Survival rates demand comprehensive severe illness cover

11 August 2017Jaco Gouws, Old Mutual
Jaco Gouws, Protection Product Head at Old Mutual.

Jaco Gouws, Protection Product Head at Old Mutual.

While severe illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes are becoming increasingly prevalent, the good news is that the survival rate of these events continues to improve. Globally, the current five-year cancer survival rate is 62%, and increases sharply to 83% in patients aged 15 to 29. There is a similar trend concerning hospitalised heart attacks and strokes, with 80% and 85% of patients surviving the event respectively.

However, Jaco Gouws, Protection Product Head at Old Mutual, says that the rising prevalence and increasing survival rates of these severe illnesses make it important that South Africans assess their severe illness cover.

“Regardless of how responsibly you live or how healthy you are, severe illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes befall without discrimination and can have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle. Compounding this risk is the fact that people are living longer and increasingly surviving events such as heart attacks and strokes, thanks to continuous advancements in modern medicine. This increases the likelihood of living with the effects of a life-changing illness, experiencing a recurrence of an illness, or even contracting another illness.”

Overcoming a severe illness is not only physically and emotionally taxing, but expensive too, says Gouws. “Surviving such an event can be extremely costly, and we believe that in the fight back to good health, concerns about finances or bills should be the furthest from your mind. This is why you need to be guided by a professional financial adviser and ensure optimal cover levels and benefits.

“This will ensure 100% peace of mind in times of anxiety and protect you and your family from having to pick up the exorbitant costs associated with treating a severe illness, as a result of not being covered fully,” he adds.

To ensure that clients have truly comprehensive cover that pays out when they need it the most, Old Mutual recently launched ‘100% Peace of Mind’ – the latest enhancement in its severe illness cover offering. “After noticing a worrisome increase in the prevalence of severe illness claims over the years, Old Mutual enhanced its severe illness cover to include even more medical conditions that customers can claim 100% for and improved the definitions of existing conditions.

“Old Mutual has a distinguished history of innovation, of which we’re very proud. In 2001 we brought you 100% only benefits, we were one of the first companies in 2004 to introduce the option to claim multiple times on a benefit, and in 2009 we were the first company to launch severe illness benefits that pay 100% on all the Standardised Critical Illness Definitions Project conditions. 100% Peace of Mind is therefore just our way of continuing this tradition of continuous innovation and improvement,” Gouws explains.

He adds that this enhancement comes at no extra cost to the client.

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