FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer all your Metropolitan policy and services related questions.

Claims

What are unclaimed benefits?

There are millions of South Africans who have insurance or savings payouts due to them that they haven’t claimed. As Metropolitan, we have gone out of our way to pay our clients.

If you suspect that you have unclaimed benefits due to you or would like to find out more about claiming payouts.

How do I cancel my policy?

Below are some of the commonly asked questions when it comes to cancelling your policy. Here’s what you need to know…

If I cancel my policy on and before the 15th of any month, how long will I still be covered for?

You will be covered until the end of the month in which you submitted the cancellation.

Should I cancel my policy on the 14th of a month, can I expect a refund?

You are covered until the end of that month. If the waiting period has expired and premiums are up to date, the premiums we received after the month of cancellation will be paid back to you.

Should I cancel my policy and I never missed a premium, do I get all my premiums or a percentage of them back?

No premiums are refundable; your funeral benefit is a pure risk and not a savings policy. Metropolitan would have been obligated to pay in the event of any claims which arise prior to cancellation.

Can I change my mind if I have already cancelled my policy?

Yes, you can request to reinstate your policy within the 30 day cooling off period.

I cancelled my policy with Metropolitan due to financial restraints and now I want to reinstate it. Is this possible? If so, how?

Whether you are able to reinstate your existing policy will depend on the product and whether you have reinstated your policy before in the past. To confirm whether you can reinstate on your policy, it is best to contact the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724, visit any of the Metropolitan branches or refer to your policy documentation.

Complaints

What is a complainant?

A complainant is a person who submits a complaint, which includes:

  • Policyholders or the policyholders’ successor in title;
  • A beneficiary or the beneficiaries successor in title;
  • A person whose life is insured under a policy;
  • A person that pays a premium in respect of a policy;
  • Member or;
  • Potential policyholders or potential member whose dissatisfaction relates to the relevant application, approach, solicitation or advertising or marketing material.

Who has a direct interest in the agreement, policy or service to which the complaint relates, or a person acting on behalf of a person referred to in the list above.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you are dissatisfied with the following from Metropolitan:

  • We have failed to keep our end of an agreement, law, rule or code of conduct which binds us.
  • We have failed to take action or have caused personal harm, prejudice, distress or a substantial inconvenience.
  • We have treated you unfairly.

When it comes to lodging a complaint with us, the complainant can be anyone of the following:

  • A policy owner or the policy owner’s successor.
  • A beneficiary on the policy or the said beneficiary’s successor.
  • A person whose life is insured under the policy.
  • A person that pays a premium towards a policy with us.
  • A member of the Metropolitan Provident/Pension funds or a member of the Metropolitan Life Retirement Annuity Fund.
  • A potential policyholder or potential member whose dissatisfaction is related to a specific application, approach, solicitation, advertising or marketing material.

What is an escalated complaint?

An escalated complaint is an extension of a complaint relating to the outcome of the initial complaint. The complaint is so complex or unusual that it requires intervention by an impartial senior functionary appointed to deal with escalated complaints, or the resolution of the initial complaint is not to the complainant’s satisfaction and is then been referred to the appropriate Regulator or Ombudsman scheme by the complainant.

If you have a complaint that you feel should be escalated, you can access those details here.

Who can I escalate my complaint to?

If you are unhappy with our service, you can complain by following the process below:

  1. You can submit your complaint online here. The contact centre will then get in touch to let you know that your complaint has been received and has been assigned to someone. We aim to resolve your concerns in the shortest amount of time.
  2. If the assigned consultant cannot resolve your complaint or you are not satisfied with their feedback, you have the right to escalate your complaint. We have a Client Care division which solves complex or unusual complaints. You can get in touch with them by sending an email to the following email address: clientcare@metropolitan.co.za
  3. Once you have submitted a complaint with us and you are still not satisfied with the feedback on your complaint, you can contact the relevant Ombudsman using the details below:

Long Term Insurance Ombudsman
For all your long term insurance complaints.

Tel: 021 657 5000
Fax: 021 674 0951
Share call: 0860 103 236
E-mail: info@ombud.co.za
Postal address: Private Bag X45, Claremont, 7735

FAIS Ombudsman
For all complaints related to financial advice.

Fax: 012 348 3447
Share call: 0860 324 766 (0860 FAISOM)
E-mail: info@faisombud.co.za
Postal address: PO Box 74571, Lynwood Ridge, 0040

Pension Funds Adjudicator
For all complaints related to a Metropolitan Life Retirement Annuity,  Pension or Provident Fund.

Tel:  012 7484000
Fax:  0866937472
Email: enquiries@pfa.org.za
Postal address: P O Box 580, Menlyn, 0063

My policy

When should I update my policy?

Your life is always changing, and there are certain events that happen that should trigger you to have a look at your insurance policies to make sure that you are still covered for all your needs. A good financial practice is to update your policy yearly as your premiums increase, but the following are also good factors to trigger you to update your policy:

When your marital status changes

If you are recently married or divorced, you may need to relook your insurance and the amount that you are covered for.

When your employment changes

Whether you may be earning more money and need to cover your family for more, or you are joining a company with a different benefit structure, you will need to have a look and adjust your current policy.

When you have a child or children

Anytime you add a child to your family you need to consider the various policies you have. Your policies will have to be adjusted in order to make provision for your children.

How should I be paying my policy premiums?

It’s important to know the rules around the payment of premiums as that is what guarantees that your policy is always up to date.

Here are a few common questions which will help you manage your policy better.

Can I skip a premium?

You can skip a premium as long as you do not skip more than 3 premiums within the 1st 3 years of your policy.

How can I continue with my premium payments if I am no longer working for a company that deducted my premiums via stop order?

You may change your payment method to bank debit order to continue with premium payments. You are welcome to contact our individual contact centre at 0860 724 724 to have a chat with one of our expert consultants who will gladly assist you.

Why do I need a beneficiary?

Appointing a beneficiary for the proceeds of your policy is important. This ensures that the money is paid out in a reasonable amount of time once a claim arises. If a beneficiary is not chosen, Metropolitan as the insurer will have to follow a process to decide who the proceeds should be paid to. We may request additional documentation to finalise the claim, this will then delay the payment of a claim.

As a plan owner, you should nominate a beneficiary for ownership to make sure that the policy is transferred to the nominated beneficiary if you were to die. This ensures that any further claims made after the passing of the main member are processed in as soon as possible to the new policy owner without Metropolitan requesting any additional documents.

What family circumstances can affect my funeral policy?

If you divorce or no longer live with your life partner after insuring them under immediate family cover, your partner can remain on your plan as part of immediate family cover but you can’t increase their cover.

It’s also important to inform Metropolitan when a child no longer qualifies for children cover and must be moved to Child for Life cover. This must be done within three months of the child no longer qualifying for the cover. This will help you to avoid a new waiting period; this change may affect the monthly premiums.

Does Metropolitan need my tax number?

If you have a pension fund or retirement annuity with us, you need to provide us with your income tax number. The South African Revenue Services (SARS) requires that every pensioner/annuitant/employee receiving a pension/annuity/salary needs an Income Tax Number in order to receive these payments. Without an income tax number on record, your income will be withheld until you have received a tax number. Without a tax number, you will not be able to complete and submit your annual tax returns either.

To submit your Income tax number to Metropolitan, email your tax number, together with your ID number or Policy number to jneethling@metropolitan.co.za.

**To register for income tax in South Africa you will need to complete an IB-IT 77 form and submit it to SARS with supporting documents. These include a certified copy of your South African driver’s license, ID or passport. SARS requires your bank details and confirmation of these details in the form of a certified copy of your bank statement.

I received an SMS from Metropolitan requesting for documents. How do I know it’s legal and directly from Metropolitan?

If you receive an SMS and are not sure whether the SMS has been sent by Metropolitan, it is best to contact the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724 to confirm that the SMS is legitimate.

How do I find out if my new policy has been approved by Metropolitan?

Once your policy is accepted and issued, Metropolitan will send you the policy documentation via the mail or e-mail. If you select to receive your policy documentation via email, you should receive this immediately. If you selected to receive your contract via post, bear in mind that there may be some delays due to the postal services in South Africa. You should expect to receive your documents within 31 days.

To confirm whether your policy has been accepted, you can contact your Metropolitan financial adviser, the Metropolitan Call Centre on 0860 724 724 or visit any of the Metropolitan branches.

To find a branch, click here.

What is AIM?

The Automatic Inflation Management (AIM) benefit helps to protect your funeral cover against future increases in the cost of living (inflation). This benefit automatically increases your premium and your funeral cover on the anniversary of your funeral policy.

To add this benefit to your existing funeral policy, click here.

Wills explained

What is a Will?

A Will is a binding expression of your wishes. It says what you want to happen to your assets when you pass on. A Will can provide protection for your family when you are no longer there. It is an important document and must be reviewed annually or when your circumstances change. If, for example, you get married or have children, your will should be reviewed to see if it is still achieving its purpose.

What effect does my marital status have on my Will?

If you are married in community of property the surviving spouse will only be able to deal with their own half of the estate.
The other half will be administered as your deceased estate.
This may mean you should consider whether there will be sufficient cash available for the surviving spouse while the estate is being wound up.
This is particularly important if you have a joint bank account. You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash.
If you are married out of community but subject to the accrual system, you must consider the amount of accrual.
If your estate has to pay an accrual to your surviving spouse, there may be less left for other beneficiaries.
It may also mean that, if the accrual is payable to your estate, your surviving spouse will be short of money or may have to sell an asset like the house they are living in.
You may wish to consider whether life insurance is necessary to ensure there is sufficient cash.

What is an Heir?

An heir is the person who receives your remaining estate when you pass on. You can nominate anyone as heir for the remainder of your estate. The remainder is the amount left over after expenses (like tax and executors fees) have been paid. It is important to identify your heirs clearly, so their identity number is required. If there is only one heir, they will receive the full remainder of your estate.

What is an Ante-nuptial contract?

An ante-nuptial contract is entered into by two people before they get married.

This contract regulates and makes provision for the two parties in the event of a divorce or break up. The contract must be registered in the deeds office.

What do the common marital arrangements mean?

What does it mean to be married In Community of Property?

This is a marital arrangement where the spouses share their estates during the course of the marriage and when it ends, the surviving spouse is entitled to half of the joint estate. The remainder of the estate is distributed in accordance with the will of the deceased spouse. If you do not enter into an ante-nuptial contract you are automatically married in community of property.

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property?

This is a marital arrangement where both spouses have separate estates during the existence of their marriage and do not share each other’s profits or losses during or after the marriage (whether the marriage ends by divorce or death). You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property.

What does it mean to be married Out of Community of Property subject to the accrual system?

This is a marital arrangement where once the marriage is dissolved; neither spouse will be liable for the other spouse’s debts. However, the parties have to share what they have acquired together during the existence of the marriage. You must enter into an ante-nuptial contract to be married out of community of property subject to the accrual system.

What is the difference between a testator and a testatrix?

What is a testator?

A testator is a man who makes or has made a will.

What is a testatrix?

A testatrix is a woman who makes or has made a will.

What is an executor?

An executor is a person appointed by the Master of the High Court to administer the estate of a person who has died. The executor must ensure that the estate is wound up in accordance with the law and any wishes of the deceased (as expressed in a will). Practical responsibilities include gathering and protecting the assets of the estate, arranging for payment of debts of the estate and paying taxes.

What is a bequest?

A bequest is a legacy. It is leaving something to someone in terms of a will.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person who looks after and is legally responsible for a child whose parents have died.

What is a trust?

A trust is an entity created to protect the assets or money of another – usually minors. A trust is an arrangement in terms of which a person hands over certain assets to a second person (the Trustee) to administer/manage for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary).

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