Statistics from the Affiliation for Financial savings and Funding South Africa (Asisa) present that the life insurance coverage trade has retained a robust monetary place, with property held amounting to R3.51 trillion on the finish of June.
That is regardless of extreme market volatility and a steep improve in the price of residing over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Asisa says trade liabilities reached R3.18 trillion which left it with R335.8 billion price of free property.
It notes that that is the primary time since 2020 that the trade’s collective reserve is greater than double the solvency capital requirement (SCR) customary.
Hennie de Villiers, deputy chair of the Asisa Life and Threat Board Committee, says policyholders and beneficiaries obtained claims and profit funds price R270.2 billion from South African life insurers within the first half of 2022. That is in comparison with R315.4 billion paid within the prior comparative interval.
Nevertheless, Asisa notes that the cruel financial realities imposed on South African shoppers discouraged them from appreciating the worth of long-term danger safety together with life and incapacity cowl, in the course of the first half of the 12 months.
“The Asisa long-term insurance coverage statistics present that in stark distinction to the identical interval final 12 months, shoppers not solely purchased fewer danger insurance policies within the first six months of this 12 months, but additionally lapsed a better variety of insurance policies,” it provides.
The affiliation notes that in 2021, the trade recorded a major improve in new danger insurance policies purchased within the first half of the 12 months, with decrease lapses.
De Villiers says shoppers have needed to soak up unprecedented gasoline and meals value hikes, and rising rates of interest in the course of the first six months of the 12 months.
Coupled to that, he provides, many South Africans between the ages of 25 and 34 who’re unemployed, are prone to be reluctant to decide to month-to-month premium funds whereas residing prices are at an all-time excessive.
“South Africans on this age group are supposed to be economically energetic and underneath regular circumstances be involved with shopping for danger cowl to supply monetary safety to their rising households in addition to cowl credit score purchases corresponding to mortgage bonds.”
He says credit score life insurance policies failed to realize significant development within the first half of 2022, which reveals that buyers had been struggling to entry credit score or apply higher restraint when shopping for on credit score.
De Villiers says there have been 34.4 million actively recurring premium danger insurance policies, which embrace credit score life insurance policies, at first of 2022. Nevertheless, whereas shoppers purchased 4.4 million new danger insurance policies within the first six months, 4.3 million danger insurance policies lapsed. He notes that 199 023 claims towards insurance policies had been submitted, which resulted in a 0.1% marginal drop on the finish of June.
De Villiers signifies that there was one other marginal decline within the variety of particular person recurring premium financial savings insurance policies from 5.75 million at first of the 12 months to five.71 million on the finish of June.
“Of explicit concern is the excessive variety of coverage surrenders. Whereas 293 423 new polices had been offered in the course of the six-month interval to the tip of June 2022, 319 318 insurance policies had been surrendered,” he provides.
“This isn’t shocking since shoppers are much more prone to give up their financial savings insurance policies throughout powerful instances to entry their financial savings to deal with monetary hardship.”
De Villiers says shoppers ought to take into account long-term danger safety as a useful monetary asset.
“In case you are struggling to make ends meet the temptation to let go of your life and/or incapacity cowl may be overwhelming.
“However earlier than you do, weigh up the expense of your month-to-month premium towards the dire monetary affect the lack of your earnings might have on your loved ones,” he provides.
“Moderately converse to your monetary advisor or insurer first if you’re struggling to maintain up with premium funds.”
Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.