What to look at in female let insurance

By Opinion Time of article published Aug 24, 2020

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By Motshabi Nomvethe

Looking back three to four decades ago, women struggled to get recognition in society and very few participated in economic activity. While men had authority in society, women provided for the well-being of the family and depended on their partner for financial assistance.

Now, in the 20th century, women play a key role in economic development, are professionals in various industries while simultaneously seeing to the well-being of their families. Thus, a woman’s financial responsibility is growing, and they need to make sure that they are financially fully covered, especially in the event of falling ill or becoming incapacitated.

Breast cancer is a common cancer in women according to the Cancer Association of South Africa, hysterectomy is a frequently performed operation in the developed world. In South Africa, 26.1% of women have hypertension according to World Health Organisation and women are at a greater risk of developing depression. Astonishing, right! These are just some of the most prevalent illnesses that women are faced with for which they need time off to recuperate.

In 2019, PPS paid 43% of R620 million in sickness benefits to women and 39% of R541 million in Permanent Incapacity Benefits. From the sickness benefit paid out, 2% was pregnancy related. But an international study by the Life and Health Foundation for Education (LIFE) shows that women are still not adequately insured. This is supported by the current membership base at PPS that indicates that 60% are males and 40% females.

Making the right choice

If a member has dependants, they must have cover. A parent’s wish is to ensure that their children are fully protected until they become independent.

Thus, members should consider a sickness cover that protects their income up to 100% when they are seeking medical care.


On average, employees are allowed 30 days of sick leave per year. Now suppose one is diagnosed with an illness or need to undergo surgery, such as a hysterectomy, where recovery takes more than 30 days. During this time, members will receive no income if they remain ill for longer than 30 days. This will have a significant impact on their budget. Having the right sickness cover will ensure that members have the peace of mind because they are protected when they are unable to practice their occupation.

Also look out for a policy that will cover additional costs due to the members’ hospitalisation. Some covers may include occupational therapy and rehabilitation as an additional benefit to assist them to return to their usual professional duties where possible.


Being diagnosed with an illness such as cancer or even Covid-19 can affect an individual mentally. Whilst making the right cover choice, some claims will give members access to other benefits such as counselling.

Furthermore, should a member need to take time off work while their spouse or child is hospitalised, some covers may compensate the policyholder for time taken off. It also, provides cover for any additional non-medical costs due to the hospitalisation of a family member.

Whilst the member or dependant is in hospital or unable to drive, school transportation for their child and other essential goods and services can be taken care of through some claims.

It needs to be noted that the sickness cover is designed to replace or supplement a professional’s monthly income for up to two years when they become totally or partially unable to work at any time during their career due to sickness or injury. After the two years are completed, should the policyholder still be unable to attend to her usual professional duties, the Permanent Incapacity Benefit will kick in and will continue to provide an income until they are able to return to work, on death or retirement.

It is advisable for members to make the right policy choice and read the fine lines.

Motshabi Nomvethe is the Head of Technical Marketing at PPS


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