Grieving wife in disbelief when she finds out she WON’T be receiving her dead husband’s $200,000 life insurance payout due to a loophole
- Nardia Vajda’s husband Jeremy died from a heart condition on March 25, 2020
- Adding to the family’s grief, they have been denied his $200,000 life insurance
- A new law in 2019 required insurance providers to cancel inactive accounts
- BT Super claim it tried to contact the Mr Vajda three times before cancelling
- Mrs Vajda said her husband responded – but the email went to a no reply account
A grieving wife has been denied her late husband’s $200,000 life insurance payout due to a loophole in his policy.
Nardia Vajda’s life was turned upside down when her husband Jeremy, 49, and the father of her two children, suddenly died from a heart condition on March 25 last year.
The couple’s 13-year-old son found him unconscious in the bathroom moments after Mrs Vadja left for work.
‘The first thing I said to Jeremy was ”you told me you would never leave me”. But he was gone,’ Mrs Vadja told A Current Affair.
Nardia Vajda (pictured) lost the love of her life Jeremy, when he died suddenly from a heart condition in March last year
Now, the heartbroken family have learned they will not receive a cent of his life insurance after BT Super cancelled his policy months before his death – which his family claim was done without his permission.
Under new superannuation laws in 2019, insurance providers were required to cancel any accounts which had been inactive for 16 months or longer.
Members who wished to keep it were required to either ‘opt in’ or make a contribution.
BT Super said it sent Mr Vajda two emails and a letter before cancelling his policy but he did not respond – a claim his family disputes.
The insurance provider said it had no record of a response and ‘will only review the decision if additional information comes to light’.
But Mrs Vajda and her husband’s brother Anthony said they found an email in Mr Vajda’s sent box indicating he responded to the company.
‘How could anything be in your sent mailbox if you didn’t send anything? So he definitely responded to that first message,’ Mrs Vajda said.
Without Mr Vajda’s password, they cannot access the content of the email – but they believe it was sent to a do not reply email address and never went through.
The mother-of-two is now battling to have his $200,000 life insurance compensation paid out after a loophole saw BT Super cancel his policy months before his death
Mrs Vadja said the pain of losing the love of her life ‘will never go away’, and the family’s grief was compounded by Covid-19 restrictions, which meant only 10 people could attend his funeral.
The hairdresser called on BT Super to pay out the much-needed funds as she raises their children on her own.
Anthony said the compensation wasn’t a big sum to the company, but would make a huge difference to the struggling family.
‘There’s been a complete lack of compassion here in the sense of, “oh we understand”. It’s not a huge amount of money,’ he said.
BT Super said the company offered its condolences to the Vadja family, but reiterated it followed the protocol required under the 2019 legislation.
‘This is a very sad situation for the Vadja family and we have extended our condolences on the loss of their brother, father and husband,’ it said.
‘BT’s always seeks to do what is right for our members, and if we get things wrong we will fix it.
‘We have no record, after an extensive search, of an email from Mr Vadja being received and it has never been provided to BT or AFCA.
‘If additional information can be provided by Mr Vadja’s family we are happy to review this decision.’
Daily Mail Australia contacted BT Super for further comment.
BT Super statement on Mr Vadja’s case
This is a very sad situation for the Vadja family and we have extended our condolences on the loss of their brother, father and husband.
BT’s always seeks to do what is right for our members, and if we get things wrong we will fix it.
While difficult for the Vadja family, in this instance BT has correctly followed Government requirements and our actions have been upheld by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
New superannuation laws were introduced in 2019 to reduce account balance erosion due to excessive fees or unnecessary insurance premiums.
It requires all superannuation providers to cancel insurance policies within super, for accounts that have been ‘inactive’ for 16 or more consecutive months.
If members wish to maintain their insurance, they are required to either make a contribution or rollover into their account, or opt in to retain their insurance cover.
BT communicated this to our impacted members and Mr Vajda received multiple communications advising him what to do to retain the insurance cover.
By the time his policy was cancelled Mr Vajda had received three communications including an initial email notice, a reminder email notice and a letter confirming the insurance cover cancellation which contained an option to have this cover reinstated within 30 days of receipt.
We have no record, after an extensive search, of an email from Mr Vadja being received and it has never been provided to BT or AFCA.
If additional information can be provided by Mr Vadja’s family we are happy to review this decision.