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More South Africans are likely to claim for insurance payouts for death, funeral, sickness and income protection this year than previous years – due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Petrie Marx, Product Actuary at Sanlam Individual Life, says that 2020 is a testament to how easily one’s health and life can change and the impact such a change can have on our finances, “The current uncertainty has made many people appreciate the importance of making sure their loved ones are looked after financially should something happen to them.”

Sanlam’s 2019 claims show that cardiovascular disease, cancer and accidents remain the leading causes of claims, and the company is urging clients to future-proof their financial lives. Sanlam’s 2019 claims statistics amounted to a whopping R4.3 billion. Of this, R397 million was paid for income cover, R3 251 million for life cover and R406.5 million for injury and trauma-related claims.

Marx adds, “Our 2019 stats show the risks of severe injury or illness unrelated to the Coronavirus are real. Many people are underinsured or not insured at all, with the most recent research showing the biggest shortfall in disability cover.”

In 2019, 38% of income protection claims at Sanlam were paid to clients between the ages of 36 and 45, followed by 19% paid to those aged 26 to 35. Two-thirds of the claims were paid to men, who are predominantly the breadwinners. This highlights that insurance for risks related to unemployment, disability and severe illness is important at any age.

“The value of risk cover is unfortunately only felt when something happens to you or your loved ones. In our view, when times are tough financially, it’s better to have some insurance in place to protect families than none at all,” concludes Marx.

“In our view, when times are tough financially, it’s better to have some insurance in place to protect families than none at all,” says Petrie Marx, Product Actuary at Sanlam Individual Life.

More insights from Sanlam’s 2019 claims statistics

  • Approximately 60% of severe illness claims paid were for cancer
  • More than 50% of all disability income benefit claims under our Income Protector were for accidents, injuries and musculoskeletal conditions
  • More than 10% of all sickness claims were for pregnancies, childbirths, and puerperium complications
  • 80% of severe illness claims are attributed to cancer, heart attacks, strokes and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Heart disease, cancer and accidents remain the leading causes of death claims
  • As in 2018, breast cancer remains the leading cause of severe illness claims by females
  • The majority of death and funeral claims were paid to people 55 years and older, the most income protection claims were from people aged 36 to 55 years, and the most sickness claims were received from people aged 26 to 45 years

Claims during COVID-19

With more than 100 years in insurance, Sanlam has survived previous pandemics. We even paid eight death claims during the Spanish flu of 1918 – our first year in business. While we do not specifically cover virus infections other than HIV, our clients remain covered if COVID-19 causes death or any other claimable event under a living benefit. Also, should COVID-19 cause you to be unable to do your work or should you be diagnosed with long-term lung damage, organ damage or cardiovascular damage, you will be covered in terms of severe illness cover – regardless of whether your illness is COVID-19 related.

For more information on claims due to COVID-19, visit the Sanlam website.



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