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You're never too young for life cover

Apr 25 2018 16:44
Lameez Omarjee

Bad things can happen to anyone, which is why it is important to ensure you have policies in place to protect your financial interests, according to experts from Liberty.

Liberty recently released its claims statistics for 2017 at a briefing in Cape Town. During the period Liberty paid out a total of R4.46bn in claims across all its customer segments, which includes millennials. Of this, R3.24bn was attributed to life cover following the death of a policy holder.

Henk Meintjies, head of risk product development, explained that millennials – those aged between 21 and 34 – do not necessarily have dependents but still opt to have life cover as a way to give back to their parents.

“They might feel they have the duty to look after their parents in retirement,” he explained.

This also applies to people who have to pay 'black tax' or send money to their families regularly for living expenses. They take out life cover to ensure that their families will still be able to receive an income in the case of death, to avoid having the burden falling on anyone else.

Meintjies explained that in the past people generally opted for life cover instead of lifestyle protection, which was still a developing product consumers were less aware of. He said it is encouraging to see in the past year that 53% of young clients which bought life cover also opted for lifestyle protection and income protection.

“The earlier you put cover in place the better. If you don’t put cover in place and something does happen, it may impact your ability to make sure you get covered in future. Your insurability may be a challenge at that point in time. It is good to put cover in place early,” he stressed.

Liberty’s medical officer Dr Thabane Nkwanyana said it is important to be sure that you are buying the right product. For example, if you have a serious disease, you need to make sure that you have the right cover in place to avoid disappointment when the time comes to claim.

“It is better if a person buys a little bit of everything instead of putting everything in life cover and then suffering of a disability,” he said.

Cancer affects all age groups

Meintjies pointed out that cancer was the leading cause for claims during the year at 24.3%.

Cancer is also a “significant” claim for young people, with 21% of claims for cancer last year by young achievers - millennials who earn anything between R12 000 up to R35 000 monthly.

Cardiovascular conditions claims follow at 19.8%. The remaining top five claims were related to the central nervous system and strokes (7%), respiratory diseases and disorders (6%) and musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.

Brain cancer particularly affects clients across all product categories, Meintjies explained.

“You can’t ignore the need for the right cover,” he said.

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millennials  |  personal finance  |  money  |  insurance  |  cancer
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