Sanlam launches comprehensive Child Illness and Injury Benefit

01 September 2014 Petrie Marx, Sanlam
Petrie Marx, Sanlam product actuary.

Petrie Marx, Sanlam product actuary.

Getting sick is part of every child’s life. But, while colds and rashes may disappear after a doctor’s visit, other illnesses and injuries can wreak havoc with the budget of even the most financially astute parents. This is why Sanlam has just announced an extensive child illness and injury benefit, providing cover of up to R1 million paid in a lump sum.

Sanlam product actuary Petrie Marx says children’s benefits are not entirely unique to the market, but most of them cover mainly dread diseases.

What sets the Sanlam: Child Illness and Injury Benefit apart is that it covers a wide range of events from dread diseases to injuries, impairments and infections - and that out of the 81 claim events included,24 are uniquely covered by Sanlam.

So, apart from covering ‘standard’ claim events like cancer, heart surgery, loss of sight, meningitis and so on, the Sanlam: Child Illness and Injury Benefit also covers a range of unique events like dog bites, gunshot wounds, rib fractures, tetanus, anorexia, Crohn’s disease and the Ebola virus. Of the events that are not unique to Sanlam, 37 are rare in the market, covered by one other company only. These include events like near-drowning, head-injuries, uncontrolled epilepsy and major burns.

Furthermore, if a child is admitted to the ICU unit of a hospital for at least 48 hours following events like accidental poisoning or a snakebite, the benefit enables parents to claim under the ICU claim event.

“As an ultimate safety net we also have a catch-all claim event to cover any other diseases or injuries not specifically listed, but severe enough to warrant a payment. Both this and our ICU claim event are an absolute first in the standalone children’s benefit market.”

Marx believes that, given its affordability, every parent should consider the Sanlam: Child Illness and Injury Benefit. Children are covered for up to R1 million, with the premium for R300 000 cover being roughly only R35 a month.

Children can be covered throughout their school years as the benefit is available from a child’s first birthday up to when he or she reaches age 19. This, he says, is particularly important for active children, as fracture, head-injury and coma claim events would provide cover for accidents often associated with playing extreme sports.

Another plus is that we won’t require children to go for new or invasive tests, as underwriting consists only of questions and existing reports. Apart from completing the necessary forms, historical medical reports and, at most, a basic physical examination, is all that Sanlam will ask.

“We’re proud to say that we conducted extensive research to establish which claim events to cover. For example, a study on dog bites conducted by Professor AB Sebastian van As, head of the trauma unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, showed that the annual frequency of dog bite injuries in children has been estimated at 22 per 1 000 pediatric patients, counting only those who sought care at the hospital. Thirteen percent of patients with dog bites were admitted to the trauma ward or directly to the intensive care unit. The report also showed that 32% of all dog bite injuries are to the head, face or neck.”

Considering the comprehensive nature of the cover and the affordability of the premium, the new Sanlam: Child Illness and Injury Benefit will be a valuable addition to any parent’s risk portfolio.


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