03 August 2011

Serious illness cover critical for men

With 100 000 South Africans affected by cancer each year, the purchasing of serious illness insurance is a critical life investment decision.

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world and men are more likely to die of cancer than women.

These statistics, highlighted in a recent US study, which states that it is difficult to say what caused this gender gap between the 36 different types of cancer, but offered the different behavior of tumours as well as differences in the regularity of medical examinations as reasons for this.

The World Health Organisation estimates that globally 84 million people will die of cancer between within the next ten years without intervention. With 100 000 South Africans affected by this disease each year, the purchasing of serious illness insurance is a critical life investment decision.

“The 1st of August marks the start of Cancer Week in South Africa and although August is usually a month reserved for a focus on women, we believe that in light of the new research it is a good time for men to think about financial protection in the event of serious illness,” says Lenerd Louw, CEO of

“Don’t wait until it is too late to be insured.” He adds. “It is relatively cheap and straightforward and can offer you financial comfort in a very difficult time. It’s a painful truth, but statistically one in six South African men will get cancer during their lives.”

Louw continues, “Many people have some type of medical aid insurance to cover them for treatment in a hospital but most don’t think about all the other things they need to look after, if you get seriously ill you may not be working and therefore won’t have any money coming in.”

“Serious Illness cover will give you extra money to make life more comfortable if you need it, because being seriously ill is not cheap.”

Lump sum amount

Louw explains: “The benefit of this type of cover is more easily understood when you think about what it doesn't do. Serious Illness Cover is not designed to cater for the medical costs associated with an illness (that is the responsibility of a medical aid), or for lost income resulting from the illness (where Salary Protection would be more appropriate). Instead, it offers compensation for the other financial and non-financial impacts of an illness, by giving you cash in the form of a lump sum amount.”

“The reality is that the financial consequences of suffering from a serious illness can create a serious financial inconvenience and can easily be avoided by simple cover. This will allow you to protect your future earnings if you were unable to work or earn an income.”

“Many people don’t consider a serious illness policy, either because they believe it won’t happen to them or they believe that insurers won’t pay out in the event of a serious illness.” Louw advises, “Check your policy features on serious illness insurance and ensure that you are covered for any prevalent conditions and know what you are covered for because it is no good if it doesn’t pay when you need it most.”


If the statistics aren’t enough to get you to make the move, highlighted below are some major benefits to getting the cover.

  • You can enjoy the benefits of serious illness cover while you are alive.
  • Gives you a lump sum payout
  • You can use the money for anything you want
  • Covers you for the big four (Cancer, stroke, heart attack and open-heart surgery)
  • It is over and above your medical aid


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