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Liberty enhances education benefit to meet changing education landscape

13 October 2022 Liberty

Insurer Liberty has enhanced its EduCator benefit on its flagship Lifestyle Protector product to meet the evolving needs of children, from early childhood to higher education. The extensive range of enhancements have been designed to offer parents one of the most comprehensive and flexible set of features in its class.

The EduCator benefit offering ensures that a child's access to education is protected should the parent or guardian become disabled, critically ill, or passes away. It helps pay for school fees, uniform, stationery, textbooks, extra-curricular activities and transportation and makes provision for public, private, and special needs' schools. It even pays for overseas education and home schooling. It also covers pre-school child development through to university attendance, both locally and overseas.

"The increase in globalisation and the changing education landscape means that our clients' needs are changing. We need to look at ways to meet these evolving requirements. We've taken a good look at this from the perspective of our insurance cover, asking what we would need to offer to give a parent comfort knowing that their children's education will be covered when life's uncertainties happen," says Kresantha Pillay, Liberty's Chief Specialist for Lifestyle Protector solutions.
"In particular, we've increased our cover for children with special needs, as well as for pre-primary and overseas university education. We've also made allowances for unique South African circumstances like emigration, where we will pay for schooling abroad if needs be," says Pillay.

These enhancements are designed to take care of the many stages of education should the parent or guardian not be able to do so due to illness, disability or death. They include:

- Covering the cost of Early Childhood Development Centers like Creche. This would be paid directly to the institution
- Extending the cover for pre-primary schooling to a maximum of 2 years. This previously was limited to a maximum 1 year of pre-primary schooling.
- Extending the number of international universities that qualify for the higher benefit limit in US dollars. A further six universities have been added to this list. This benefit includes overseas residence fees.
- EduCator now allows for a child in claim to emigrate and continue to receive the claim payout. This claim remains within the Rand denominated limit.
- For children who attend educational institutions for the mentally or physically disabled, EduCator will cater for additional educational cost of special needs education by increasing the tuition fees limits by 150% of the standard maximum tuition fees limits. This has increased from 140% previously

"Insuring your children's educational journey all the way to university level so that their futures are secure should you no longer be able to provide for them is possibly one of the best things you can do for them," Pillay says. For peace of mind, EduCator's maximum benefit limits and premiums are reviewed annually to ensure that the cover amounts keep up with rising education costs. In 2021 Liberty paid out a total of R10.12 billion in claims under its flagship Lifestyle Protector product to 43 600 individual clients and their beneficiaries. Of that the EduCator benefit ensured that almost 600 children were able to stay in school after their parents or caregivers died or could not work due to a disability or critical illness. More than R25 million in claims was paid out through this benefit last year.

Anyone wanting to know more about how the EduCator benefit can help secure their children's future should speak to a Liberty accredited financial adviser to ensure their children's education is secure should the unexpected happen.

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