified over R160 million worth of unclaimed policies in its books and has made a commitment to track down nominated beneficiaries, family members or the next of kin. 

To date, over R5 million has been paid across different products to nominated beneficiaries who had no idea that the policies existed before they were traced.

According to FNB, The highest claim identified was R3.6 million for life cover and R100 000 for funeral cover. 

Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, says it is gravely concerning and unfair that consumers who have spent their hard-earned cash paying insurance premiums have to lose out on claims due to insurers not being able to contact their loved ones, or beneficiaries not being aware of the policies.

“Therefore, it was imperative that we not only place emphasis on educating consumers on measures to avoid dealing with unclaimed policies, but proactively exhausts all possible measures to assist consumers who find themselves in this unfortunate situation,” says Bromfield.

 “Although many insurers place the onus on the insured to ascertain that beneficiary details are always up to date in order to pay out a claim, FNB Life equally takes on the responsibility by going the extra-mile to ensure that claimed and unclaimed benefits are always paid out, where possible” he adds.

FNB also explains that there are many reasons that can lead to an insurer unable to pay out a claim.

Here are a few of these reasons:

1. Failure to submit a valid claim 

2. Inability to contact beneficiaries due to incomplete, missing, outdated or inaccurate information.

3. Consumers who have multiple policies with different insurers find it challenging to maintain and keep all beneficiaries informed about the policy. 

 "It is also essential that policy-holders actively inform all their beneficiaries and family members whenever they take out cover", said FNB. 

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