“Making sure that clients have access to optimal financial wellness contributes a great deal towards a positive claim experience. Having paid out claims in excess of R15 billion, over the past five years, Momentum Retail Insurance paid individual life insurance claims to the value of R2.7 billion in death claims, R491 million in critical illness claims, R394 million in disability claims and R99 million in income protection claims – all supporting the financial wellbeing of clients”. These are the words of George Kolbe, Head of Marketing for Life Insurance at today’s media event during which the 2015 claim statistics were presented.
Multiple pay-outs from a single claim event
In 2017, Momentum had 131 clients who had a claim on more than one type of benefit, typically resulting from the same claim event.
Momentum’s 2017 claim statistics indicate that cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for women. Kolbe states: “When thinking about cardiovascular diseases, we often associate these diseases with men; when in fact, they are also the leading cause of critical illness-related deaths for women.
“The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HFSA) says that one in four women will have some form of a heart condition before the age of 60 and that once they reach menopause the risk of heart disease increases threefold. This is in line with our claim statistics which also indicate that over the past three years the death rate linked to cardiovascular diseases, for women, increased by 50%”.
Critical illness claims
In 2017 Momentum saw a 25% increase in the number of critical illness claims paid and a 21% increase in sum assured pay-outs. Encouraging clients to complete regular medical check-ups and making them aware of their health status helps them to identify potential problems much earlier.
For the fourth consecutive year, Momentum has seen an increase in the number of claims for early stages of critical illnesses. This is viewed as a positive trend that is emerging as it creates the opportunity for clients to seek medical interventions earlier. This also has the highest probability of a successful intervention and treatment is likely to be less expensive.
Having the most comprehensive cover available is important
Kolbe states: “Traditionally, critical illness cover has focused on the four most common critical illness events, namely: cancers, strokes, heart attacks and coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG). However, other critical illnesses like dementia and Parkinson’s disease can have the same financial impact on clients’ lives.
“Because of the comprehensive cover offered by Momentum Myriad, we see more claims paid for events outside of the ‘big four’ claim events than other insurers, who provide core critical illness benefits as an option to their clients”.
Momentum Myriad believes in comprehensive cover for disability which also covers functional impairment. The importance of the combination, provided on all of Myriad’s disability benefits, cannot be emphasised enough.
In 2017, 47% of the claims on Myriad’s Comprehensive Disability Benefit and Occupational Disability Benefit (the number of claims) were paid under the functional impairment definitions. A large proportion of cancer and cardiac claims (heart attacks specifically) are paid under functional impairment definitions, even when there is no occupational disability resulting from the event.
Kolbe highlights that “Longevity is a reality of our time and 2017 was the seventh consecutive year during which we paid claims for people older than 100 years. Viewing longevity as a major risk factor, Momentum Myriad is the only insurer, worldwide, that offers a longevity benefit that can provide clients with additional pay-outs when they claim or provide them with a Longevity Enhancer pay-out at age 80, if they have never claimed before”.
Dementia claims increased
Statistics also indicate that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is lower at younger ages but nearly doubles with every five years after the age of 65. When looking at Momentum’s claim statistics on a micro level, the number of claims for dementia related diseases almost doubled from 2016 to 2017. Also, looking at the age brackets of the claims spanning the two years, Momentum’s claim statistics indicate that the majority of claims were for clients 70 years and older with women having a higher prevalence rate than men.