Old Mutual backtracks and pays widow of murdered Cape Town man
Cape Town - Old Mutual has honoured Atlantis widow Renei Kruger's claim from her murdered husband's life policy, after initially rejecting it because he had supposedly not declared that he was being treated for diabetes.
"We are pleased to confirm that, based on the updated information, Mr Kruger's Greenlight contract is valid and we are settling her claim in full," Jaco Gouws, Old Mutual Protection Product head, said on Friday.
"We already spoke to Mrs Kruger yesterday afternoon to share our findings with her and to sincerely apologise for any distress that this process has caused her and her family during this difficult time."
Kruger was relieved, and happy that she could start making arrangements to move out of her mother-in-law's house, and that she and her three daughters could start rebuilding their lives.
"God has the biggest hand in this," said the softly spoken woman.
"They [Old Mutual] did apologise and I am happy with that. I'm a very forgiving person.
"Even if they didn't apologise, I would have forgiven them, because that is how I lived my life with my husband."
But the other hero in her triumph is their doctor, Grant Munro, who took time out of his busy practice to fight tooth and nail for his patient's grieving family.
'He was shot. He did not die of sugar diabetes'
Cape Talk also stepped in and brokered an on-air meeting between Kruger, Munro and Gouws, to get to the bottom of the matter. Her plight struck a chord with listeners, and with the readers of News24, who offered support.
Kruger's struggle to get the payout has created a massive debate over perceived loopholes in insurance cover, as well as the importance of keeping brokers up to date with changes in health and circumstances.
According to Old Mutual, the policy was at first rejected because Brent had not declared that he was being treated for diabetes.
This is in line with the insurance industry's practice of establishing risks such as pre-existing conditions before offering cover. If a condition is not declared, the policy becomes invalid.
However, Renei vehemently denied that her husband had suffered from diabetes. She said he had simply been advised to watch his weight and do more exercise. He never received insulin or chronic medication.
"He was shot. He did not die of high blood pressure or sugar diabetes," she told News24 earlier.
'He is just a hero'
The 32-year-old father was killed in apparent crossfire near his daughter's creche in Atlantis, north of Cape Town, on June 22. Four teens were arrested afterwards and charged with murder.
While dealing with her loss, the grief-stricken woman thought that at least the policy - that her husband had paid around R600 a month for - would tide her and the children over.
She used to help him with administration at his cupboard-making business, but that ended with his death, leaving her with no income.
Shortly after his death, she also discovered that she was pregnant again, leaving her with four children to care for on her own. She also had no money to fix his car after it had lurched forward and crashed into a wall when he was shot.
Renei said her case had created an enormous amount of awareness around insurance policies and, although it was stressful, people had learned a lot from her experience.
The doctor was not immediately available to comment but, in the meantime, it is his birthday on Saturday.
"He is just a hero," Renei says.