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Momentum: 'New violent crimes payout is to offer clients peace of mind'

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.

 Johann le Roux. Picture: momentum.co.za

JOHANNESBURG – Momentum says a new solution which will see families of those who have died in violent crime receive to up to R3 million in life claims is to offer all clients peace of mind.

After public outcry, the insurer announced on Tuesday that 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 pay out because Nathan Ganas failed to disclose that he had suffered high blood sugar levels.

Momentum CEO of Life Insurance Johann le Roux says: “The important message is that we can offer those guarantees and offer the peace of mind, that’s why we did it.

“We mentioned previously that four out of 1,000 clients are rejected every year, so depending to what’s relates to violent crime, that will be the number of claims we’ll now supplement through this additional amount.”

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 that’s 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.

LISTEN: Momentum to pay maximum of R3m to violent crime victims’ families