Unvaccinated South Africans could be charged more for insurance: Discovery Life

 ·30 Jul 2021

Discovery Life says that being vaccinated against Covid-19 is now an additional consideration in determining life insurance premiums and benefits for new clients.

“Clients with new polices who indicate that they are unwilling to be vaccinated may, unfortunately, be subject to higher premiums due to the increased risk,” said chief executive of Discovery Life Riaan van Reenen.

“Refusal to be vaccinated is treated similarly to smoking or lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, which receive a higher premium. This premium may be adjusted should an unvaccinated client later decide to get vaccinated.

“Covid-19 has touched every facet of our society, and we have received claims from clients of all profiles. However, clear trends have emerged over the last year. These relate to gender, age, lifestyle choices, co-morbidities and occupation, which influence the number and severity of Covid-19 claims.”

Van Reenen said that Covid-19 adds significant risk to the health of life insurance clients across all age groups.

Mortality rates also rise far above the average population mortality rates once a client has tested positive for Covid-19.

“Our research reveals that middle-aged clients have the highest relative increase in mortality risk once becoming infected with Covid-19.

“The relative mortality risk is highest for people in their mid-40s, emphasising that the risks caused by contracting Covid-19 cannot be ignored in any age group,” van Reenen said.

Data is clear

Healthy behaviours are proven to lower a client’s risk. A healthier client exhibits lower mortality, morbidity and lapse rates, he said.

“Our internal data suggests that an average 75-year-old who is fully vaccinated has a similar risk of dying from Covid-19 to a typical 40-year-old who has not been vaccinated.”

“Vaccinations are also extremely effective in preventing hospitalisations. A recent study showed that even if only 8% of a population does not get fully vaccinated, that 8% is expected to experience more hospitalisations than the other 92%.

“This follows from the fact that fully vaccinated individuals experience a 94% lower real rate of admission than those who are not vaccinated.”

Research data further shows that people infected with the Delta Covid-19 variants have a 95% lower risk of being hospitalised after having both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with significant benefits even after a single dose.

This research also reveals that clients have a 47% lower risk of contracting Covid-19 three weeks after taking their first dose of the Pfizer vaccination.

Read: Most South Africans don’t want a Covid shot, many rely on prayer

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