While research has already indicated that almost half of Afrikaans-speaking people in the country do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19, a new claim circulating in Afrikaans on WhatsApp warns that your life insurance will be cancelled if you are vaccinated.
However, people can rest assured that getting a vaccine will not cancel your life insurance or render it null and void. It is simply not true, says the regulator and insurers.
The message reads: “Never thought about this. I hope you are aware that if you take the vaccination, then basically it declares your life insurance null and void. Because it is experimental. Go and read your policy wording carefully before going off on me. If you work in the insurance industry, you should know this automatically. Even if you die in a car crash, if the life insurance companies ask around and find out that you took the vaccination, they will go out of their way not to pay out.” (translated)
Not true, says FSCA
This message is not true at all, says the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA). The FSCA regulates the market conduct of financial institutions that provide financial products and services.
“These statements have no merit or basis and we believe these unfounded statements are causing fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Taking a Covid-19 vaccine will not lead to cancellation of a policy or the repudiation of a claim,” it said.
The FSCA recommends that people who have any concerns or questions about their life policies contact their life insurers or financial advisors.
The authority also pointed out that regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act clearly state that anyone who publishes a statement through any medium to deceive people about Covid-19 is committing a criminal offence.
Not true, says insurer
Life insurer Liberty also said in a statement this claim is untrue. It says its approach to Covid-19 and by extension to the vaccine is to assess claims based on your health at the time of the claim. If you meet the claim criteria for the benefit you are claiming on, Liberty will pay the claim, irrespective of whether you have been vaccinated or not.
“If a client dies or develops a claimable condition directly as a result of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, we will pay the claim, provided that the client meets the claims criteria for the benefit in question,” LIberty said.
Liberty says it will not discriminate against clients whether they have been vaccinated or not. “New clients who have had the virus will be assessed on any residual symptoms, also irrespective of whether they have been vaccinated or not.”
The reality is this virus is likely to evolve and there is no guarantee the vaccine will be effective against future forms of the virus, Liberty says. “That is why clients who have had the vaccine are not treated more favourably, although we do believe they are at less risk of developing a Covid-19 infection in the short term.
“It should also be noted that the Covid-19 vaccines that are being rolled out in South Africa’s vaccination programme are not considered ‘experimental’.”
When your life insurance policy will not pay out
Your life insurance policy claim will not be paid out if you were not honest when applying, such as not disclosing that you suffer from high blood pressure or if you do not inform the insurer if you are diagnosed with a disease such as diabetes. Your claim can also be refused if you did not pay your premiums.