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How Terminal Illness Can Affect Your Life Insurance
How Terminal Illness Can Affect Your Life Insurance
22 Aug 2019

By the end of this year, 115 000 South Africans will be diagnosed with cancer. Falling terminally ill is something that no one expects will happen to them, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Should you be diagnosed today will your loved one’s financial future be protected? What happens when you have been diagnosed after taking out life cover?  We help break down what it means for you and your policy. 

What is terminal illness?

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be life-changing. It could also drastically affect your finances if you do not have medical aid or life cover. Some of the terminal illnesses are stage four cancer, heart disease, aids, or motor neuron disease. What this means is that you are likely to pass within a year. Your doctor will give you a prognosis which will forecast the probable course and outcome of the disease, along with the chances of you making a full recovery.

What happens if I find out that I have a terminal illness after taking out a policy?

Having a policy in place is how you can financially protect you and your loved ones from the cost of having a terminal illness. You have the choice to have 50% to 100% of the cover amount paid out immediately. This can be used to pay for medication, operations, any debt you might have, or daily expenses. It’s a safety net to help you deal with the expenses that you may face during this time. It can give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to focus on the financial burden, but you can focus on the next step.

Can I apply for a policy if I am terminally ill?

Life insurance is all about giving you a safety net while you are still healthy and alive to protect your loved ones when you fall terminally ill or pass on. One of the main things that determine if you will be approved or not is your health. Therefore, being terminally ill can cause your application to be denied. The reason for this is that you are a risk for an insurer as you will pass on within a year.

What if my condition improves and I am no longer going to pass within a year?

There are cases where people have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and their conditioned improved. According to the CANSA association, 6 out of 10 people will survive cancer. However, this differs based on your diagnosis. Signs of your condition improving mean that you can still be covered by your insurer if you have not taken out 100% of your cover amount. If you have taken out 100% of the cover amount this means your cover will end and you will have to start a new one when your condition has improved. You may have to prove that your condition has indeed improved through your medical history.

While falling terminally ill may not be on your cards, it is important to have cover that will provide a safety net that will cover you and your loved ones.


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Terms and conditions apply. Eligibility, cover and benefits are determined on individual risk profile. MiWayLife is an authorised FSP (No. 45741) and its product offering is underwritten by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a registered long-term insurer. MiWayLife is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited - Reg No. 1998/021121/06