A South African insurance company is under fire after forcing a family to bring in their relative’s corpse to receive their payout.
The family had to physically drag their loved one’s dead body into the insurance office.
A video of the incident was posted on Twitter.
Warning: the video below contains disturbing content.
[EXPOSE OLD MUTUAL] Family bring their dead family member after @OldMutualSA refused to pay their policy benefit. Old Mutualâ€™s arrogance is stinking now. What a shame! May the soul of the poor person Rest In Peace. Plz Retweet. pic.twitter.com/Gk2QFQWkoM
— White Man Confession (@ConfessionWhite) November 19, 2019
The family of the deceased, a 46-year-old man named Sifiso Justice Mhlongo, is suitably outraged.
According to The Daily Mail, the insurance agency, Old Mutual, claimed there was an issue with the paperwork preventing them from giving the family a $2,200 payout towards funeral costs.
The delay meant the family couldn’t perform important burial rights for their uncle.
After waiting nine days for the insurance company to sort the issue out,Â Mhlongo’s nieces, Ntombenhle Mhlongo and Thandaza Mtshali, felt they had no other option but to confront the insurance agency in person.
Ntombenhle explained to TheÂ Daily Mail that Old Mutual was not being cooperative.
“We kept going back but they kept stonewalling and we were angry, frustrated and just wanted to make sure we could properly prepare and bury him.”Â
“We thought if the documents do not give them enough answers then maybe the body will.”
Her idea worked.
Ntombenhle and Thandaza drove their uncle’s body from the morgue and carried it into a branch of Old Mutual in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.
With the body bag on the floor, the women handed over the insurance paperwork and his death certificate to the horrified staff.
And it took just one phone call to get the family’s insurance claim honored.
The women’s drastic measures worked immediately unlike all their previous requests. Old Mutual agents contacted upper management and the payout was quickly approved on the spot.
Old Mutual sent out an apology on Twitter in response to the video going viral.Â
Good evening, this has been most unsettling and we are sympathetic towards the family during this difficult time. We can confirm that the claim was paid. Due to the sensitive nature of this matter, we will continue engaging directly with the family.
— Old Mutual SA (@OldMutualSA) November 19, 2019
Old Mutual continued their apology in subsequent tweets:
“We take note of this incident and would like to assure our customers that claims are assessed on an individual basis and the incident at this branch whilst isolated is regrettable.”
The company then assured the public they try to process claims as quickly as possible.
“While we make every attempt to settle claims as speedily as possible, this specific claim had to undergo further assessments. Old Mutual strives to pay claims speedily – 99% of funeral claims are paid within 8 hours once all requirements are met.”
Their tweets did little to quell the distress and outrage the disturbing video caused.
You guys are just disgusting
— Majozi (@Joseph67680919) November 19, 2019
When premiums are collected no problem….
When payment towards death has to be made sensitivity comes in.
So to make a long story short….
— Babu BigB MasekaðŸ‡¿ðŸ‡¦ (@bigb_maseka) November 20, 2019
So Is this how you treat your clients Old Mutual?
— Southinah Matlala (@SouthinaM) November 20, 2019
If you were sympathetic, this family would not have taken such extreme measures to make you pay!! You only sensitive cause you got caught… I've had a issue claiming from my investments mos this is your nature vele.
— Zandile (@intombikazulu) November 19, 2019
Customers are questioning the company’s integrity and vowing to cancel their policies with them.
Iâ€™m canceling my policy first thing tomorrow, I donâ€™t have close family to carry my corpse to your offices. I need to know when I depart I shall Rest In Peace & this is not it.
— Mthembinator (@ThembaFax) November 19, 2019
Yhoooo I'm also cancelling everything with them. Funeral Policies, retirement and investment. Such disrespect
— Buyie (@Buyiemfeka) November 19, 2019
But why you disrespect people like this. ðŸ¤¦ðŸ¿â€â™€ï¸ Iâ€™m so disappointed in you old mutual. I need to re evaluation my relationship with you I canâ€™t trust you anymore
— Zanele (@Zanele71505238) November 19, 2019
— Tebogo T (@TherealMadamT) November 20, 2019
Old Mutual later pinned their official statement to the top of their Twitter profile.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT: Old Mutual deeply regrets the distress caused by the delay in the payout of the funeral claim to a family in Stanger, KwaZulu Natal. Read More: https://t.co/dGMzgfY67Y
— Old Mutual SA (@OldMutualSA) November 20, 2019
The official apology was posted by View NewsÂ with attempts to explain the company’s actions.
“The claim was not delayed because Old Mutual doubted that a death had occurred. It was delayed because it was referred for further individual assessment.”
“Although every attempt was made to settle the claim as speedily as possible, we are deeply sorry for the delay. We are committed to doing better and we will be taking steps to accelerate and improve the way we verify those claims that need to be assessed further. Old Mutual will also continue to engage the family and provide any necessary support.'”
There are no details yet on how Old Mutual plans on supporting Mhlongo’s family, or if the family plans on taking legal action.