Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
29 Jul 2021
6:47 pm

Unvaccinated clients may pay higher premiums, warns Discovery

Siyanda Ndlovu

Says clients who indicate they are unwilling to be vaccinated may be subject to higher premiums due to increased risk.

Vaccines at the Discovery vaccine centre at Gallagher estate in Midrand, 7 July 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney

Discovery Life has issued a stern warning that new and unvaccinated clients may be subjected to higher premiums. 

This was announced on Thursday by CEO of Discovery Life Riaan van Reenen.

“Clients with new polices who indicate that they are unwilling to be vaccinated may, unfortunately, be subject to higher premiums due to the increased risk. Refusal to be vaccinated is treated similarly to smoking or lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, which receive a higher premium,” reads the statement.

Van Reenen said that this premium may be adjusted should an unvaccinated client later decide to get vaccinated.

“COVID-19 has touched every facet of our society, and we have received claims from clients of all profiles. However, clear trends have emerged over the last year. These relate to gender, age, lifestyle choices, co-morbidities and occupation, which influence the number and severity of Covid-19 claims,” says Van Reenen.

He said that Covid-19 adds a significant risk to the health of life insurance clients across all age groups.

Van Reenen said that the company’s latest research revealed that middle-aged clients have the highest relative increase in mortality risk once becoming infected with Covid-19.

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“Mortality rates also rise far above the average population mortality rates once a client has tested positive for Covid-19. The relative mortality risk is highest for people in their mid-40s, emphasising that the risks caused by contracting Covid-19 cannot be ignored in any age group,” Van Reenen adds.

HE said that healthy behaviours are proven to lower a client’s risk.

“A healthier client exhibits lower mortality, morbidity and lapse rates. When our clients lead a healthy life, it allows us to derive insurance savings over a longer period. Through engagement with Vitality, we can determine a client’s individual level of risk and pass these insurance savings back to them through rewards such as lower premiums and PayBacks,” elaborated Van Reenen.