There had been widespread social media outrage over the company’s decision not to pay out, with many people saying they had – or would – cancel their contracts with the insurer.
“It is clear from market reaction over the last two days that under certain circumstances, current industry practice creates the impression that insurers are looking for reasons not to pay a claim. 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 R3m) in the case of violent crime, regardless of previous medical history. This will apply to all existing as well as future life cover clients,” it said.
Momentum said that, from now on, it would guarantee a payout when the death was a direct result of violent crime, even when material medical non-disclosure impacts the legitimacy of the contract.
“The payout is not in addition to the normal death benefit. It only applies in circumstances when the death benefit will not be payable or has been reduced,” the company said.
Momentum said it would not only move to pay Ganas’s widow, but it would also identify clients who were impacted by this policy in the past, contact their families and arrange payment.
The company stressed however that “the importance of full and honest disclosure at application stage cannot be overemphasised”.
“The only time your health status matters, is when you apply for cover. This is when you need to share all your medical and health information. If your health deteriorates after 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,” Momentum said.
“With exception of the new guarantee, full disclosure remains non-negotiable to ensure peace of mind. We care for our clients and always strive to solve for their needs. We hope that this solution illustrates that.”