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How your 1Life policy covers you for COVID-19

8 February 2021
4 minute read

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A year ago, we hadn’t heard of COVID-19 and coronavirus. Sadly, this serious illness has caused the death of over 40 000 South Africans over the past 12 months.  Your insurance can protect you against some of the financial effects of the virus. We look at the different 1Life policies and explain how you might be covered.

1Life life insurance policies
COVID-19 is an infectious disease, so death from the virus is classified as a natural cause of death. If your 1Life life insurance policy (1Life Pure Life Cover, 1Life Pure Life Plus or 1Life Pulse Life Cover) covers you for natural death, you are covered if death is caused by the virus or complications arising from the virus.

If your policy only covers you for accidental death, death as a result of COVID-19 is not covered and claims won’t be paid.

Your policy schedule will show what you are covered for. If you are unsure, ask your financial adviser or call us. Remember that if you haven’t had an HIV test for your policy, you may only be covered for death due to accidental causes.

1Life funeral cover policies
Your 1Life funeral cover policy (1Life Funeral Cover or 1Life Essential Funeral Plan) covers you for death due to natural causes after a policy has been in force for six consecutive months. If you pass away from COVID-19 after this waiting period is complete, you will be covered for death caused by the virus and valid claims will be paid. If the waiting period is not complete you are covered for death caused by accidents only, such as a car accident, and won’t be covered for COVID-19 deaths.

If you’re covered for natural death, you’re covered for COVID

1Life Disability Insurance
There are two types of disability cover:

Occupation based disability policies
These cover you when you can no longer work in your own occupation, or a similar suited occupation as a result of a total and permanent disability. For example, if a policyholder was, say, a painter, who used their hands to work, and their hands were amputated, they would no longer be able to earn a living as a painter, or any similar suited occupation.

COVID-19, although serious, is unlikely to prevent you from performing your occupation. However, it can happen, in rare circumstances, that complications from the illness could cause a disability that results in you being unable to work in your own occupation, or a similar suited occupation. For example, if a teacher was ventilated while ill with the virus and suffered permanent damage to their vocal cords to the extent that they could no longer speak, they wouldn’t be able to teach. In this case a valid disability claim would be paid. 

Event based disability policies
These cover you when an event happens, such as losing your sight.

Because COVID-19 is an infection, it is not classified as an event, so a claim on a disability policy only because of a COVID-19 infection won’t be paid. Again, if a complication as a result of COVID-19 causes an event, for example you lose sight in one eye, a valid claim may be paid.

1Life Dread Disease Cover
COVID-19 is an infection and is an acute illness, it is not classified as a dread disease. This means dread disease policies don’t cover COVID-19 infections.

However, if a dread disease is a result of a COVID-19 complication, a valid claim may be paid. For example, you are seriously ill with COVID-19 and suffer kidney failure or a stroke as a result of the coronavirus infection. Our policy book has a list of all the dread diseases for which you can claim.

1Life Expense Protector
These policies offer cover that replaces income if you cannot earn because of a serious illness. If you have COVID-19 and are unable to work or earn an income you can submit a claim on your policy and valid claims will be paid.

However, you must have been medically tested with recognised tests and show a positive COVID-19 result, and you need to meet the policy terms and conditions. You also need to have completed any waiting periods and the deferment period, which is the time between an event and claim, for example three months from the time of becoming ill and claiming. Your deferment period will be noted on your policy schedule and document.

Find out more
Read more on our website on COVID-19 and your 1Life policy.

Valid claims
A valid claim is one where all the policy terms and conditions apply and have been met. For example:

  • No exclusions apply
  • You aren’t involved in criminal activity
  • You don’t deliberately harm yourself
  • Your premiums are up to date
  • There is full disclosure

Constantly updating
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning not only how it affects the body and how to treat it, but also the short and long-term effects of the disease. At 1Life, we regularly review all the information available to make sure we give you the most appropriate and affordable cover on your 1Life policies. You are welcome to contact us if you have any questions.

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