You are Here > Home > My Insurance > Is critical illness becoming the more important cover?

Is critical illness becoming the more important cover?

Jan 30, 2017

Critical illnessThis week I was chatting to my independent financial adviser who told me that the majority of the claims he handles these days relate to critical illness. He says the claims for serious illnesses like cancer and heart attacks have escalated among his clients in their 40s and 50s. These are scary stats, and this increasing trend is confirmed by the Liberty claim statistics, which are released annually.

Based on his own experience as well as industry statistics, my adviser believes that one is far more likely to claim on one’s critical illness cover than income protection or disability cover, and in his view most people need to re-adjust their cover accordingly.

For someone like me, who is self employed, income protection is vital, but my adviser argued that critical illness cover is as important ‒ if not more so.  If I became ill and needed treatment, I might still be able to work under the conditions stipulated in my income protection policy, but my productivity would be significantly reduced. I might be too tired to work a full day and have to reduce my output, or perhaps travelling for work would become impossible.

As my income protection only kicks in once I am unable to work for more than a month, I could find a constant income gap. My adviser had a self-employed client who had this exact experience. After being diagnosed with cancer, the client needed to take two weeks off work every second month, but that was not sufficient to invoke the income protection cover.

My adviser’s two preferred insurers for critical illness cover are BrightRock and Discovery – both for the extended coverage and claims experience, however, in his view BrightRock’s new Trauma IQ cover places it ahead of Discovery. BrightRock is the only insurer that has extended its critical illness cover to include trauma – for example a car accident. In the case of a severe trauma, where extended hospitalisation or ongoing treatment such as skin grafts and physiotherapy may be required, the critical illness cover will kick in. This makes complete sense when you consider that claim statistics show that car accidents and non-illness related events are among the top five reasons for death and disability claims.

Whether I am being treated for cancer or a motor accident, the same issues apply. I may need time off work for rehabilitation and possibly further operations, and I may need home assistance or a driving service if I am immobile for any period of time. Needless to say I have made a few adjustments to my policy. As my husband is an avid mountain biker I have insisted he adjusts his cover as well! I hope we never need it, but at least it is there if we do.

Note: Just as I posted this article BrightRock announced that Sanlam is buying a 53% stake in the business. I will be following up with an interview with both companies but have been assured that Sanlam will in no way affect the BrightRock cover or claims process.


Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

Previous Articles

The ‘silent’ changes affecting South Africans who are emigrating

The transition from the old emigration regime to the current regime ‒ ceasing of tax residency ‒ came with some relief. However, there were some changes that went largely unnoticed. By Lovemore Ndlovu, SARS and Exchange Control Specialist at Tax Consulting SA, and...

Vote for your GEPF trustees

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) will be holding its elections for new trustees from January to May 2022. GEPF elections are held every four years and are an opportunity for pensioners and members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and...

Five ways to boost your income and financial knowledge

Angelique Ruzicka shares five ideas for how you can improve your financial knowledge and possibly boost your income. Boosting your income, especially during a pandemic, can feel nigh on impossible, especially when costs are going up and you’ve been told there’s no...

Financial tools to keep you on track in 2022

Advances in technology mean that it’s now so easy to keep track of your finances and achieve savings goals, using smartphone apps, websites, and other online financial tools, says Angelique Ruzicka. If you’re still using Excel or some other rudimentary means to keep...

Using critical illness insurance to supplement medical cover

Many financial advisers are using life products to supplement medical costs. While current legislation does not allow for cover like critical illness insurance to be marketed as a product to cover medical costs, for most policyholders, that is exactly what it is used...

Savvy ways to use your bonus

Many companies are cash strapped due to the impact of Covid-19, but if you are one of the lucky few who got a bonus or windfall this year, it will be tempting to spend it to celebrate surviving another tough year. However, money experts recommend being a bit cautious,...

Options if medical schemes are unaffordable

Medical schemes remain unaffordable for many working South Africans. According to Gary Allen, chief executive at Sanlam Health, an individual should not be spending more than 10% of their income on health cover. Considering that a basic hospital plan can set you back...

Delivery scams on the rise

Cybersecurity researchers are urging consumers to be on the lookout for delivery scams following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and in the lead-up to the holidays. This comes after Mimecast’s threat-hunting team detected malicious emails and spoofed web pages...

Don’t be caught out by delayed premium increases

As medical schemes announce their pricing and benefits for next year, most have delayed their premium increases until later in 2022. The ability of medical schemes not to push through these increases in January is due to the significant surpluses they built up in...

Above-inflation returns for the GEPF

The Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) saw a significant 27.5% growth in its portfolio over the most recent financial year, bringing the total value of the fund to nearly R2.1 trillion. According to the annual financial results for the year ended 31 March 2021,...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This