The COVID-19 pandemic that emerged this year has shone a spotlight – with renewed perspective – on the importance of having comprehensive life insurance cover. Most importantly, the kind of cover capable of enhancing protection for today’s severe illness needs.
“No one expects to one day have to deal with developing a severe illness. Yet, protective cover can be highly valuable to have in the event such a life-changing experience happens. It’s a helping hand at a critical time in someone’s life and that’s why we originally designed the Discovery Life Severe Illness Benefit as part of our comprehensive offering,” says Discovery Life Deputy Chief Executive, Gareth Friedlander.
“It’s all about enhancing the quality of people’s lives when it’s most needed. Our Severe Illness Benefit is an award-winning* offering and we’re proud of this product – it’s the most comprehensive out there.”
“Yet, the emergence of COVID-19 and its direct effects on the human body have shown us that an even more comprehensive product with more protective features is now in need,” he says.
Take care of what you value the most
“Traditionally, life insurance cover for severe illnesses are assessed with a more ‘siloed’ approach and generally cover things like organ failure as a result of chronic conditions only.”
An illness like COVID-19 is now known to cause acute organ injury across multiple body systems. The shortfall of a siloed approach is that the impact on each body system in isolation may be insufficient, or may not be determined as permanent. In either circumstance, this would not result in a payment being made to a client even though the impact on their overall health is significant.
“So, after conducting research on how COVID-19 affects the body, we developed ways to modernise what we already have in a way that offers the enhanced level of protection people now need,” he adds.
“This is where our Shared-value Insurance model is really quite meaningful – its dynamic design enables us to adapt to the times, building in added value and relevance at any point,” he adds.
Introducing multi-organ failure protection
COVID-19 can have serious consequences for a person’s cardiovascular, nervous, renal and respiratory systems – sometimes, all at once.
“So, we’ve developed a complementary benefit which takes the overall impact of this type of disease, and any others like it, into account, making it a market-first product in the country,” Friedlander says. “Now we have a product that can be used for all current and future multi-organ claims criteria assessment needs.”
“Our newly developed Multi-Organ Benefit category allows for tiered severity payments to be made for claims,” explains Friedlander.
“So, the level of acute multi-organ failure at the time of a claim is assessed, and based on this, a payment percentage of up to 100% will be made as a lump sum for the assured. So, this benefit will ensure that adequate cover is provided for the essential treatment and care clients will need while in hospital.”
“The way we see this benefit really improving the lives of our customers going forward is to be added to a comprehensive life policy, in particular, alongside Capital Disability and Income Continuation Benefits,” says Friedlander. “This particular benefit will help to cover unforeseen expenses that aren’t typically paid for by a medical aid plan or gap cover. So, having this kind of cover is helpful in being able to fund any additional cost needs.”
“This not only makes a life insurance portfolio more comprehensive, it also makes it relevant for today’s needs in the most beneficial way – for policyholders and those who are dearest to them,” he concludes.
*As voted by the Independent Clinical Oncology Network.
Discovery Life Limited. Registration number 1966/003901/06, is a registered long-term insurer, and an authorised financial services and registered credit provider, NCR Reg No. NCRCP3555. Product rules, terms and conditions apply.