Justice for Mojanaga

Two years ago Desiree Mojanaga, a resident of the Craigavon Park area of Johannesburg took a life insurance policy for her uncle with 1Life Insurance. He was not her uncle by blood but having raised her as his daughter since 1999, she regarded him as her dad. Since he was out of a job and unable to afford cover, Desiree took it upon herself to get him life insurance. She did not think twice about doing this as he was not only close to her and her family, he was estranged from his family. Desiree also went ahead and took out a funeral policy for her ‘uncle’ as well.

All was fine and dandy until tragedy struck and the man passed away. Desiree was not prepared for the backlash she would encounter when she submitted a claim on both the policies. The insurance firm essentially called her a fraudster, interrogating her closely about her relationship to the diseased. They even claimed that the documents from the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital she brought to process the claim were not authentic. It was perplexing that 1Life had not bothered to look into Desiree’s relationship with the beneficiary of the policies when she was signing up.

Disregarding the fact thaDesiree Mojanagat she was grieving, representatives intensely grilled Desiree after she submitted her claim on January 20. Her distress about the way 1Life were handling her would only increase after they terminated two other covers Desiree has taken with them without reimbursing what she had paid in premiums so far. To add insult to injury the 37 year-old says that the company deducted money from her account against a policy she did not purchase without even informing her.

Finally Mojanaga sought help from Consumer Line to call attention to the unfair treatment she was being subjected to. It proved to be a smart move as just three days later the claims were processed and a sum of R50,000 disbursed to her. As of the time of this report refunds for the premiums on the halted policies were being processed. However, it is not yet clear if 1Life will pick up the tab for the legal fees Mojanaga has incurred while fighting for her claims.

Meanwhile the managing director for 1Life Laurence Hillman has come out strongly to defend his company. He insisted that the firm was committed to processing all valid claims in a timely fashion. What Mojanaga experienced was a delay caused by anomalies in the documentation she had submitted. If it wasn’t for the time consumed in ironing out the discrepancies, Hillman believes Mojanaga’s claims would have been dealt with in good time.

And to prove how proactive the company has been in preventing similar issues from cropping up in future, he said that funeral products would be restructured to cater for the traditional African family structure that includes extended family. Usually, in the spirit of ‘ubuntu’, people undertake for the burial of people not from their immediate family. This is in fact why Mojanaga took a policy for her uncle.

All info was correct at time of publishing