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22 October 2004 Angelo Coppola

Keith Kennedy, executive general manager for Claims at Mutual & Federal says that for every R1 a policyholder pays towards his or her monthly premium, 60% to 70% is spent on claims.

This means that the policyholder gets between 60% and 70% of his money back. Mutual & Federal also spends approximately R6 billion per year on claims which translates into about R18 million per working day.

The insurer settles about 450,000 claims per year.

“The significance of this,” says Kennedy, “is that the bigger you are the more you buy, and the more you buy the better the price and service you can command.”

Suffering a loss is never pleasant and Kennedy urges policyholders not to worsen the experience by trying to submit a fraudulent or exaggerated claim.

“If you have suffered a loss, contact your insurer as soon as possible, state exactly what happened and never embellish,” he says. “Some policyholders even exaggerate or lie to make their story sound more realistic. Always be honest,” he says, “and never allow anyone to sign anything on your behalf.”

There are those policyholders who believe they need to get ‘something’ back from their insurer because they’ve been paying for all these years, says Kennedy.

However, it’s better to rather pay and never suffer a loss, he says. “A loss can be very traumatic – so rather see your insurance as buying peace of mind.”

Quick Polls

QUESTION

As National Treasury mulls a two-bucket retirement system, mandatory contributions and preservation, regulation 28 is being amended to allow up to 40% of retirement fund assets to be invested in SA-based infrastructure… Which of the following retirement fund ‘tweaks’ would you consider most beneficial to your clients?

ANSWER

Give fund members emergency access to retirement savings
Let fund members invest 40% in infrastructure
Let fund members invest 40% offshore
Mandatory preservation when resigning from a fund
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