Liberty pays out more than R2bn in claims

22 May 2013 Nicholas van der Nest, Liberty
Nicholas van der Nest, Divisional Director of Risk at Liberty.

Nicholas van der Nest, Divisional Director of Risk at Liberty.

Liberty today announced that it has paid out R2,33 billion in claims in 2012 across its full range of risk cover solutions. This brings the total value of claims paid by Liberty to more than R15 billion in 7 years.

Liberty has been a pioneer in making its claims statistics report public – by issuing their Annual Claims Stats Report since 2006.

“Throughout the years we have made a commitment to pay 100% of all valid claims across our life, critical illness and disability products – and we believe that by making these payments public we are confirming that we are living up to that promise,” says Nicholas van der Nest, Divisional Director of Risk at Liberty.

The vast majority of payments in the past financial year made by Liberty, with a total value of R1, 64 billion, were for claims on Liberty’s life cover policies. The insurer also paid R370 million to policyholders who were diagnosed with critical illnesses or who suffered traumatic health events, while R327 million income protection claims were settled.

The common reasons for claims received in 2012 were for cancer, heart conditions and strokes – with these three categories accounting for approximately 80% of critical illness claims, while cancer and cardiovascular problems were responsible for roughly 40% of life cover claims over the same period.

The current challenging economic climate also had an increasingly significant impact on insurance claims. Retrenchment alone was responsible for a staggering 57% of policy protection claims paid by Liberty in 2012.

“Crime and road accidents are also emerging as key contributors to a steadily rising number of claims for death, disability or income protection – with a 35% increase in life cover claims received by Liberty within three years of policy start dates.”

In addition, one third of claims paid by Liberty were made to individuals younger than 45 years - evidence of the importance that every person’s financial plan must ideally include a comprehensive life, disability and critical illness cover.

In conclusion, Van der Nest states that the true value of an insurance cover of any sort is really only revealed when the time comes for a policyholder to make a claim. “While many consumers understandably ‘shop around’ for the most affordable life or disability cover premiums, many are coming to realize the importance of balancing their focus on affordability with the need to ensure that their chosen insurer is committed to paying every valid claim they make.”

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