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Liberty Claim Statistics 2018 A shift from death to survival insurance

29 May 2019

Johannesburg, 20 May 2019 - Liberty's Claim Statistics for 2018 reveal an important shift in the long-term insurance market. A significantly higher proportion of claims are paid to survivors of life-changing traumatic events. In 2018 Liberty paid claims to the value of R4.69 billion to 28,453 individuals and their beneficiaries.

Liberty's Claim Statistics are generated from all the claims received and paid to clients under Liberty's Lifestyle Protector Solution. Lifestyle Protector covers a multitude of lifestyle related risks that consumers may face on life's journey. Given the wide-ranging risks the solution covers, such as a loss of income due to critical illness, death and even retrenchment, Liberty's claim statistics are an important measure of the nature of risks people are facing and claim for every year.

69.22% was paid for surviving claimants - only 30% for death claims

Johan Minnie, Managing Executive of Customer & Adviser Experience at Liberty says, "Traditionally, life insurance has been more appropriately described as death insurance because the policy pays money to beneficiaries at the policyholder's death. However, advances in medical technology and early diagnosis of critical illness are seeing more people recovering from adverse events. Now claimants and their beneficiaries need to manage the cost of survival and it was time that the industry changes the conversation."

According to Liberty's Claim Statistics, the increase in survival claims was seen across the country, emphasising the importance of including lifestyle protection in your long-term insurance cover.

The top five claim causes in 2018 were:

  1. Cancer - 27.9% of all claims
  2. Cardiovascular disorders - 24.3% of all claims
  3. Respiratory disease - 6% of all claims
  4. Cerebrovascular disorders (Strokes) - 5.7% of all claims
  5. Renal disorders - 4.3% of all claims

Percentage of survival claims countrywide

Limpopo - 81.82%
Mpumalanga - 71.95%
Free State - 70.83%
Northern Cape - 69.23%
KwaZulu Natal - 68.67
Eastern Cape - 68.06%
Gauteng - 67.50%
North West - 66.67%
Western Cape - 63.19

Ursula Torr, Lead Actuarial Specialist at Liberty says, "As a result of this emerging trend in survival, long-term insurers and financial advisers should consider a good balance of lifestyle protection cover; and not just death insurance. Even though cancer remains the highest cause of claims, statistics are showing that people are living longer."

Cancer no longer a death sentence
Dr Thabani Nkwanyana, Liberty Medical Officer says, "Cancer remains the highest cause of claims related to critical illness, death and disability. The reality of a cancer diagnosis is that the treatment and recovery after a diagnosis can take many years. We're seeing more cases where the patient doesn’t die from cancer - chances are they'll contract another condition that requires further medical care. This results in a significant financial impact on households in terms of family lifestyle, work and the ability to earn an income."

Prostate cancer is the most prominent claim cause for men at 32.3% while breast cancer makes up nearly 50% of cancer claims for women. Colon and rectal cancer are the second most common cancer claims in men and women 14.3% and 7.5% respectively.

A stressed nation - suicide related claims on the rise
In addition, suicide related claims increased from 78 in 2017 to 152 in 2018 and makes up 2.51% of all claims. Gauteng had the highest number of suicide related claims at 39.4%. Young Parents had the highest suicide rate at 36.7%, followed by Empty Nesters at 35%, Established Providers at 25% and Young Achievers at 3.3%.

Motor vehicle accident claims highest in Gauteng
Gauteng made up 31.2% of all motor vehicle claims in the country. Only 8.6% of these claims came from Young Achievers while Young Parents and Empty Nesters claims came in at 43.1% and 31% respectively.

Torr concludes, "Claim Statistics paint a clear picture around the risks our clients are claiming for every year. At Liberty, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our solutions in line with evolving trends, and in accordance with our clients' life stages. This is why it is so vitally important that people meet with the financial advisers and use these insights to check that they are adequately covered for life's unexpected moments."

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Liberty Group Limited (Reg. no 1957/002788/06) is a licensed Insurer and an Authorised Financial Services Provider (no 2409).