In this fourth and final podcast of our four-part series “Life behind the numbers”, in partnership with Discovery Life, we look at the longer-term impact of Covid-19 and provide some advice as to how to adjust your lifestyle to manage the risks of so-called “long Covid”.
The Covid-19 pandemic impacted our lives on many fronts – and we continue to feel that impact.
Even for those who survived the disease itself, many struggle with longer-term physical effects, termed “long Covid“. And the pandemic certainly affected our mental wellbeing, our professional lives, and and even our financial security. But it is not all doom and gloom. We are all on the path to recovery in one way or another.
In this podcast with Discovery Life Deputy Chief Executive Gareth Friedlander and Chief Medical Officer Dr Maritha van der Walt, we discuss both the short-term and long-term effects of the pandemic, and how to cope with Covid-19 on an ongoing basis. We unpack the claim statistics and look at what types of risk cover can provide financial support to those negatively affected by Covid-19.
Claim statistics show the impact of Covid-19
The claim statistics around Covid-19 are a stark reminder of the impact the disease had on everyone’s lives. Discovery Life experienced an 89% increase in the value of claims paid, increasing from R4.7bn in 2020 to R9.1bn in 2021.
In terms of life cover, Discovery Life paid out nearly three times more in death claims in 2021 than the previous year. The value of death claims increased from R2.2bn in 2020 to R6.1bn in 2021.
Kashmeera Kanji, head of market analytics and R&D at Discovery Life says direct Covid-19 death claims accounted for R3.64bn, representing 60% of the value of death claims. R64 million worth of income was paid out under the Income Continuation Benefit in relation to the pandemic. Over R4.5 million was paid in 2021 to cover education costs of children due to their parents passing on or being severely ill from Covid-19.
If one removes the claims related to the disease, both insurers still experienced an overall increase in claims, including death claims.