Your Discovery Life dictionary


Discovery Life is committed to helping South Africans improve their financial literacy. Here's a handy guide to common terms, products and benefits we use when communicating with our clients.

It's easy to gloss over terms you don't fully understand when reading a text, but clueing yourself up is key to good decision-making. As George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics, once said, "The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished!"

If you've ever felt unsure while reading insurance terminology, now is the time to clear things up. Below is a glossary of terms Discovery Life uses. We'll keep updating this list to help keep you informed.

Active Integrated

Linking your Discovery Life Plan with Vitality Active Rewards to enable dynamic risk rating, resulting in premium discounts and returns of premiums through the PayBack benefit.


The option to convert a portion of life cover into immediate cash on diagnosis of a wide range of life-changing medical events.

Automatic Parent Funeral Cover

A benefit amount on the Smart Life Plan of up to R20 000, paid on the death of a parent or step-parent.


The person to receive the benefit payout on a policy.

Benefits automatically transform

Benefits change at a certain point in time in line with client needs.

Business assurance

Long-term insurance products designed to help maintain a business if the life assured experiences a life-changing event such as death, severe illness or disability.

Buy-up Cash Conversion

The Buy-up Cash Conversion Benefit lets clients receive 100% (Base Buy-up) or 200% (Full Buy-Up) of their Integrated cover at age 65 in four equal instalments at ages 65, 69, 73 and 77 to supplement retirement savings.

Cancer Exome Sequencing Benefit

Provides a lump sum to assist with the cost of sequencing certain high-risk tumours for a client and their family.

Capital Disability Benefit

Provides a lump-sum payment in the event of a client becoming permanently disabled under occupational or objective medical claims criteria.

Cash Conversion

Tax-free cash lump sum(s) at age 65 to supplement retirement savings.


The process where all the rights, title and interest in a Life Plan are transferred or made over to another person or entity.

Childbirth Benefit

Provides cover for specified birth defects and congenital conditions.


A formal request to an insurance company for compensation for a covered policy event.

Claims assessment criteria

The rules used to check whether a claim is valid and qualifies for payment.

Claims experience (Health Claims Experience)

Claims submitted over a period by all members on a Health Plan to a medical scheme administered by Discovery Health. Certain claim events are exempt in determining the overall experience.

Claims record

Past long-term insurance claims.

Comprehensive Premium Protector

Available on the Supplementary Gap Cover. In the event that the client passes away or suffers a qualifying severe illness or disability, the benefit pays the family’s monthly medical scheme contributions for a period of up to two years.

Comprehensive protection

Covers a broad and holistic range of risks.

Core Education Protector

One of three Global Education Protector options that is designed to provide indemnification cover, with benefit payment limits set in line with local public school tuition costs.

Cover Integrator

Provides an increase to a client’s Base Life Fund at an average saving of 50%, with cover levels adjusting based on their health and wellness management.

Customisable benefits

Benefits that can be modified to individual needs.


The event of becoming physically disabled or impaired due to an accident or illness.

Dollar Discovery Retirement Optimiser

An ancillary benefit to a Dollar Life Plan that provides cost-effective, globally diversified funding for retirement through an offshore endowment policy that provides a fund value at age 65.

Dollar PayBack Fund

A tangible financial benefit on the Dollar Life Plan that grows based on how clients manage their health and wellness. The benefit pays out offshore in Dollars at age 65 (or 20 years after qualifying for the Dollar PayBack Fund, if later).

Early Cancer Benefit

Provides cover for qualifying in situ cancers and pre-cancerous prostatic lesions. Automatically included as part of the Comprehensive Plus and LifeTime Plus Severe Illness Benefits at no additional premium.

Estate Planning

The process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the management and disposal of that person's estate during the person's life and at and after death, while minimising tax.

Estate Planning Benefit

Provides a lump-sum payment after both the client and their spouse have passed away to protect their estate against estate duty, while allowing the surviving client to access a portion of the payment after the first death.

Exchange Rate Protector

Allows clients to lock-in a R/$ exchange rate 20% lower than the market exchange rate applicable to their dollar-denominated Dollar Life Plan premium for three years.

Family Trauma Benefit

Provides cover for each family member admitted to an Intensive Care Unit for ventilation and reconstructive surgery needed as a result of trauma incidents.

Female Benefit

Provides cover for cancers specific to women, complications of pregnancy and osteoporosis.

Financial adviser/broker

An individual registered as an adviser on matters of insurance, investments and other financial services, who arranges cover on behalf of a client

Financial Integrator

Gives clients access to the Annual Guaranteed PayBack benefit, with cover levels adjusting based on their health and wellness management.

Funeral Benefit

A lump-sum payment on the death of the policyholder or the death of an insured family member.

Global Education Protector (GEP)

Provides indemnification cover to ensure that a client’s child’s education is fully protected in the event of death, disability or severe illness, while also funding up to 100% of their tertiary tuition for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Global Investment Linkage

In order to protect your cover in foreign currency, you have linked your Life Fund to global investment markets with a selection of currencies. To determine claims amounts the higher amount and the base Life Fund will be used.

Health Integrated

Linking your Discovery Life Plan with Discovery Health and Vitality to enable dynamic risk rating, resulting in premium discounts and returns of premiums through the PayBack benefit.

Healthy lifestyle

A lifestyle designed to maintain and improve a person’s health and well-being.

Holistic protection

Ensuring that the client is wholly covered.

Health Plan Protector (HPP)

Provides cover for the cost of medical scheme contributions for up to 10 years in the event of death, disability or severe illness, while providing a tangible benefit for clients who manage their health by returning unused health plan risk contributions.

Income Continuation Benefit (ICB)

A benefit that protects a client’s income by making regular payments if a client is unable to work due to injury or illness.

Insurance risk

The possibility that an insured event will occur, requiring the insurer to pay a claim. 

Insured amount

The amount of insurance cover purchased.

Integrated Cover Adjustment

We will adjust portions of your cover based on how you managed your health and wellness over the past year.


Linking your Discovery Life Plan with your other Discovery products to enable dynamic risk rating, resulting in premium discounts and returns of premiums through the PayBack benefit.


The mechanism that links two or more Discovery products.

Intensive Care benefit

Provides cover for intensive care unit admissions for both natural illnesses and unnatural trauma events. Automatically included on all Discovery Life Severe Illness Benefit options.

Life cover

Provides a lump sum payment to the beneficiaries of the policy in the event of death of the life insured.

Life Fund

The Life Fund forms the basis of a Discovery Life Plan. It is used to fund payments for the client’s selected benefits.


Benefit designed to increase payments and protect policyholders against the lifestyle impact of an illness or disability by not only assessing the short-term clinical impact, but the medium- to long-term impact of factors such as expected duration of illness, invasiveness of any surgery required, rehabilitation and any assisted care or device requirements.


An extra charge added to the client’s premium if they present a higher risk than average.


A single payment as opposed to a number of regular payments or instalments.

Managing your health

Maintaining or improving your health by following a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and not smoking.

Medical Breakthrough Funder

Available on the Supplementary Gap Cover. If a client experiences a life changing event that satisfies the criteria for making a claim, the Medical Breakthrough Funder will pay a tax-free lump sum of up to R500 000. 

Medical Premium Waiver

Covers the cost of medical scheme contributions for up to 10 years in the event of death, disability or severe illness.

Minimum Protected Fund

This option allows clients to specify a minimum level below which their life fund will never drop, subject to a 14-day survival period.

Multiple claims

Allowing more than one claim to be made under a specified benefit.

Nominated occupation

Discovery’s disability benefits use a nominated occupation when specifying the applicable claims criteria, which is the occupation that a client is performing for all or the majority of their working hours. It is the occupation that they are trained for, knowledgeable of and from which they derive all or the majority of their income.

Offshore endowment policy

A policy that enables clients to invest US dollars and receive a lump sum offshore after a specific term.


The person who enters into the contract with Discovery and owns the rights and duties attached to the life insurance policy.

Paid-up benefit

Allows a client to stop paying premiums on qualifying benefits at the later of age 65 and 20 years after benefit inception, while cover continues for the rest of the client’s life.


A percentage of premiums returned to clients as a result of actively managing their health and wellness.

Personalised benefits

Benefits tailored to meet an individual’s needs or preferences.


The insurance contract between the insurer and the insured.

Policy term

The period of time for which the policy is in force.


The price of an insurance benefit.

Premium adjustments

Clients experience annual premium adjustments based on how well they manage their health, wellness and driving behaviour.

Premium discount

A reduction in the premium payable.

Principal Life

The main life assured on the insurance policy.

Principal PayBack Fund

An upfront fund on the Business Life Plan that quantifies the life assured’s future mortality and morbidity saving as a result of their health and wellness management. At the end of each five-year period, a percentage of the fund will be paid to the life assured.

Promotion tracker benefit

A benefit on the Smart Life Plan that increases a client’s in-claim monthly Income Continuation Benefit payment every five years by a further 10% to allow for promotions they may have received if they had not become disabled.


 When a person chooses to leave the workforce due to reaching a particular age, or because of ill health.

Severe illness

An illness or disorder that significantly affects a person’s lifestyle.

Severe Illness Benefit (SIB)

Provides a lump-sum payment if a client suffers one of a list of defined conditions.

Smart PayBack Fund

The Smart PayBack Fund allows clients to receive up to 100% of their qualifying Smart Life Plan premiums back for managing their health and wellness and practicing good driving behaviour.


The process of assessing risk to ensure that the cost of cover is proportionate to the risks faced by the individual concerned.

University Funder Benefit

Clients can fund up to 100% of their child’s tertiary tuition based on Vitality engagement. This benefit is automatically included on the Global Education Protector for qualifying clients.

Upfront discount

 A discount provided at policy inception.

Vitality Integrated

Linking your Discovery Life Plan with Discovery Vitality to enable dynamic risk rating, resulting in premium discounts and returns of premiums through the PayBack benefit.

Vitality Health Check

 A simple and convenient set of the most essential health screening and preventive tests that can be completed at a Vitality Wellness Centre, any pharmacy in the Vitality Wellness Network, at a Discovery Wellness Day or at any Discovery Store. The screening includes:

  • Blood pressure

  • Blood glucose / HbA1c

  • Cholesterol / Lipogram

  • Weight assessment / BMI

  • Non-smoker’s declaration

Vitality Rating


A measure of a client’s health based on the results of their Vitality Health Check. Clients are classified as Lifetime Select Vitality Rating (all metrics in range), Select Vitality Rating (at least one metric slightly out of range) OR Standard Vitality Rating (at least one metric completely out of range) and will receive different levels of premium discounts.

Wellness Day

An assessment that includes a number of tests to build a comprehensive health and wellness profile of each Vitality client, and identify areas of potential risk to address. The Vitality Health Check forms part of a Discovery Wellness Day.

The content on this page is for the latest versions of the benefits and is correct as of October 2018. For specific cover and benefits related to your life insurance plan from Discovery, please consult your policy schedule.

Get up to 50% of your premiums back in cash for living a healthier life

By simply linking your Discovery Life Plan with your other Discovery products, you can receive a percentage of your premiums back every five years for managing your health and wellness. Integration allows you to receive up to 50% of your premiums back every five years

Create and build wealth with our flexible investment plans

Our unique shared-value model rewards you for taking responsibility for your financial future. Our investment plans have unique benefits that reward you for saving for longer, investing more, and getting healthier. They include:

  • Discovery BoostersTM - which grow your investment
  • Discovery Fee OptimisersTM - which reduce fees on your investment
  • Discovery ProtectorsTM - which give you peace of mind by protecting your investment

To take advantage of these innovative products, find out more here or speak to your financial adviser today.

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