So, you’ve decided it’s time to start adulting, and becoming financially responsible is probably step #1, right? There’s a lot of advice out there: Save. Give to charity. Don’t incur debt. Invest. Insure. Get life insurance… With so many options available today, it's hard to know what's best.
One of the top reasons people do not have life insurance is uncertainty about how much life insurance to purchase. Plus, with multiple life insurance companies to choose from, how do you know what is the best life policy in South Africa for your specific needs?
What is life insurance?
On the death of an insured party, a life insurance company will pay out a specified amount or the sum assured, if the premiums have remained up to date throughout the lifetime of the policy.
When you have loved ones who depend on your income, you need the right financial plan, including life insurance. The right life insurance amount can pay off your debts, and make managing day-to-day living expenses easier for your loved ones when you've passed on. But how can you tell if a life insurance policy is right for you?
How much life insurance do I need?
Your financial and family circumstances will determine how much cover you should have. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your premiums will be, so it's a good idea to start young.
The rule of thumb is to get a policy with a death benefit equal to ten times your annual salary. Depending on your circumstances, family and financial goals, you may need more or less.
The pay-out on your policy should be large enough to replace your income. A financial adviser could help you determine the right amount for your needs or you can get an online quote.
It's also a good idea to have enough life insurance to cover your debts plus any interest, especially if you have a home loan, vehicle finance or other debts. This will save your loved ones a world of administrative hassles, and financial strain when you pass on.
In most cases, people underestimate how much life insurance they need. They tend to think only of how much would be needed to repay their major debt. In addition, they should consider how much more they would need to help a spouse or partner pay bills, support children, pay for college or university, and cover other long-term costs.
How to find the best life cover
South Africa is home to world-class life insurance companies, many of which are underwritten by major international reinsurers. Work through a trusted broker, and a reputable insurance company, to find the best cover for you and your family. Use this checklist when you research providers and policies:
- How do policy premiums and the sum assured compare to other providers
- What benefits are included such as terminal illness benefit that pays out your cover amount if you are diagnosed with, for example, cancer or heart disease, and have less than 12 months to live
- How does the company rate on sites like Hello Peter
- Can I manage my policy online or via WhatsApp
- How easy is the claims process
- Can I increase my sum assured and will additional underwriting be required when I do so
Lastly, you should check that the provider is authorised by the Financial Services Council of South Africa.
Choose 1Life for the best life cover
1Life Insurance is a firm favourite in South Africa with many awards to its name. As SA’s #1 Direct Life Insurer for 11 years running*, we offer affordable and convenient products for every life stage, including discounted combo life and funeral cover policies. You can buy comprehensive cover online and manage your policies via an online policyholder portal or WhatsApp. (Link to: 0860 10 53 40)
Did you know? 1Life’s Guaranteed Assurability benefit allows you to increase your cover when your life changes – for example if you get married or have children – as well as on every third policy anniversary. Most importantly, it means you can increase your cover, by a certain percentage, without any additional underwriting!
*Based on Swiss Re Reports 2010-2021.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of 1Life Insurance or its employees.