Momentum Insure pays home claim in full and goes beyond duty to accommodate family in need
24 June 2022
We fully sympathise with Dr. Matshikiri’s experience and understand that what he went through can be frustrating and traumatic. Which is why we not only honoured the terms of the policy agreement we had with him, but also supported him and his family well beyond what was required.
The recent complaint that Dr Matshikiri vented on social media does not reflect accurate facts, and we do need to set the record straight. We have gone beyond our contractual terms to fully settle the substantial claim, provide Dr Matshikiri and his family alternative accommodation from mid-February to end May in a hotel and are still providing secure storage, at our risk and cost, of his furniture until 30 June 2022.
Background to the claim
On 17 February we received a claim from Dr Matshikiri for high-risk structural damage to his house. We immediately arranged alternative temporary accommodation for the client and his family in a hotel and for an assessor to inspect the damage to the property.
Due to the technical nature of the claim, we experienced some delays in receiving geologist and engineer reports to ascertain if the building could be repaired or if it was a total loss. We remained in contact with Dr Matshikiri to provide these updates.
On 10 March arrangements were made to relocate the home contents to a secure storage facility at Momentum’s own cost and risk. We continue to insure these items.
On 8 April we notified Dr Matshikiri that we were paying the claim in full as the house was no longer fit for occupation. We further notified him that due to the cash settlement of his claim, our contractual obligations to provide and pay for temporary accommodation would also come to an end but that we would extend it to end of April – which he acknowledged and did not object to. Up to this point Momentum Insure was paying for temporary hotel accommodation for Dr Matshikiri and his family from 19 February to end April, although he was paid in full on 11 April already.
On 29 April 2022 we received a request from Dr Matshikiri to extend the alternative hotel accommodation, even though we had paid his claim in full, as his own arrangements fell through, and he needed additional time to make alternative arrangements. We considered his requests and granted a further extension of the hotel accommodation for an additional 30 days up to 31 May 2022. We had no contractual duty to do this.
On 20 June 2022 we received another request from Dr Matshikiri to extend the alternative accommodation by another two months to 31 July 2022, which we declined. Throughout the claims process, we advised Dr Matshikiri that the alternative accommodation benefit is only provided up until the settlement of the claim (in his case, this was 11 April 2022). The fact that we extended this to 31 May 2022 was a gesture of goodwill.
Where we are today
Dr Matshikiri is publicly contesting that he is entitled to accommodation to the value of 20% of his total insured value. This is not true. Our contract offers alternative accommodation up to date of settlement, not exceeding 20% of the sum insured. We have not only honoured the terms of policy agreement we had with him, we had also accommodated him beyond what was required.
We have also calculated the building cover premiums deducted from Dr Matshikiri from February 2022 to date and have processed a refund payment back to him. Dr Matshikiri is furthermore alleging that the premium refund has resulted in him not being fully covered in respect of his claim. He is unfortunately mistaken, as the refund relates to the cover of his building after the claim, which as has been settled in full, and paid to him. We cannot charge a premium for a property that is not at the moment insurable, given that Dr Matshikiri has not commenced with the repair process, following the full and final cash settlement of his claim. It is standard practice for such items / assets to be removed from cover, with a resultant reduction in premium. Unfortunately our process to do this automatically did not function as intended, and we therefore continued to erroneously deduct this portion of premium from him. As soon as he made us aware of this, we corrected our mistake and refunded him the premium.
Dr Matshikiri also publicly implied that Momentum Insure is not a registered non-life insurer. Dr Matshikiri is unfortunately confusing the underwriter of his policy with another entity that is in the process of being deregistered. Momentum Insurance Company Limited is currently being deregistered and is not the underwriter of his insurance policy. The underwriter of his policy is Momentum Insure Company Limited, an authorised financial services provider as well as registered non-life insurance company.
We believe that we have operated in a fair manner, that all due claims have been settled in full and that we have extended our goodwill to Dr Matshikiri and his family beyond what was required of us.