Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
2 Jun 2021
5:26 pm

Life insurance claims show Covid death toll may be underreported

Sipho Mabena

The spike in life insurance claims is notable, given that policy holders tend to have fewer comorbidities and have better healthcare.

A morgue attendant at the Pretoria branch of funeral and burial services company Avbob prepares a plastic sheet to wrap the body of a patient who died of Covid-19 related illnesses. Picture: Marco Longari/AFP

Life insurance claims soared by up to 60% from March 2020 to January 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, exceeding the expected death rate by four times at the height of the second wave of the pandemic. Data submitted by four of the country’s biggest life insurers, representing around 70% of South African individual life insurance premiums, excludes universal life policies and limited underwritten policies. Not even those with good health records were safe The data from the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) is more surprising given that people with fully underwritten life insurance policies tended to have fewer...