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Sanlam claims statistics – Heart disease leading cause of claims

According to the just-released claim statistics of Sanlam, cardiovascular disease, cancer and accidents remain the leading causes of claims and the company is urging clients to futureproof their financial lives.

Cardiovascular disease as a cause confirms data in the recently released Old Mutual statistics where the proportion of heart attack claims also increased by 113% since 2016 and cardiovascular disorders made up 23% of the death claim statistics.

In 2019, Sanlam paid out over 99% of death claims and predicts a rise in claims for death, funeral, sickness and income protection in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Petrie Marx, Product Actuary at Sanlam Individual Life, says that this year is a testament to how easily one’s health and life can change and the impact such a change can have on one’s finances, “The current uncertainty has made many people appreciate the importance of making sure their loved ones are looked after financially should something happen to them.”

According to Sanlam’s 2019 claims statistics they paid our R4.3 billion. R397 million was paid for income cover, R3 251 million for life cover and R406.5 million for injury and trauma-related claims.

“Our 2019 stats show the risks of severe injury or illness unrelated to the coronavirus are real. Many people are underinsured or not insured at all, with the most recent research showing the biggest shortfall in disability cover,” Marx adds.

In 2019, 38% of income protection claims at Sanlam were paid to clients between the ages of 36 to 45, followed by 19% paid to those aged 26 to 35. Two-thirds of the claims were paid to male clients, who are predominantly the breadwinners of their families. This highlights that insurance for risks related to unemployment, disability and severe illness is important at any age.

“In our view, when times are tough financially, it’s better to have some insurance in place to protect families than none at all,” concludes Marx.

More insights from Sanlam’s 2019 claims statistics:

Approximately 60% of severe illness claims paid were for cancer. (Old Mutual: Cancer and tumours also high – 48%)
More than 50% of all disability income benefit claims under Sanlam’s Income Protector were for accidents, injury and musculoskeletal conditions
More than 10% of all sickness claims were for pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium complications
80% of severe illness claims are attributed to cancer, heart attacks, stroke and coronary artery bypass grafting
Heart disease, cancer and accidents remain the leading causes of death claims
As in 2018, breast cancer remains the leading cause of severe illness claims by females
The majority of death and funeral claims were paid to individuals 55 years and older, the most income protection claims were made by individuals aged 36 to 55 years, and the most sickness claims were made by individuals aged 26 to 45 years
“Year on year we see an increase in claims related to disease of lifestyle and this confirms the public health warning that diseases of lifestyle are becoming more worrying and costly nationally as well as globally”, notes Dr Morkel, Chief Medical Officer at Sanlam. This is most evident in our severe illness claims experience. While our annual claims review is primarily intended to inform the public of the claims we have paid, we also encourage everyone to use this information to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

If ever there was a good time to approach clients about this very important aspect, it is now. At the same time, these statistics provide irrefutable proof of the very important role the industry plays in being “a certain friend in uncertain times”, the slogan of a major life office in the previous century.

Click here to download an infographic that illustrates the claim statistics.

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