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Momentum buckles under pressure, to pay out R2.4m to Denise Ganas

The company had come under fire for refusing to pay the sum to Denise Ganas, whose husband was killed last year in their Chatsworth driveway.

Denise Ganas. Picture: Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - Momentum has announced it will be paying out the R2.4 million life insurance policy to a Durban widow whose husband was gunned down in a hijacking.

The company had come under fire for refusing to pay the sum to Denise Ganas, whose husband was killed last year in their Chatsworth driveway.

Earlier this week, Momentum had said it would not fork out because Nathan Ganas failed to disclose that he had suffered high blood sugar levels.

On Monday, Denise said Momentum had returned the premiums for the policy but she would continue the fight.

Now the company's CEO Johan Le Roux has told the Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield that Momentum has developed a new solution for the families of clients who've died in violent crime, which will see them receive up to R3 million in life claims even if they haven't fully disclosed health issues.

“This will not be paid from our clients’ premiums, it will be paid from our shareholder profits, but also fairness to other clients that had a similar hardship.”

He was asked why it took so long to pay out.

“I think we did reflect on this reality and obviously the concern from clients who feel if they do pass away in a violent crime event, despite medical non-disclosure, that their families are looked after and I think thats a need for clients.”

At the same time in a statement, the insurance company says the decision was prompted by the market reaction in the past two days and the fact that it has taken the criticism to heart.

"Momentum is in the business of paying claims... the importance of full and honest disclosure at application stage cannot be over-emphasised."

It further states that it will now pay an amount equal to the death benefit in the case of violent crime, regardless of previous medical history.

Momentum says this amount will be limited to R3 million per client.

LISTEN: Momentum to pay all violent crime claims, regardless of previous medical history

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)