A fairly humorous article on a serious topic recently appeared in the Natal Mercury. The following synopsis was published in Legalbrief Today:
A fraudulent insurance claim for R4 500 for a water-damaged cellphone has cost PK Harikasun dearly, notes a report in The Mercury. Not only has a KZN High Court (Durban) judge now repudiated his entire claim of R320 000 for losses he allegedly incurred in an armed robbery at his home more than six years ago, but he will also have to pay the substantial legal costs of his insurers, New National Assurance, on a ‘punitive’ scale.
The judgment by Judge Mohini Moodley reveals how PK Harikasun dug himself deep in quicksand as he battled to explain his claim for the phone which, on his version, had been water-damaged but had been repaired before it was stolen.
His credibility, the judge said, was ‘seriously undermined’ from the beginning by his evidence of how the phone was damaged when he went into the sea during a sardine run, with the phone in his back pocket, and ‘got out happily with the sardines’, pulling out his phone to call his uncle to ‘come and join the fun’. It was February, he claimed.
Not possible, the judge said. The sardine run is in winter.
The report says he then alleged the fish were mackerel.
And this, too, turned into a ‘red herring’ because according to the SA Sustainable Seafood Initiative, local mackerel are linefish and his explanation that he was ‘gathering armfuls’ was a ‘ludicrous lie’.
On a more serious note: this kind of information should receive more public attention to make people aware that short-term insurance is not a kind of investment where they can make “withdrawals” by means of fraudulent claims.