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FAQ - Life Insurance

A life insurance policy is there to make sure that a family has financial protection when the breadwinner passes away. When you take out a life cover policy, you pay a premium every month and, in the event of the life assured’s death, 1Life pays your beneficiaries, for example your family or other dependants, a lump sum.

Your family can use your life insurance pay-out to survive the loss of your income and provide them with the financial protection they need to live the life you’ve always planned for them. A lump sum pay-out can be used to cover daily living expenses, medical bills and school fees, or to pay off debts, like your house or cars. Your family can also use your pay-out to start building generational wealth by saving and investing for their future and their children’s future.

Pure life cover is life insurance that pays out a lump sum in the event of the death of the life assured and does not have a savings account attached to the policy like the old-style universal lifestyle policies.

Generational wealth is family assets like money or property that is passed from one generation to the next. Each generation not only benefits from generational wealth but also grows it and passes it on to the next generation. This blog explains generational wealth in more detail and discusses why it is so important, not only for you, your children and theirs, but for the whole country.

Defining generational wealth is easy, building it requires planning and dedication! You should focus on saving and investing wisely, paying off the bond on a home that you can leave to your children, starting a side hustle to generate extra income for future generations and of course ensuring that you have sufficient life cover. Follow the link for more advice on the best way to build generational wealth.

There are a few key differences between life insurance and funeral insurance.

  • Life insurance
    • You take out life insurance on your own life, to secure the financial wellbeing of your loved ones in the event of your death
    • The life insurer issues a payment to your nominated beneficiary
    • Life insurance can take longer to pay out than funeral cover because documentation needs to be collected from various sources in order to process a claim.
  • Funeral cover
    • Funeral cover insures you and your immediate or extended family on the same policy and pays out when a death occurs and funeral and other services need to be arranged
    • The life insurer issues a payment to your nominated beneficiary on your death, which they can use to cover funeral expenses if they want.

Anyone who has people who rely on them for financial support needs the protection and peace of mind of life insurance. If your income supports a spouse, children or extended family and elderly parents, and they would not be able to support themselves if you passed away, then you need a life cover policy. Your life insurance pay-out will make sure that your loved ones can meet their monthly living expenses, repay debt, pay off the bond on the family home or cover school fees and medical bills.

You might think life insurance cover is for older people, but even young, healthy people need life insurance if they have a spouse, partner, family or other people depending on them. You never know what the future holds, and if you were to pass away at a young age, your dependants would need education, food, medical care and shelter for many years. Remember that life insurance is cheaper when you are younger as you are less likely to have existing medical conditions, so the sooner you start the better.

If you already have a life insurance policy, it's a good idea to review it regularly to make sure it still meets your needs, and that your beneficiary/ies and other information are up to date. If you say yes to any of the following scenarios, it might be time to sit down again and review your policy:

  • Are you recently married or divorced
  • Do you have a child or grandchild who was recently born or adopted
  • Do you provide care or financial help to a child or parent
  • Have you recently purchased a new home
  • Have you recently started a business
  • Have you recently taken on more debt

Some companies pay death in service benefit if you die while you are still employed. The details will be in your contract, so you can check if the amount is adequate. If not, you should consider topping it up with separate life insurance.

The amount of life insurance cover you need depends on your individual circumstances - your life stage, your income, the future needs of your dependants, and of course affordability. Use this life insurance calculator to work out how much cover you need or how much cover you qualify for.

Your premium is based on your specific risk profile (each client is different) and this will have an impact on how much you will pay. The factors that will affect your risk profile are:

  • Age – younger individuals will pay a lower premium, due to the decreased likelihood of dying from natural causes at a young age
  • Gender – the premiums are slightly lower on average for women, as statistics have proven that there is an increased likelihood that they live at least 6 years longer than men
  • Health – if you have a current health condition or a history of illness, the likelihood of death increases and the risk is much higher compared to someone who is healthy
  • Lifestyle – if you participate in dangerous sports, such as regular sky diving, the risk of injury is higher and this would have an effect on your premium.

Dealing directly with a life insurer, means that you do not pay any broker fees. This could mean a significant cost saving to you on your monthly premium. Direct insurers also offer quick and convenient service. There are no complicated processes or forms to fill in when you insure direct.

1Life has made it easy to get life insurance - no paperwork, no frills and no brokers, just straightforward life insurance on the phone, online or using your cell phone within minutes!

We won't waste your precious time with fancy presentations designed to confuse you, or time wasting medical exams, but 1Life will save you time and money.

1Life were the first to make life insurance accessible by phone and the first to let you buy life insurance online. And now we've introduced another first. You can buy your life insurance using your cell phone. Moreover, because you deal directly with us, you can save on broker fees.

You can also view or make changes to your policy using your cell phone, which means that you are always aware of your life insurance cover.

1Life does not require you to undergo a medical examination. However, we will arrange for you to go for an HIV test. Our innovative HIV saliva testing procedure means that you do not have to go for a blood test.

Your policy may be referred to an underwriter or quality assurer to assess whether to issue the policy and at what premium rate. To qualify for certain cover types, the life assured will be required to go for an HIV test.

1Life reserves the right to require the life assured to undergo certain/specific medical tests as may be deemed necessary to ensure correct risk is covered. The costs of such medical tests shall be borne by the life assured.

You can do your HIV test via blood test at any Clicks Pharmacy.

1Life will help you to find the closest laboratory or pharmacy in your area, to enable you to complete the test. Visit our Find a Lab or Pharmacy page for more information.

There is no cost to you to complete this test.

You have to be between the ages of 18 and 64 to purchase 1Life Pure Life Cover.

1Life offer a maximum sum assured of R10 million. You can also be insured at other institutions, however you must be careful of over-insurance as 1Life will aggregate your insurance against cover you already have to ensure you have the right cover.

DebiCheck is a new way you control how certain debit orders are taken out of your bank account. You confirm this once, at the start of the contract. This is done to inform your bank that you give permission for the money to be taken from your account. Find out more here.

A life insurance policy from 1Life covers you for accidental death, death due to natural causes as well as suicide.

Yes there are certain waiting periods that apply. From the start of your policy, you are covered for accidental death. The waiting period for natural death claims are covered in the policy schedule that you receive once you take out life insurance with 1Life. There is also a two-year waiting period for suicide.

No, your 1Life life insurance policy does not have a cash value or any amount you can borrow against.

Increasing my life cover

Cover may be increased to the maximum amount that you qualify for at any time once the policy has been issued. Further medical underwriting and an HIV test may be required. Your premium will be adjusted according to the new sum requested and the additional cover will start on receipt of the new premium.

Guaranteed Assurability benefit

On pure life cover, the amount of life cover may be increased by 25% of the original insured amount, up to a maximum of 2 times (double) the amount originally insured or up to the 1Life maximum insurable amount at the time – whichever is the lower. This is without the need for any further medical underwriting, other than providing a new negative HIV test for the life assured.

This benefit option may only be exercised every 3 (three) years on the anniversary date of the policy or after a significant event has occurred as described below:

  • The marriage of the life assured
  • A child being born to or legally adopted by the life assured
  • The life assured's purchase of a home
  • The life assured entering into a business or taking an increased interest in an existing business

1Life requires that you inform us if you intend on leaving the country, whether for business, pleasure or permanently, before you leave to determine if we are able to continue cover. If you fail to notify us and a claim arises, 1Life may reduce or reject a claim.

If any of your habits change, for example you start smoking, you change your career, or even take up a hazardous pursuit such as skydiving, you should inform 1Life of such change. These changes could affect your risk profile and failure to inform us of these changes could result in your claim being declined or a lesser amount being paid out at claim stage.

When you signed up for your policy you chose one of two different types of premium increases:

Inflation aligned
The last six months' inflation rate is used to determine cover amount and premium increases.

On each anniversary of your policy, your sum assured will increase based on the last 6 months' inflation and your premium will increase based on the last 6 months' inflation plus 3%. After two years, there will be ongoing reviews of your premiums. The premium for any additional cover taken out will be increased pro rata after 1 year, in line with your initial commencement date.

Fixed sum assured
The cover amount remains the same but the premium increases by 5% annually.

On each anniversary of your policy, your premium will increase by 5% while your sum assured will remain level. After two years, there will be ongoing reviews of your premiums and any additional cover taken out will be increased pro rata after 1 year. The premium for any additional cover taken out will be increased pro rata after 1 year, in line with your initial commencement date.

Failing to pay a premium may mean that you will not be covered for the specific month. It is important to contact your life insurer to make alternative arrangements. The policy may lapse if more than one premium is not paid.

When you take out your 1Life Pure Life Cover policy you can choose between two different types of premium increases:

Inflation aligned
Your sum assured will increase in line with the last 6 months' inflation rate and your premium will increase in line with the last 6 months' inflation rate plus 3%. After two years there will be ongoing reviews of your premiums, and these may need to be adjusted. The premium for any additional cover taken out will be increased pro rata after 1 year, in line with your initial commencement date.

Fixed sum assured
On the anniversary of your policy, and annually thereafter, your premium will increase by a compulsory 5%. After two years there will be ongoing reviews of your premiums, and these may need to be adjusted. The premium for any additional cover taken out will be increased pro rata after 1 year, in line with your initial commencement date.

1Life provides individual insurance cover, which means that you take out cover to insure your own life, in order to provide financial protection for your loved ones in the event of your death.

You can however get your family members covered by 1Life through separate policies, and pay the premium from the same bank account.

If you become terminally ill, and your life expectancy is less than 12 months, your entire cover amount will be paid out.

What is more precious than the memories and moments we create with family and friends? Download the ForKeeps app and create a Digital Forever Album that celebrates all of your life’s greatest occasions, from the birth of a child to your 50th wedding anniversary. Create a gift your loved ones will treasure and keep your memory alive for years to come!

You can also use the app to record a voice or video message for your loved ones and decide when you would like it delivered to them.

Download ForKeeps to start creating your legacy!

A beneficiary is the person nominated to receive the pay-out in the event of your death. 1Life allows you to nominate up to 10 (ten) beneficiaries on your policy. You can allocate a percentage of the cover amount to each beneficiary. The percentages you allocate to each beneficiary must equal 100% of the total cover amount.

If you do not nominate a beneficiary, 1Life will pay the cover amount into your estate. It can take a long time to settle an estate, which could mean that the dependants left behind will not have access to this money until the estate is settled. It is important to ensure that you have a will in place, which would assist with the settlement of the estate. This could speed up the process. 1Life always encourages our clients to nominate a beneficiary on their policies.

In the event of a claim being paid out to a minor beneficiary (under the age of 18 years) the following will apply:

  • The claim will be paid into a trust, set up in the name of the minor beneficiary
  • The responsibility for setting up the trust lies with the family of the beneficiary. (This process may take some time, thus it is advisable that the life assured sets up this trust when nominating minor beneficiaries)
  • The trust will then specify how and when the money will be transferred to the beneficiary
  • If a trust has not been set up, the unpaid benefits will be transferred to the Guardian’s Fund 1Life will always aim to act in the best interest of the minor beneficiary while staying true to the life assureds' request.

The Guardian’s Fund is run by the Master of the High Court and administers funds on behalf of minors, people incapable of taking care of themselves, unborn heirs etc. In the absence of a trust fund, life insurance claims that should be paid to minors will be paid into the Guardian’s Fund.

Yes you can change your beneficiary or even add beneficiaries. Just call Client Services on 0860 10 51 94 to amend your policy.

If you need to lodge a claim with 1Life, the following procedure would need to be followed:

  • Call the claims department on 0860 10 51 96, where one of our dedicated claim consultants will assist
  • The claims consultant will provide you with the initial documentation required to process the claim
  • Completed forms need to be sent back to 1Life via one of the following:
    • Fax: 0860 10 51 97
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Postal address: PO Box 11250, Johannesburg, 2000

It is important to take note of the following time limits regarding claims:

  • We are to be notified of an event that may result in a claim for death within 6 months of its occurrence
  • The initial claim documentation must be sent to us within 3 months of 1Life being notified of the event
  • Any additional documents required in order to process the claim need to be forwarded to us within 3 months of us requesting them.

Additional documentation may be required specific to each claim. This will be communicated to the claimant(s) during the process of assessing the claim. Once 1Life have received all of the necessary documentation needed to assess the claim, a claim may be paid out within 10 working days.

A claim will be rejected if the life assured:

  • Withholds information from 1Life at any stage.
  • Dies by his/her own hand within 24 months of the commencement date (suicide).
  • Derives income from a criminal act, including fraud.
  • Participates in criminal activity or wilfully breaks the law.
  • Dies as a result of the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs or radioactivity and nuclear explosions.

Other exclusions – or conditions under which claims might be rejected – will also be listed in the policy schedule that is issued to you when you purchase your policy.

Read this blog to learn more about why life insurance claims are rejected.

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