If a policyholder is deceased, the life insurer pro-actively processes a pay-out to beneficiaries, many of whom have no idea that the policies existed. The pre-emptive claims process has paid an average of R2.9m worth of claims a month over the past year across different insurance products. The highest individual pay-out was worth R2.25m overall, R2m for life cover and R250 000 for funeral cover.
Lee Bromfield, the chief executive of FNB Life, says: “We are the only life insurer in the country that has been able to initiate a claim payment on behalf of the beneficiary when the policy holder has passed on. More often than not, the beneficiaries of these policies aren’t aware of the claims, so, through our award-winning pre-emptive claims system, we are notified when our policyholders pass on, and we initiate the claim on their behalf.”
However, tracking beneficiaries has its challenges. One is the inability to trace policy beneficiaries due to incorrect or insufficient beneficiary information. In most cases, the insurer has had to work off a name or initial and surname with no date of birth, identity number or contact details. Another hindrance is the fact that potential beneficiaries refuse to provide their details when contacted to avoid being scammed.
“It is absolutely critical for customers to ensure that they provide the correct beneficiary information and are constantly reviewing their policy details to ensure that they’re all up to date. From our side, we have embedded the capturing of mandatory beneficiary details in the sales process and have introduced a function on cellphone banking and the FNB website that allows policyholders to conveniently update their beneficiary information. We’ve also encouraged customers through the eBucks programme to have a valid beneficiary on their policy,” says Bromfield.