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Jargon Buster: What Does It Mean to Be High-Risk?
Jargon Buster: What Does It Mean to Be High-Risk?
04 Nov 2019

Being able to protect your family shouldn't mean being lost in a maze of jargon, terms, and conditions that leave you scratching your head or frustrated.

We bring you one step closer to understanding what it means to be a high-risk and how it will affect your policy.


What does it mean to be high-risk?

Taking out life cover can be essential to protecting your loved one's future. Insurers use the underwriting process to ensure that you and your loved ones are adequately covered, even when you are no longer around to do so. During this process, they will assess whether you are a high-risk, which means they will check if you are likely to place a claim in a short time due to your health, lifestyle, or occupation.

It's possible to find insurers that will provide you with a cover despite you being high-risk. There could be a loading that is added to your premiums, meaning you will pay more compared to a person who doesn’t have health, occupational hazards, or lifestyle issues.


What can cause you to be considered high-risk?

When taking out cover you will be asked an array of questions to help insurers see if the cover amount you are applying for will adequately cover your financial needs. It is vital to answer these questions truthfully to avoid being guilty of non-disclosure.


Things that are high-risk to insurers are:

Life threatening illnesses. If you are suffering from life-threatening life illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, or heart disease to list a few, you will be seen as a high-risk.

Lifestyle choices that put you at risk. This means partaking in lifestyle choices such as smoking, heavy drinking, if you are overweight, or participate in dangerous hobbies or sports that can increase your chances of severely injuring yourself or fatally wounding yourself.

Dangerous occupations. Anything that increases your chances of injuring or fatally wounding yourself is considered high risk. For example, a firefighter or construction worker is likely to be considered high risk compared to someone who works in an office since their chances of hurting themselves or dying at work increase.


Does that mean I will not be able to get cover?

Life cover differs from individual to individual. The same goes for insurers. While one insurer will not be able to cover you, it is possible to find an insurer that will. In some cases, people have control over what is considered to be a high risk i.e. a smoker can quit smoking, or you can change your lifestyle to one that is healthier.

However, in cases such as diseases, your insurer will look at your medical history and at how recent this has occurred to help them determine. Cancer patients who are in remission can get access to life insurance based on how long they have been in remission.  Various factors are at play, which is why it is vital to ask your insurer questions. 

You could also apply with another insurer if you are denied a cover. Remember to ask why you were denied cover to see if it is something that you can fix.



Need more information on MiWayLife? Read about our life insurance product, or get a life insurance quote in 30 seconds. Alternatively, call us on 0860 64 54 33 .
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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