Pretoria trans woman in insurance scuffle over change of identity doc

Updating her gender marker in her identity books has one transgender woman experiencing many challenges.

Identified as Joey, the Pretoria woman has under gone a lengthy and bureaucratic process of having her official state documents align with her gender identity, which has in turn lead her to lose out on an insurance benefit due to her from Capitec Bank.

Because she was issued with a new identity number, Joey says that the bank informed her that the existing funeral policy could not be amended by the company’s systems to reflect her new ID number.

She would have to be issued with a new policy, however, a new policy meant having to wait for a six-month period to pass before it could be instated, which she was assured wouldn’t affect her.

When Joey’s uncle has passed away, as one of the listed dependents on the policy, she was expecting to be paid out within several hours of submitting the required documents. The bank refused to pay her out, reports consumer journalist Georgina Crouth.

“Tomorrow, I am supposed to have my uncle’s body released from the mortuary, but I have no money to pay them – or for the funeral on Saturday. What does Capitec expect me to do?” Joey asked.

Despite some Capitec staff members attempting to resolve the issue on Joey’s behalf, it wasn’t until Crouth was asked for assistance in the case that the company relented and the funds were paid to Joey.

Francois Viviers, Capitec Bank marketing and communications executive Francois Viviers disclosed that “It is a situation we have not experienced before but the bank is now able to take this into account”.

“This, unfortunately, triggered the six-month waiting period on a new policy, which we now have waived. The issue has been resolved and Joey has received the full payout,” Viviers said.

Crouth commented that while it might be an unusual scenario for the industry it “highlights the need for greater sensitivity towards a particularly vulnerable sector of society”.