Life- and disability provision are so important, especially if you have dependants. It's wise to make provision before it could be too late. According to an Old Mutual seminar the number 1 risk factor and deaths are surprisingly not cancer and aids, but diabetes. A healthy lifestyle, which includes unprocessed foods and sufficient exercise, can help to prevent serious illnesses and improve life quality.

FA News 25/11/2010

Cancer, heart attack and trauma strike when you least expect

The life insurer provided a raft of interesting statistics for the period 1 July to 30 September 2010. In just three months the group paid out 708 claims totaling R349.966 million. The average payout for the period was R494 303 - though one claim ran to R21.929 million.

These statistics are collected from the assurance book. The insurer's typical policyholder is in the 36 to 40 age band and the entire book is skewed slightly toward male members, with 56% male versus 44% female. 79% of these policyholders are non-smokers.

Main causes of death

The bulk of the payouts awarded in the latest quarter - totaling R239.037 million - are for death claims. Cancer, Heart & Artery and Trauma events account for 71% of death claims by volume and approximately 82% by value! A worrying statistic is the increase in Suicide related claims between the second and third quarters this year. The group reports an increase from 2% of total claim volumes to 8%, with the rand payout for such claims soaring from R1.488 million to R23.941 million.

What struck me about the statistics was the average age of "victims" of the various death, dread disease and disability events. Under the Causes of Severe Illness Benefit claims section lists the average age of Cancer claimants as 47 years, the average age of Heart & Artery claimants at 49 years, and the average claim for Respiratory Diseases claimants at just 40 years. Across all claim types the average age spans between 40 and 50 years - with a couple of outliers in the mid-50s and late-30s. The lesson - if you're going to suffer an event it's likely to be in your 40s!

The value of life insurance

Why should you have life insurance? There are countless reasons, the main one being to ensure the financial wellbeing of your family and dependants should you die or suffer from an income limiting disease or disability.

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