JOHANNESBURG - Lodging a life insurance claim needn’t be an ordeal if you and your beneficiaries are aware of what is covered by your life policy and what isn’t, said Felix Kagura, the head of Long-Term Insurance Propositions at Standard Bank

“Too often clients don’t consider crucial aspects of what is covered by their insurance policies and are then surprised when they find out they may not be covered for certain events,” said Kagura.

“You need to pay particular attention to all the exclusions contained in the policy as well as the premium pattern over time; the language around beneficiaries and any possible waiting periods that may be stipulated.”

Exclusions, as contained in life insurance policies, detail possible claim events which may not be covered by a particular policy. This means that the insurer will not meet a claim that is made on such events. Examples of such exclusions include death due to events like war, civil unrest, epidemics, suicide and even the mere act of being out of your home country for a protracted time (usually more than three months).

“Most policies will not pay out if you willingly relocate to a territory that is in a state of declared war and possibly even if there is civil unrest taking place without advising your insurer in advance,” said Kagura. “If you’re planning to be in any foreign country for a significant period then the critical thing is that you declare it to your insurer.”

Kagura said national risk profiles were usually dependent on the country you may be visiting, with some African countries frequently having diverse risk profiles. It is therefore crucial that you find out what the exclusions are around the country you will be visiting. 

Supplied by Standard Bank