Family Bring Loved One’s Corpse To Insurance Firm To Prove He’s Dead
The family of a recently deceased man presented his corpse to an insurance firm after their claim on a funeral policy was rejected.
Footage shared on Twitter showed two women carrying a blue body bag through the offices of Old Mutual, the oldest insurance company in South Africa, after having driven it to the branch from the morgue.
The bereaved relatives decided to take evidence to the insurance company this week after they refused to pay out following the death of Sifiso Mtshali. Although the women had paperwork for the man’s life insurance claim, his ID and his death certificate, they felt they had to go the extra mile and take his dead body along too.
Check out the video here:
The footage was taken in Old Mutual offices in KwaDukuza, South Africa and staff members can be seen looking on in shock as the two family members marched the body bag through the building.
The pair demanded a payout from the insurance firm and told workers they would not leave until Old Mutual paid out the death claim in full.
It seems the women’s extreme tactics did the trick because their arrival prompted hurried discussions between Old Mutual management as well as phone calls to the head office, after which the firm agreed to honour the insurance claim – as long as the ladies removed the dead body.
The two family members agreed to the terms and the video shows them taking the body from the building and loading it into the back of a minivan.
Ntombenhle Mhlongo, one of the women in the video, told News24 the family had been battling to get the claim processed for nine days after Mtshali passed away on November 7.
She described the drawn-out process they had to go through, explaining:
At first, [the firm] told us we need to wait 48 hours before we can get anything. We handed in all documents and followed all of their instructions.
We went in and waited all of Thursday. They kept telling us we had to wait for an assessment but eventually, they said we must come on Friday.
We got there early in the morning and waited three hours. When we asked what was taking so long, they again said the assessment was happening and we must wait another three hours later.
We were angry, frustrated and just wanted to make sure we could properly prepare and bury him by Sunday… We thought, if the documents are not giving them enough answers, maybe the body will.
We were coping with so many different things during that time. We are not rich people. We are poor and they were refusing to pay us. We are still so heartbroken.
The shocking video has been viewed over 60,000 times on Twitter and Old Mutual have since confirmed the family received their payout.
They expressed their regret at the situation in a tweet, writing:
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.
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.
Though the women were successful in getting their insurance money, a spokesman for the National Funeral Practitioners Association of South Africa said the matter was far from over, iAfrica report.
Spokesman Muzi Hlengwa said:
When the body was taken from the mortuary to the Old Mutual it was out of anger so the rituals that were supposed to be done to move the body from one place to another were not done.
The soul of that man is still left at the Old Mutual so they will have to cover the costs of performing these rituals.
It is thought the women returned their relative’s body to the morgue after their business with the insurance firm was completed.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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