Liberty Claims in 2018

Last year insurance company Liberty paid out R2,7 billion in Liberty claims. That applies across its full range of retail risk insurance products. That was the highest sum since 2006.

That was an increase of 16,3% or R380 million,  in payouts compared to the claims paid out in 2012.

Ryan Switala, Head of Risk Product Development at Liberty, gave the reason for this increase. It was because Liberty covers a greater number of lives. That is thanks to new business sales and lower levels of policy lapses. He lauded consumers for realising the value of buying and keeping long-term life, disability and serious illness insurance.

Liberty Claims for Life Cover

The greatest percentage of payments related to life cover – R1,86 billion or 68,5%. The rest was evenly divided between claims for critical illness and income protection.

The percentage of valid claims in 2013 increased to 96,1%, up from 94,1% in 2012. Switala gave the most common reason for a non-valid claim. That was that the condition or event in the claim did not meet the specifications in the policy.

Liberty Claims

Since 2010, Liberty has also paid in excess of R70 million in cash-back bonuses to qualifying customers. The largest was over R441 000 to a single customer in 2013.

Liberty Claims – Men and Women

Of the claims paid by Liberty in 2013, 67,8% were for males and only 32,2% for females. “For certain types of insurance, women may be less likely to claim than men which would explain some of the reasons for the difference in the number of claims we receive according to gender. However, a more significant factor is that women simply have less insurance in place.

This is concerning given the increasing role that women play in the economy. Women contribute to the household finances and, in many cases, may even be the primary breadwinner,” says Switala.

Cancer remains the largest natural cause of claims at 39,1%, the most common being breast, prostate and skin cancers. This is followed by cardiovascular conditions and strokes and other central nervous system related causes.

These three groups alone accounted for nearly 90% of all critical illness claims. Cancer and cardiovascular problems were also responsible for approximately 40% of life cover claims over the same period.

Liberty Claims – Youth and Age

Approximately one quarter of claims were made to individuals younger than 45 years, which Switala believes should emphasise the importance that even young consumers should include comprehensive life, disability and critical illness cover in their financial plan.

“It is interesting to note that the proportion of natural versus unnatural causes of claims generally correlates with the clients’ age and gender,” explains Switala. “For example, unnatural causes such as motor vehicle accidents and musculoskeletal injuries make up a large share of claims for young males, while natural causes such as breast cancer remain high among older females. Unnatural causes account for 41% of claims by clients under the age of 35, compared to between 2% and 11% in older age groups.”

The volatile labour market and increasing number of retrenchments in South Africa did seem to have a material impact on claims made in the last year. Switala indicates that 13,4% of claims for loss of income protection insurance paid in 2013 were as a result of retrenchment.

“Overall, the claims’ results for 2013 are a positive reinforcement of Liberty’s commitment to protect our clients and their loved ones in the unfortunate event that life throws them a curveball. Many consumers are realising the importance of balancing their focus on affordability with the need to ensure that their chosen insurer is committed to paying every valid claim they make.”


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All info was correct at time of publishing