Discovery Life’s Income Continuation Benefit now also protects a client’s lifestyle

17 March 2015 Gareth Friedlander, Discovery Life
Gareth Friedlander, Head of Research and Development at Discovery Life

Gareth Friedlander, Head of Research and Development at Discovery Life

At a launch event held in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Discovery Life announced exciting enhancements to its Income Continuation Benefit, which includes market-leading comprehensive income and lifestyle protection and a broadened claims criteria.

The benefit will now give clients access to additional protection that will not only protect 100 percent of their net income, but also their entire lifestyle. The Income Continuation Benefit will take care of a client’s key expenses following a specified life-changing event. “While we continue to offer clients the ability to protect up to 100 percent of their net income, we have enhanced our Income Continuation Benefit to cover their key expenses following a disability, severe illness and even retrenchment,” says Gareth Friedlander, Head of Research and Development at Discovery Life.

According to Friedlander, Discovery Life optimised the benefit to ensure that clients would continue to have the most comprehensive cover on both temporary and permanent disability. With the enhanced Income Continuation Benefit, a client’s individual needs will not only be met, but they will also be rewarded for being healthy and driving well – an offering that is unique to Discovery in the South African life insurance industry.

Key features of the enhanced Income Continuation Benefit include:

Highest claim payouts

The Income Continuation Benefit allows clients to insure up to 100 percent of their net of tax income on temporary and permanent disability. In addition, the lifetimeimpact of a disability is taken into consideration to provide a lump-sum payment of up to 36 times of a client’s monthly income to supplement their income replacement payout for disabilities that give rise to large upfront expenses.

Additional value for professionals

Professionals, such as physicians, will have unrivalled value from the Income ContinuationBenefit through features such as:

o Retrospective payments from day one under a one-month waiting period option
o The ability for in-claims payments to escalate by inflation plus 3%, matching a client’s typically high salary growth expectation
o The ability to claim for the first two years without having to prove loss of income
o Significant premium discounts.

Cover into retirement

With the Whole of Life option, Discovery Life’s Income Continuation Benefit will protect clients against disability or illness after age 70. This option includes tailored and comprehensive claims criteria as well as unique features like the Contribution Protector, which will cover all of a client’s Discovery Health, Discovery Life, Discovery Insure and Vitality contributions for up to two years in retirement and a six-month guaranteed payment period.

Seamless claims process

Through Discovery Health’s revolutionary HealthID technology, claims can now be submitted and assessed electronically by the client’s doctor as soon as the doctor books the client off work, streamlining the claim-logging process. This allows the claims process to be triggered automatically without clients having to initiate a claim. In addition, Discovery’s Claims Concierge service will provide Discovery Health clients with a tailored, high-touch claims experience.

Full lifestyle protection

The benefit provides a bouquet of benefits that comprehensively cover all aspects of a client’s lifestyle such as:

o Up to 100% of insurance and retirement contributions
o 100% off Uber chauffeur services to ensure that clients and their family will still be mobile following a debilitating event
o Up to 100% off a variety of key living expenses such as HealthyFood, HealthyCare and HealthyGear items leveraging off the existing Vitality partners.
o Continuity of income for up to six months if a family member becomes ill and clients need to take time off work.

“These enhancements to our Income Continuation Benefit were catalysed by the recent changes made to the tax treatment of income replacement policies,” says Friedlander. “Going forward, a client’s contribution to an income continuation policy will no longer be tax deductible and their benefit payments will generally be tax free.”

Whole of life cover

The Income Continuation Benefit recognises that many clients need protection after the age of 70 to provide for the high costs associated with a life-changing event or simply, the need for additional care.

Discovery Life ensures that at retirement, the client’s Income Continuation Benefit will not fall away as it comes with the option of whole of life protection. This protection converts up to 100 percent of the clients Income Continuation Benefit to post-retirement cover at age 70, based on their selected waiting period.

Also, recognising reduced income at this age, the Contribution Protector continues after the client has reached age 70 to protect up to 100 percent of their qualifying contributions for up to 24 months. “This is particularly valuable to retired clients as it ensures they can afford their other Discovery insurance contributions, which often comprise a significant portion of their expenses in retirement, without compromising their disposable income if they become disabled,” says Friedlander.

“With the enhancements to our Income Continuation Benefit, we aim to continue to improve the client experience by offering them comprehensive cover that is tailored to their unique financial needs,” concludes Friedlander.

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