Insurance Claims for Cancer Climb
July 24, 2013
South Africa’s major life insurers are seeing increased insurance claims for cancer. Liberty, Sanlam and Old Mutual are among South Africa’s Big 5 life insurance companies. In 2012 they paid out at least R7 billion in life cover, critical illness disability and lost income claims.
This trend highlights the fact that South Africans need to reassess their life insurance cover. They should make sure they have adequate cover for all eventualities. Just because you are young does not mean you should neglect to buy critical illness cover. Or loss of income and disability cover as well as whole life or term insurance.
Liberty Insurance Claims for Cancer
Nicholas van der Nest, who heads Liberty’s Risk Product Management Division, said in 2012 they paid out R2,3 billion in claims. Of this, roughly R1,6 billion was for life cover and R370 million was for critical illness. Liberty paid out a further R327 billion for income protection plans, including monthly payouts and lump sums.
“More people are getting cancer and more are surviving it, thanks to better treatment,” said van der Nest. “The public should know that there is a good chance of getting cancer. And cancer is defined as a critical illness.” He added that people were generally underinsured for disability.
With regard to heart-related claims, he said that cardiac events were also responsible for many life cover claims.
Van der Nest pointed out that the causes of critical illness claims for women differed from claims for men. Half the time females made cancer claims while for males the percentage is 32 percent.
Sanlam Insurance Claims for Cancer
Sanlam said the company has paid out R527 million in disability claims and R1,8 billion for death. With regard to trends in claims, Sanlam said the trend was much the same in 2011 although there appeared to be an increase in the number of cancer-related claims.
Old Mutual warned that customers’ product mixes were not properly balanced. Risk Product Manager, Jaco Gouws, said that people concentrated more on buying life cover then buying cover for disability and serious illness. Old Mutual claimed that up to 60% of South Africans were underinsured for permanent disability and as many as 93% for temporary disability.
Gouws said, “The company paid out R2,2 billion in life insurance claims, which amounted to 78% of all Old Mutual claims. The main cause of death for our life cover claims was 21% for cancer and tumours and 21% for heart conditions.”
He said the main cause of severe illness claims was cancer and blood, at 54%.
Another trend is that insurance companies are introducing income protection insurance for unfortunate events such as retrenchments or loss of income through disability.
Gouws said the company’s payout for retrenchment claims rose to R6 million in 2012, up from R3,5 million in 2011.
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All info was correct at time of publishing