The Discovery Group have reported claim pay-outs of R1.48-billion for the 2020 financial year. At least R100-million of that is directly due to COVID-19.
Discovery offers group risk benefits to customers that include life cover, global cover for the education of employees’ children, severe illness cover, lump-sum and monthly disability protection, and funeral cover.
In a claim experience analysis of new data, the company revealed that a total of 6533 claims were paid out during the 2020 financial year from July 2019 to June 2020. Their claims give a snapshot into the health and causes of death of South Africans during this period.
They reported at least 79 group risk claims related to COVID-19, and to date, the highest COVID-19 related pay-out was R9.5-million. The largest single pay-out under the life cover benefit (all causes of death included) was R18-million. Of the cases, 85% of causes of death were natural, with an average age of 47. 15% of deaths being unnatural and the average age was 40.
Almost one in five death claims were due to unnatural causes, which affect clients no matter their age or underlying health. In this category, the average age was 40. Motor vehicle accidents accounted for 38%, crime was 31%, 18% were other accidents and suicide accounted for 4%.
The most common cause of death for males was down to unnatural causes like motor vehicle accidents. According to Discovery, men are 2.3 times more likely to die of unnatural deaths than women.
The largest number of claims received within the year was from Discovery’s income continuation benefit. In this category, people younger than 40 mostly claimed for nervous system conditions, including strokes.
The musculoskeletal disorder was the most common reason to claim for people aged 40 to 60, and cancer was the main cause of disability for people older than 60. About 48% of all claims from the Severe Illness Benefit were cancer-related.
Most severe illness claims came from the 31-40 age group, but the highest total value of claims belonged to the 51-60 age group as these individuals’ claims were of a higher severity than that of younger members.
“2020 has been a stressful year for employers across the board, particularly for decision makers seeking to protect their employees and their families against financial difficulty,” said Guy Chennells, head of product for Discovery Employee Benefits.
“We have seen the high value our clients place on these benefits as almost all our clients continued to prioritise maintaining cover during this period of financial difficulty. Many of our pension and provident fund clients took payment holidays to ease cashflow pressure, but wisely continued to pay for our comprehensive risk cover all the way through.
“A pandemic brings claims payment into the spotlight; but the reality is that we are there for people through their life crises day in and day out,” added Chennells. “On average, we pay out a claim every 80 minutes, and to date, Discovery Group Risk has paid out 48,800 claims to the value of R10.2 billion in total.”
Read the full report here: Discovery Employee Benefit Claims Stats