Financial insurance company, Momentum, has decided to add a new clause in its life insurance policies after a week of public outrage. PHOTO: Supplied
CAPE TOWN - Financial insurance company, Momentum, has decided to add a new clause in its life insurance policies after a week of public outrage. 

The company now says that it will pay out life insurance claims to the families of victims of a violent crime.

This is irrespective of their medical history.

The company said that they had decided to make the new policy change and this will be applied to all current and future life insurance policies. 

Moreover, it will be applied retroactively. 

“It’s clear from market reaction over the last two days that under certain circumstances, current industry practice creates the impression that insurers are looking for a reason not to pay a claim. Momentum is in the business of paying claims, and we have therefore taken the criticisms to heart,” Momentum said.

“We have created a solution that will pay an amount equal to the death benefit (limited to a maximum of R3 million) in the case of violent crime, regardless of previous medical history.”

The company said that the payouts will be fully funded from Momentum’s profits and not from client premiums.

It should also be noted that the payout will be given if death was a result of a violent crime. 

Momentum said that it is not an addition to the normal death benefit and the company still has the right to deny or reject any claim they deem is fraudulent.

THE GANAS FAMILY

Nathan Ganas was killed in a hail of bullets trying to protect his wife, Denise, during a hijacking in the driveway of their Shallcross home. Picture: Supplied

Momentum faced a massive public relations nightmare this week after denying a R2.4 million claim from the Ganas family. 

Momentum Life declined an application for a R2.4 million life insurance payout for Nathan Ganas, who was killed while trying to protect his wife, Denise, during a hijacking in the driveway last March.

Ganas' claim was declined by Momentum 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. 

Momentum faced backlash on social media and despite sticking to its guns over the rejected payout, said it would refund the premiums paid by the Ganas family since the inception of the policy. 

On Tuesday, Momentum said that they had agreed to pay out the R2.4m life policy.

Momentum cited market pressures and announced they had reversed their decision and would be paying the Ganas family.

“Momentum is in the business of paying claims and we have therefore taken the criticism to heart. We have created a solution that will pay an amount equal to the death benefit (limited to a maximum of R3 million) in the case of violent crime, regardless of previous medical history. This will apply to all existing as well as future life cover clients,” said the insurer.

DO NOT LIE

Momentum went on to add that it was important to not lie to your insurance provider. 

“The only time your health status matters is when you apply for cover. This is when you need to share all your medical health information,” the company said.

“If your health deteriorates after the commencement of the policy, there is no need for you to inform Momentum – your claim will be completely valid if the information provided at the start of the policy was accurate.”

PERSONAL FINANCE