Protecting your income is critical to ensuring your long-term financial health against any of life’s uncertainties. Income protection policies provide cover against all injuries and illnesses, but how do they work in a pandemic like COVID-19?
COVID-19 infections are increasing and we are all required to make physical distancing a priority and to stay at home. It’s also recommended that we avoid overcrowding and rather use telemedicine channels or virtual consultations to see a doctor. This mass change in behaviour, together with the healthy habits to reduce the risk of COVID-19, can flatten the curve of infection rates of COVID-19.
But as life goes, we always need to be prepared for uncertainties. That’s the purpose of buying life, severe illness, disability and income insurance. It gives you some financial security when you are faced with life’s uncertainties.
1. Having a sound financial plan for every situation
“The Discovery Life Plan gives comprehensive protection when our clients and their families need it the most. The current COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. The unique features across all our benefits ensure that our clients are comprehensively protected against the effect that this virus can have on them and on their families,” says Gareth Friedlander, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Life.
Most employers would, in certain instances, offer a level of financial protection in case of temporary disability, and when sick leave limits have been reached. Having personal life and income protection can also help alleviate some of this stress.
2. Check your cover and contact a financial adviser if you are not adequately protected
“Your financial adviser can assess the existing cover you have and check whether or not you need to make some adjustments to ensure you have the best possible insurance when you need it. People can definitely still take out cover and there are financial advisers available through digital channels to ensure you get the right cover for your individual needs,” explains Friedlander.
What’s important is that there is cover for COVID-19. Friedlander emphasises that this pandemic does not change your cover.
3. Cover for COVID-19 from the Income Continuation Benefit
While it looks like COVID-19 affects people differently, one fact is clear: having COVID-19 will mean some time away from work, and even possible hospitalisation. Like with other illnesses, if you are sick and unable to work you may be able to claim from the Income Continuation Benefit. Discovery Life’s Income Continuation Benefit is a market-leading product that provides a regular income when you experience an illness or injury that prevents you from working. It also provides comprehensive family and lifestyle protection that extends into retirement and rewards healthy living through the Income Continuation Fund.
“To qualify for a claim, you have to be off work due to having COVID-19 for longer than your applicable waiting period and it can be paid for as long as you cannot work. We further provide income continuation on diagnosis of COVID-19 where you can receive a guaranteed 14-day retrospective payment* if you have a seven-day waiting period,” says Friedlander.
To give clients certainty of cover, depending on the waiting period, Discovery Life also provides a:
- One-month guaranteed payment if you are hospitalised for a certain time, and
- Six months’ guaranteed payment if you are in an intensive care unit (ICU) on a ventilator for a certain time.
In addition, the insured person’s spouse and children are covered from the Family Protector Benefit, which is automatically included in the Income Continuation Benefit on a Classic or Purple Life Plan with Discovery. The Family Protector Benefit provides payments for up to six months when a spouse or child is in ICU on a ventilator for a certain time due to an illness like COVID-19.
Speak to your financial adviser about the details of this cover and how you can ensure you are protected in future. Find more information about COVID-19 on the Discovery COVID-19 information hub.
*The 14-day guaranteed retrospective payment for qualifying COVID-19 claims on a seven-day waiting period will be reviewed from time to time and take into account medical guidelines at the time. Please note this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice.
Discovery Life Limited, registration number 1966/003901/06, is a registered long-term insurer, and an authorised financial services and registered credit provider. NCR Reg No. NCRCP3555. Product rules, terms and conditions apply.