Momentum released their claim statistics for the period spanning January to December 2018. Chief Executive Officer of Momentum Life, Johann le Roux, stated that “It is our business to pay claims and our claim statistics confirm our strong commitment to our clients to pay claims. This ensures that our clients achieve their desired financial goals and aspirations, even when the unthinkable happens.”
Momentum Retail Life Insurance has paid out claims in excess of R17 billion over the past five years. In 2018 they paid R4 billion in claims, which is 48% higher than the R2.7 billion paid in 2014.
The individual risk claims paid during the period under review included:
|Claim type||Amount paid|
|Critical illness||R518 million|
|Income protection||R90 million|
Le Roux added that “Claim statistics is one of the key measures used by industry regulatory institutions, financial advisers and life insurance product providers to track the consistency of claim standards.”
Some of Momentum’s largest claims during 2018 included:
- A death claim of R45 million.
- A critical illness claim of R3 million.
- A disability claim of R4 million.
- An income protection cumulative claim amount of R2 million.
Based on their 2018 claim statistics almost 60% of claims, across all benefit types were caused by cancer or cardiovascular diseases, which are often considered as preventable chronic diseases associated with lifestyle choices.
Other aspects that were highlighted during the event included:
Comprehensiveness is key
George Kolbe, Head of Marketing for Momentum Retail Life Insurance highlighted that “Traditionally, critical illness cover has focused on the four most common critical illness events, namely: cancers, strokes, heart attacks and coronary artery bypass grafts (CABG).”
He remarked that “Although the “big 4” consistently covers about 70% of our total critical illness payouts per year for the last four years, we can see that the percentage of claims that fall outside of the “big 4” has increased. These include critical illnesses such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease and can have a similarly detrimental impact on clients’ lives and finances. The breadth of critical illness cover has evolved over time and we continue to provide more comprehensive cover against a growing number of critical illnesses.”
“Big 4” payouts as a percentage of all critical illness claims
Major causes of critical illness claims
Momentum’s 2018 claim experience indicated that cancer (45%) and cardiovascular related diseases (26%) dominated claim payouts linked to critical illnesses. In fact, the percentage of critical illness payouts for these two categories was 20% higher in 2018, compared to 2017.
“Not only do we believe in comprehensive cover, we also encourage clients to participate in Multiply, Momentum’s wellness and rewards programme. This programme promotes healthy living and rewards healthier clients with significant discounts on their life insurance premiums”, stated Kolbe.
Major causes of critical illness claims
Women and critical illnesses
Momentum’s 2018 claim statistics indicated that women had more critical illness claims at younger ages than men and most of these claims related to female cancers, and more specifically breast cancer.
Jenny Ingram, Head of Product Development for Momentum Retail Life Insurance commented that “What makes the diagnosis of breast cancer in women especially traumatic is the emotional and financial impact that it has on families because at these ages, the children are typically still attending school and living at home. From a financial point of view, these are very productive years for most breadwinners and having to cope with the additional expenses associated with a critical illness, or less income because of the illness, can completely ruin families financially.”
Critical illness claims for children
During 2018, Momentum paid out 33 child critical illness claims; the most child critical illness claims ever paid along with the highest number of 100% severity pay-outs. For these claims, 44% of child critical illness payouts were for cancer followed by 19% of claim payouts for cardiovascular related diseases.
Suicide related claims
Kolbe stated that “Suicides were identified as the second greatest cause of unnatural death in Momentum’s 2018 claim statistics.”
Momentum’s 2018 claim experience indicated that 93% of suicide claims were for males. Added to this, more of the suicides related to individuals who were smokers compared to non-smokers.
Kolbe added to this by saying “More of the suicides related to individuals who were not part of Momentum’s wellness and rewards programme, Multiply. Although the 2018 statistics provided a small sample size, it seems to support the notion that individuals who engage in healthier, active lifestyles are less likely to succumb to suicide.”
Momentum’s 2018 claim statistics indicated that women claimed more often in earlier ages, below age 50, but 73% of disability claims by men were made from age 50 onwards. Kolbe highlighted the fact that “To provide the best possible cover against the financial consequences of a disability or impairment event, it is vital to focus on comprehensive disability benefits which include both functional impairment and occupation based cover.”
During 2018, Momentum paid three claims for men who were 100 years old. It was also the eighth consecutive year during which they made claim payouts for centenarians.
During the same period, 31 new longevity protector claim payouts were triggered from disability and critical illness claim causes, starting the countdown to clients’ future longevity protector payouts. These clients will receive additional payouts, every five years, based on the severity of the conditions they claimed for, and the expected long-term impact that these illnesses will have on their lives.
Stephen van Niekerk, Head of Momentum Retail Life Insurance, concluded the event by saying “When clients take out life insurance, irrespective of whether this is pure life cover or includes critical illness, disability or longevity cover, they expect their insurer to take the lead when unexpected things happen. However, insurers have an obligation to protect the interests of all their clients. This means they must be provided the opportunity to evaluate a risk based on full disclosure from a client. This process is underpinned by a reciprocal relationship of trust that is in play between insurer and client and is based on an expectation that clients will be truthful when they complete an application form.”