Disability Insurance (DI) in South Africa

Disability Insurance (or Disability Income Insurance / Income Protection), is a form of insurance cover that insures the beneficiary's earned income against the risk that a disability creates – a barrier for a worker to complete the core functions of their work.

Disability Insurance: Contributions towards car convertion available

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There are a lot of 'what ifs' in life. By taking out Disability Insurance (DI), you can make sure you have the answer to at least ONE of them – if you become physically disabled or unable to do your job, disability cover will give you a specified lump sum or monthly income, so that you can live comfortably, even if you can no longer work.  

Your health is priceless! Being able to work, gives us all the ability to earn an income, enjoy life and take care of our families.

A sudden and severe illness causing an occupational or physical disablement (or impairment), will jeopardise your financial position and lifestyle. Regardless if the injury or illness is temporary or permanent, Disability Insurance cover (or Income Protection cover) will ensure your financial security.

There are many options available when it comes to disability insurance and income protection plans.

These options may be confusing – and also time consuming to study the various disability insurance options.

In fact, we therefore recommend that the smartest thing you can do is -- Get a specialist broker to do it for you!
Also, the following considerations applicable to Disability Insurance, may be of value:
  • Some policies pay a lump sum to beneficiaries. Others pay monthly income “protection” to cover monthly expenses or nursing expenses. Some even make contributions towards converting your home or car, to cater for disablement.
  • Some policies make provision for partial, temporary and permanent disability. The compensation amount will vary pending the criteria awarded in terms of the policy conditions. Normally an objective medical method is used to measure the disability in terms of being able to do your job, and measure certain common daily functions.
  • Disability cover for business owners, is also an extension available through certain policies. In this instance, business overheads would be covered if the key person is the policy holder and he/she becomes disabled. In the event of death of a key person, cover is provided to continue the business.
  • Impairment versus Disability: It is also important to distinguish between ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’. Normally when you are impaired you would still be in a position to earn an income. This won’t be the case with permanent disability.
  • Some disability insurance products have waiting periods – make sure you understand your terms and conditions.
  • Also look out if your benefits will be adjusted annually with inflation, or not.
  • Up to what age will you enjoy benefits and cover under your disability insurance policy? Note that benefits are most likely to be calculated on a 75% basis of your last taxable income.
  • If you are in a Specialist Occupation type, then consider taking cover for “own occupation disability” rather than “occupational disability”. In this instance through the disability, you would be covered if you are no longer able to do your 'current' job. If you selected occupational disability, then you may not be paid out, if you are in a position to do 'another' job.
  • Some insurers allow you to combine life cover, disability cover, income protection cover and/or critical illness, with accident cover - consider these options;
  • Certain policies offer the cash-back benefit at an additional premium.
  • Some insurers will guarantee a fixed premium for a certain number of years. This will help with your monthly budget allocation.
Disability Insurance: Some policies have waiting periods
Disability Insurance: Cover for nursing expenses available
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