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Metropolitan waives war exclusions for SANDF and SAPS members

06 March 2007 Metropolitan

Life assuror urges competitors to follow suite and support peacekeeping efforts around the continent

Metropolitan Life today announced that it has waived its cover exclusions for members of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) actively serving in peacekeeping operations and calls on other life assurors to follow suit.

The improvement in cover available is in line with recently announced protocols signed between the Life Office's Association (LOA) and the SANDF and the SAPS. These protocols were catered for in the initial design of the product range (called FutureChoice Cover Options) when it was released to market in October last year.

According to the LOA, member life companies have agreed to waive the war exclusions normally applied to products like life cover, dread disease, disability and health insurance, however participation by member life assurance companies is voluntary.

Greg Buckle, Product Actuary at Metropolitan Retail, says that there is a real cost to the company of waiving these exclusions because members of the protective services actively engaged in duty are exposed to additional risks. Companies always have to balance excluding such risks in order to deliver a more price competitive product and delivering a product that meets a wider range of customer needs. Metropolitan believes that the cost of extending life cover to those representing South Africa in peacekeeping efforts is worth it for the sake of those individuals and their families and also because it contributes to long-term benefits of stability on the continent.

According to the LOA the main rationale behind the deal was to support peacekeeping initiatives that promote stability on continent in line with the goals of the New Partnership for Africas Development (Nepad).

According to the LOA more than 5 000 South African servicemen are currently deployed across the continent as part of peacekeeping missions mandated by the United Nations (UN) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). 

In terms of the agreed protocols the exclusion on cover will remain for Peace Enforcement Operations where there is significant risk of active combat because the risks in these cases are too costly to cover.

Buckle says that initiatives such as Nepad aim to address the challenges facing Africa like increasing poverty levels, which talks to Metropolitans vision "Creating prosperity for Africas people" and its mission "Serving Africas people through affordable financial solutions that create financial growth and security".

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