What the statistics say about your health risks

2016-04-30 11:27

Liberty recently released its 2015 claim statistics, which make for interesting analysis.

As the largest individual risk player in South Africa, recording the largest volumes of new risk business for the past 12 years and having paid out more than R3.5 billion in claims last year, the company’s figures provide a realistic overview of our health risks based on age and gender.

If you are over the age of 34, cancer is the most likely reason you will be claiming on your insurance. The statistics here are sobering, with 25% of all claims across death, critical illness, loss of income and disability being the result of a cancer diagnosis.

Even for people under the age of 34 (the Young Achievers by Liberty segmentation), cancer is the second-highest reason for claims, accounting for more than 12% of claims across all benefit categories. Of these cancer claims, 75% were for critical illness and 20%
for death.

Statistically, a Young Achiever is more likely to claim for retrenchment – accounting for nearly 16% of claims from this age group – and is also more likely to end up in a car accident than older policyholders. In this age group, motor vehicle accidents accounted for just under 12% of claims, slightly less than cancer, but unlike cancer, 80% of these claims were for death.

The head of risk product development at Liberty, Nicholas van der Nest, says Liberty will be monitoring these figures closely to see if the use of Uber when going out at night has a positive effect on bringing down these claims.

As a Young Achiever becomes a parent to young children (Young Parent) around the age of 30, the risk of car accidents drops significantly, but cancer and heart attacks become the biggest risks.

According to Van der Nest, breast cancer in females is the biggest driver of this statistic, as 34% of claims from women in the Young Parent segment were for cancer, compared with 15% for men. Young fathers are more likely to claim for a heart attack, which makes up 20% of their claims.

Retrenchments drop to fourth place as a reason for claims in this age group, and do not even feature in the top five claims for older members, suggesting that once you have made it through your twenties, the risk of retrenchment falls significantly.

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