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What is dread disease cover and how does it work

4 November 2022
6 minute read
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Dread disease cover, also known as critical illness cover, is a type of insurance that provides financial support if you are diagnosed with a dread disease.

How does dread disease cover work?

A dread disease policy pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specific illness, such as cancer or a stroke, as defined in your policy schedule and the policy book. This lump sum payment can help cover the costs of treatment, medical bills, and other expenses not covered by your medical aid. Without dread disease cover, you could face significant financial risks if you are diagnosed with a dread disease. Dread disease cover can provide the finances you need during a difficult time, allowing you to focus on your recovery and wellbeing.

What is a dread disease?

1Life Dread Disease Cover policies cover conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and multiple sclerosis. Other illnesses that may be covered include Parkinson's disease, kidney failure, and organ transplants. The illnesses are listed in the 1Life Policy Book. It's important to carefully review the policy wording to understand what illnesses and diseases are covered, as well as any exclusions or limitations that may apply.

Why is dread disease cover important?

You might be wondering ‘why do I need dread disease cover?’. The reality is that critical illnesses can strike anyone at any time, regardless of age or health. The financial impact of a critical illness can be significant, from medical bills to lost income and other related expenses. That’s where dread disease benefits come in.

Having dread disease cover in place can provide a safety net, helping to ease the financial burden of serious illnesses and allowing you to focus on your recovery. In addition, dread disease cover can offer peace of mind, as you know that you have financial protection in place if the worst happens. So while it's impossible to predict what the future holds, having dread disease cover can help you be prepared for whatever life throws your way.

1Life Dread Disease Cover offers more than just financial protection against critical illness. With the Guaranteed Assurability benefit you can increase your sum assured with no underwriting, apart from a new negative HIV test, every three years on the anniversary of your policy or after you get married, have or adopt a child, buy a home or start a business. Plus no waiting periods apply to your policy* and your premiums are fixed for 12 months! (*Ts & Cs and limits may apply)

How does dread disease cover differ from disability cover?

Dread disease cover and disability cover both offer financial protection against illness and accidents, but they are two very different types of cover. Dread disease cover pays a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a dread disease, whereas disability insurance pays out if you are disabled by accident or illness. You can choose between:

  • Occupation-based Disability Cover which pays out a lump sum if the policyholder becomes totally and permanently disabled and can't perform their regular job or any other job based on their education, training, and experience
  • Event-based Disability Cover which pays a percentage of the sum assured according to specific criteria described in the policy schedule or policy book, for example the loss of a limb, blindness or deafness. Be sure to review policy terms carefully to determine which policy benefits are most suitable for your needs.

How do dread disease claims work?

To make a claim you need to complete the required forms which can be submitted via fax or email. Contact our claims department on 0860 10 51 96 to get started.

There are important time limits that apply to making claims:

  • Any event that may result in a claim on a disability or dread disease benefit must be reported to 1Life Insurance within 3 months of it happening.
  • Initial claims documentation must be sent to 1Life Insurance within 3 months of the claims team being notified of this event
  • Any additional documents needed to process the claim must be sent to 1Life Insurance within 3 months.

Top tips: While 1Life Dread Disease Cover does not have any waiting periods it does have a survival period of at least 28 days. This means that if death occurs as a result of the dread disease within 28 days of the diagnosis date, the claim will not be approved.

Important dread disease policy conditions

You must inform 1Life Insurance if you leave the country for more than 14 days, start smoking, engage in a hazardous pursuit or change your occupation. If you do not inform us of these changes any claims you make might be reduced or rejected. You should also check your policy book and policy schedule for any general or specific exclusions that might apply to your policy.

In conclusion, dread disease cover can provide critical financial support as well as peace of mind if you are diagnosed with a critical illness.

Chat to our team about a 1Life Dread Disease Cover quote. You get a tax-free lump sum pay-out of up to R4 million with 1 call and no medical exams, just an HIV test.

While no waiting periods apply to your policy there is a survival period that means the lump sum will only be paid if the assured survives for at least 28 days from the date of diagnosis.

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.

We answer your questions about our products and services!

What specific illnesses are covered under dread disease insurance?

The 1Life Insurance dread disease cover, covers illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular and heart disease, strokes and organ failure as well as a range of neurological and gastroenterological conditions. Each dread disease policy will have full details of all the diseases covered. Ensure that you understand the specific definitions for these conditions as laid out in your policy book.

Can dread disease cover be customized to include additional illnesses not listed in the standard policy?

Generally no. But contact 1Life Insurance to discuss the options availiable to you.

Is dread disease cover suitable for all ages, or are there age restrictions?

You have to be between the ages of 18 and 59 to purchase 1Life Disability Insurance.

What happens if I am diagnosed with a dread disease that is not specified in my policy?

It’s essential to review your policy documents carefully to understand which diseases are covered and any exclusions. If you have specific concerns about a particular illness,contact 1Life Insurance to discuss what options are availiable to you.

How does the Guaranteed Assurability benefit work, and are there any conditions for its application?

Guaranteed Assurability may be increased by 25% of the original sum insured amount, up to a maximum of two times (double) the originally insured amount or the maximum sum assured at the time – whichever is the lower on every third policy anniversary or predefined event with no further medical underwriting, other than a negative HIV test.

*Subject to financial underwriting and qualifying criteria to be met.

Such an option may only be exercised every 3 years on the anniversary date of the policy or after a significant event such as:

  • Marriage: When you tie the knot.
  • Childbirth or Adoption: Welcoming a new family member.
  • Home Purchase: Becoming a homeowner.
  • Business Ventures: Starting or increasing your interest in a business.

Can dread disease cover be combined with other insurance policies for comprehensive protection?

Yes. With the 1Life Elevated Pure Life cover. This is flexible comprehensive life cover. You can get life and disability cover up to R10 million each and dread disease cover up to R4 million. You can also choose to take up only one benefit or take out cover on several benefits, as long as you stay within the minimum and maximum cover ranges.

What factors influence the premium costs of dread disease cover?

Your premium is based on your specific risk profile, including:

  • Age – younger people pay a lower premium because they are less likely to be diagnosed with a dread disease.
  • Health – we take into account any current health conditions or a history of illness, that might mean you are more at risk of a critical illness.
  • Lifestyle – if you smoke, for example, your risk of developing a smoking-related illness is higher, which means that your premiums might be higher too.

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