A medical doctor discovered recently that she’d been paying for a funeral policy for 20 years, thinking the debit was for a retirement annuity (RA).
Dr Zonke Mlokoti-Fikeni's mother died four years ago and she didn’t claim. During that period she did not get any notifications because she moved from her home shortly after taking out the policy and no-one contacted her.
Liberty has however agreed to pay a R22,000 funeral claim for her mom and premiums of R17,000, retrospectively, but she’s not getting any refunds.
While she will now claim her mother’s funeral benefit, she has paid more than R100,000 since 2000.
She shares her story:
In 1999, my father died and at the time I had started working. After that funeral, January 2000, that is when the policy was signed. I lost track of it and forgot about it totally thereafter.— Dr Zonke Mlokoti-Fikeni, Medical doctor
The reason I thought it was an RA, later on in the years I had taken an RA policy with Liberty. So for me, whatever I was paying Liberty was not for a funeral policy.— Dr Zonke Mlokoti-Fikeni, Medical doctor
Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says Mlokoti-Fikeni possibly missed it because the company escalates the amount 15% per annum.
You can see how the amount is perhaps not recognised by the person because it is changing quite drastically every year.— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
Mlokoti-Fikeni has advised listeners to be vigilant.
If you're not quite sure what the debit order is for, try and phone the company and make sure that you understand very well what you are paying for.— Dr Zonke Mlokoti-Fikeni, Medical doctor
Knowler says an insurer should send annual notifications to their clients.
My question to the insurer was that given that the postal system has become very unreliable, surely there is an onus on insurer to source email addresses or cellphone numbers from clients. And where is the broker?— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
There is no justification for a company to be relying on a postal service... alone.— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...