Single mothers urged to combat financial vulnerability

By Janice Roberts
Old Mutual Personal Finance on severe illness cover

Derick Ferreira, Head of Marketing and Product Integration at Old Mutual Personal Finance.

Your health and personal wellbeing are arguably your most valuable assets – especially if you have loved ones who depend on you. According to the 2017 Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor, 50% of metropolitan working mothers consider themselves to be single mothers, and only 16% say that they receive regular financial support from the father of their children. This places a huge responsibility on mothers as the sole breadwinners to ensure their families will be protected if something unexpected happens to them.  

According to Derick Ferreira, Head of Marketing and Product Integration at Old Mutual Personal Finance, preparing for the worst may seem overly pessimistic but it is important for women and especially critical for single mothers.

“Everyone is vulnerable to accidents and severe illnesses that threaten lifestyles and income earning abilities. But as a single parent, these events also threaten to drastically impact your children’s quality of life.

“Having the right protection in place will enable you to explore the best treatment options while maintaining your family’s lifestyle during a difficult period. Old Mutual paid out an overall of R9.28 billion in underwritten, non-underwritten and corporate claims in South Africa in 2016 – over R1 billion more than was paid out in 2015.”

Women accounted for 44% of severe illness claims with the majority of these (67%) being for cancer and tumours.

“Ironically, the advances in science that improve our chances of surviving cancer, strokes or a heart attack, carry other costs. Survival often comes at a huge financial cost because of lifestyle adjustments, the unexpected expenses of recovering from an illness, and more,” says Ferreira.

“There are difficult questions which we avoid asking ourselves. What would happen if I were to be diagnosed with a severe illness? Who would look after my children? How would I afford specialised care and making adjustments to my lifestyle? How would I afford my family’s daily needs if I couldn’t work?”

Having severe illness cover allows you to focus on your recovery instead of worrying about how you’ll pay for it and how you’ll continue to care for your family. You will receive a lump sum payout if you are diagnosed with a defined severe illness to help you cope through the challenging period.

Partnering with a financial adviser to assess your needs will help ensure that you have the right amount of cover for you and your family.

“A financial adviser takes your current circumstances and needs into account and works with you to create a customised financial plan. Taking a proactive and holistic approach that incorporates expert advice will ensure long term piece of mind for you and your family,” explains Ferreira.

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