2015 Claims stats
20 Apr 2016
Liberty pays out over R3.5-billion in valid claims
Johannesburg - 13 April 2016: Liberty, the largest writer of new risk business since 2002, and the first insurer to publish its Claim statistics in 2006, has paid out R3.57 billion in valid claims for the 2015 financial year – delivering on its promise and commitment to protect its customers and their families against life's uncertainties.
Cancer remains the largest cause for claims with a total of 24.9%, followed by cardiac and cardiovascular conditions at 22.1% of all claims, according to Liberty's Director for Risk Product Innovation, Nicholas van der Nest. "This result is consistent with prior years where cancer also recorded the largest number of claims," says van der Nest.
However, there has been a shift in the types of cover linked to cancer, says Liberty's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Philippa Peil.
"With medical advancements such as better screening programmes and more awareness around health and lifestyle, cancers are being diagnosed earlier and at younger ages. The split between cancer payments under critical illness and deaths due to cancer are therefore shifting, with more and more customers qualifying for critical illness payments and surviving longer after diagnosis," Dr Peil says.
Top claims and types of cover
The vast majority of all Liberty payments, R2.48 billion or 57% of the total claims paid, were for death claims. At least R678 million was paid in respect of critical illness, which provides payment to help customers make the lifestyle adjustments required following diagnosis. A total of R407 million was paid for income protection, including both lump sum and monthly income claims.
"The split of claims paid by benefit type is influenced by the types of benefit that our customers bought. A new inclusion in this year's report is therefore a breakdown of last year's sales, which also provides insight to potential customers who are weighing up their insurance needs."
Segmentation of claims
The report on the claim statistics is by segment groups rather than product type or age – which was the case in previous years. Liberty segmented its customers into young achievers, young parents, established providers and empty nesters.
"Although the top five claims causes are responsible for 64.9% of all claims paid, the more interesting findings are in respect of what our segments have claimed for," says van der Nest.
Young achievers claimed mainly for income protection benefits, with retrenchments being the main cause of claim.
Retrenchment claims accounted for 15.9%, cancer 12.3% and motor vehicle accidents (the main cause of claim for young men) 11.9% of total claims for the segment.
Cancer was the main cause for claim for all other segments at 22.5% (young parents), 26.9% (established providers) and 25.6% (for empty nesters) of claims respectively. Female breast cancer and male prostate cancer drove these results to a differing extent for each of the segments.
Similarly, cardiovascular causes were the second most common cause for claims in all three segments at 14.5% (young parents), 21.1% (established providers) and 25.3% (empty nesters) of paid claims respectively. Cardiovascular causes were also responsible for the majority of claims paid in respect of men last year.
Strokes or central nervous system disorders also contributed significantly to total claims paid and were responsible for 8% of young parents claims paid and 8.7% of established providers claims paid. As expected for empty nesters, who are generally somewhat older, respiratory diseases and disorders were responsible for 7.9% of paid claims.
Keeping the promise
"We have made a commitment to our policyholders to pay 100% of all valid claims. We believe that by making our claim statistics public, we are showcasing our commitment to live up to that promise," says van der Nest.