In its 99th year of existence, Sanlam paid out more than 99% of all death claims received in 2017. The South African insurer which has dedicated its centenary year to a changing lives for generations to come paid out claims to the value of R3 622.7m in 2017. Out of this 82% was paid for life cover, 10% for income cover and 8% for trauma and injury cover.
Karin Muller, Chief Executive of Sanlam Individual Life, says, “For us, paying claims isn’t just about honouring our contractual obligation. When we process claims we are cognisant of the fact that our clients wanted to be able provide for the generations they leave behind. The 99% admittance of death claims in 2017 attests to Sanlam’s commitment to pay all claims where contractual requirements have been met. We continuously measure our client experience and customer care against the benchmark set by reinsurers, regulators and the Ombudsman for Long-Term insurance, along with feedback from intermediaries, and, most importantly, our clients.”
She says that 2017’s claim stats highlight the importance of having life insurance, severe illness and disability cover, “The statistics give important insights into current health and lifestyle trends among South Africans. We can track comparable data with previous years in order to make credible conclusions about the health state of South Africans. Cancer as a reason for severe illness claims, is constantly rising. In 2010 it made up 36% of all severe illness claims admitted and in 2017 it was the cause of 59% of all severe illness claims admitted. The same can be said of diseases affecting the bones, back, joints and connective tissue. In 2014 these made up 11% as the cause of disability claims, but last year it was the cause of 22% of all claims admitted for disability. On income protector benefits, accidents, as well as conditions affecting the bones, back, joints and connective tissue remained the main cause of claims admitted for the past 6 years.
Here are some interesting take-outs from Sanlam’s 2017 claims:
Death claims: Life cover: An amount of R2 962.6m paid in 2017:
The majority of accidental death claims were paid in respect of clients aged 35-55 years. As expected, most death and funeral claims were paid in respect of clients aged 55 and older. The biggest amount paid for a single death claim in 2017 was R20.4m.
Severe illness claims: An amount of R291m paid in 2017:
Cancers and tumours accounted for 59% of these claims; heart attacks accounted for 10%; coronary artery bypass surgery made up 7%; while strokes and comas accounted for 5% respectively.
For both men and women, the majority of severe illness claims admitted were for cancer.
Loss of income Benefits: R399.1m paid in 2017
Lump sum disability claims: An amount of R231.4mpaid in 2017:
The majority of disability claims were paid in respect of clients aged 46-55 years. For both men (15%) and women (39%), most disability claims were for diseases affecting bones, back, joints and connective tissue.
Income protector claims: An amount of R9.4m paid in 2017:
Of these claims, the majority (30%) were for bones, back, joints and connective tissue problems, with mental disorder claims ranking second at 13%. The majority of claims for men (31%) related to accidents and for women, most income claims admitted were for diseases of the bones, back, joints and connective tissue (37%).
Sickness claims: An amount of R68.4m paid in 2017:
Most sickness claims were paid in respect of clients aged 26-45 years-old. The majority of sickness claims for men were for accidents, poisoning and/or violence (24%) For women, most claims were for respiratory-related illnesses and diseases of the bones, back, joints or connective tissue, at 14% respectively.
“Our business exists to help our clients financially when they need it the most. Insurance is there to protect their lives, livelihoods and families and paying these claims fulfils this mission. We pride ourselves on applying a consistent, fair and objective assessment approach to ensure that all valid claims are paid out,” concludes Muller.