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5 questions about your life policy you're too afraid to ask

7 July 2023
5 minute read
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You’ve taken out your 1Life Insurance life policy and your family know they have financial security when you pass. But life cover is an official contract, and, as with all contracts, you’ve got a few questions on exactly how it works! We’ve got the answers to five frequently asked questions.

1. I didn’t go for my HIV test, what happens now?

The short answer: You can either go for your HIV test before the required date and, with a negative HIV test result, enjoy cover for death due to accidental and natural causes, or not go for your HIV test and be covered only for death due to accidental causes. You need to go for your HIV test within 3 months of policy commencement, otherwise your cover will drop to accidental death cover only. It is important to complete your HIV test when required as you may not qualify for the same benefits at a later stage (for example, if your health has changed)

Without cover for natural causes of death, your family can only claim when the death is accidental. The difference is important because more South Africans die from natural causes than accidental causes. For example, death due to natural causes includes death due to tuberculosis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, influenza, respiratory illnesses and COVID-19, to name a few. Many more South Africans die of these than of accidental causes such as transport accidents (as drivers, passengers and pedestrians) and violent assault (for example, gunshot and knife wounds). 

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Going for an HIV test is easy and you don’t have to travel far or encounter a needle if you don’t want to - a cheek saliva swab will do! You can book for a test at a Dis-Chem or Clicks or go to a Lancet laboratory. Visit our website or our WhatsApp service centre to find a location near you and book a test today. All you will need is your policy number or ID number and there is no cost to you!

2. I didn’t pay my premium, what now?

The short answer: Your policy will lapse (be cancelled) if you don’t pay your premiums on time. Which means you won’t have the cover your family needs to live on, should something happen to you. 

Your life policy is a contract between you and 1Life Insurance, and one of the things you need to do to ensure the contract remains in effect is pay premiums when they are due. If you miss a premium there is a grace period of 31 days (from when the payment was due) during which time you can make the payment, but if premiums are unpaid after that, your cover will be suspended and your policy may be cancelled. 

1Life has a number of ways you can make up missed payments. Read more about what happens if you miss a payment and how to catch up missed payments in this blog.

Top tip: If you are struggling to make payments or finding premiums too high for your budget we can look for ways to reduce your premium while still ensuring you and your family have cover. 

3. I am planning to go bungee jumping, am I still covered?

The short answer: Yes if it is a once off, no if you are planning on doing it on a more permanent basis, for example you will be bungee jumping once a month.

Firstly, enjoy it if you do bungee jump, and make sure the equipment is safe and the operator follows safety standards, and take a camera! 

Secondly, know that bungee jumping on a regular basis is classified by insurers as a dangerous or hazardous pursuit or hobby (you are jumping into mid air) and it may be excluded from cover. This means that if something happens and you die while bungee jumping, the claim will be declined.  

If you are planning on bungee jumping or doing any other dangerous activity on a regular basis, even if all safety protocols are followed, you must let 1Life Insurance know as we may need to update your policy, including the cover, premiums, as well as terms and conditions. 

4. I don’t think I disclosed all my health conditions, what do I do?

The short answer: Check with 1Life Insurance or your financial adviser to make sure you fully disclosed all health conditions at the time you applied for cover, or when you applied to increase cover or to add cover such as disability or dread disease.

Not disclosing all health conditions can mean a claim is declined. Non-disclosure can be unintentional, for example, you may have had an illness many years ago and forgotten to share the details when you were answering the other questions on your life cover application. However, health conditions are material information and may affect your cover, so they must, must, be disclosed. Make a note of the particular health condition or conditions you may have not disclosed and contact 1Life so we can check. 

If material information has not been disclosed we will need to reassess the application and your cover and/or premium may change. But, this will be better than having a claim declined due to non-disclosure! 

You can read more about non-disclosure in this blog.

5. I don’t understand how my premium increases work, please help!

The short answer: Your premiums may increase annually on your policy anniversary date, but the details (when, how often and how much) depend on your policy, when it was taken out and any premium increase options you selected.

Look at your policy schedule to find out which premium increases apply and when. You can view your policy schedule on our online policyholder portal, or our WhatsApp service centre. You can also ask your financial adviser for information or request a call me back and one of our skilled consultants will explain your premium increases. 

1Life Insurance will advise you of premium increases before they are due.

Got any more questions?

Let us or your financial adviser know if you are unsure of anything on your life cover policy. We can help you with any terms or clauses you don’t understand and explain what they mean, as well as how they affect your policy.

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