One size doesn’t fit all: tailoring life insurance for today’s women


We delve into some of the reasons more South African women should consider taking out life insurance cover with comprehensive benefits that protect against risks most relevant to them.

In the past, the responsibility of taking out life cover rested on the individual who earned the family income. This meant that for a long time, women were not the ones in the family that would typically buy life insurance.

Today, women lead diverse lifestyles and as a result, have a need for a range of life cover benefits that can better support their choices.

“More women are contributing to the country’s economy and financially providing for their families, be it with a partner or on their own,” says Discovery certified financial adviser, Claire van Wyk.

 “This is why at Discovery Life, we believe that having sufficient and relevant life insurance cover plays a significant role in the lives of men and women alike.”

Life insurance cover for severe illness

“Among Discovery Life’s female claimants, cancer has been the most common cause of death and illness for several years,” says Discovery Life Senior Actuarial Risk Specialist, Kashmeera Kanji.

“Between 2017 and 2019, we saw around 34% of claims made by women put forward due to cancer.”

“Furthermore, we have seen that the proportion of female cancer incidence under our Severe Illness Benefit is highest in the age group of 41 to 50, and stands at 57%, followed by 54% in the age group 51 to 60 and 50% for the age group 31 to 40,” adds Kanji.

This is significant as it shows that certain health concerns, like cancer, tend to affect women at a time when they are likely nurturing their established careers, raising a family or doing both.

“Cancer is also the main reason women claim under their Capital Disability Benefits. Of all the cancer types, breast cancer remains the most prevalent by far.”

With the rise of the global pandemic many women are dealing with the reality of work/life integration while trying to ensure a healthy balance for themselves and their families.

Extensive cover for mental health and unexpected events

Aside from cancer, women experiencing depression has accounted for 30% of mental and behavioural type claims under the Capital Disability Benefit over the last five years. These claimants are mostly professional women in the South African workforce.

“When the unexpected happens, women who are homemakers, caregivers or income earners are at risk of not being able to provide for their families,” van Wyk adds.

What this shows is that while women are making strides and embarking on multiple achievements in both their personal and professional lives, life insurance cover is very relevant to protect against such damaging risks. Life is so different for women now that they would need their life cover to be comprehensive and tailored to offer more relevant protection.

Life cover that tailors to the needs of the modern woman

Discovery Life insurance cover offers a range of benefits that can be tailored to suit every woman’s needs. Such benefits cater for severe illness, capital disability, income protection and education protection. Products that cater for these needs can safeguard women against a heavy financial fallout that unexpected life-changing events may cause.

Women are able to ensure that they are well-informed about risks most relevant to them and can make informed choices in getting adequate insurance cover that offers the best protection. Discovery Life’s benefit suite, offers more than just relevant protection.

“Value is built into the insurance offering through premium discounts and PayBacks  that form part of an incentivised rewards mechanism to encourage improved health and wellness throughout the policy term,” adds van Wyk.

“Such rewards are fantastic ways to make whole-of-life policies more valuable and affordable over the long term. This means that women can now ensure that they have comprehensive life cover that best supports potential risks during the prime of their lives, while also enabling a better protected and financially sound retirement period,” she concludes.

Comprehensive life insurance plans in the market today enable you to tailor life cover for your clients’ diverse needs and priorities, regardless of their gender.

Read more about the Discovery Life’s new Double PayBack benefit here

This article 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 no liability will be accepted for the effect of any future legislative or regulatory changes. Product rules, terms and conditions apply.

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