Mortality insurance claims normalise to pre-pandemic levels, says FNB Life

Mortality claims have returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, shows a report released by the FNB Life insurance.

According to the report, mortality claims subsided during the fourth and fifth waves of the pandemic compared with the first three waves, citing that the last two waves were less severe.

The report also found that the banking group’s life insurance unit, which paid out an average of R99-million in mortality claims prior to the pandemic, forked out more than R300-million in monthly payments during the first and third waves of the Covid-19.

Lee Bromfield, CEO of FNB Life, said the life insurance unit significantly improved its capacity to process high volumes of claims and payouts during the peak of the pandemic.

“While we have been able to assist beneficiaries during this difficult time, we are also pleased to see that the impact of Covid-19 on the loss of life is starting to fade,” said Bromfield.

“This is also reflected in our monthly death-related claims across all of our life products, which closely correlate with the Covid-19 national database trends.”

In March, FNB announced that the insurance unit had paid out about R2.6-billion in life insurance, income protection, and disability claims between January and December 2021.

It indicated that almost R2.3-billion was paid out in mortality claims, stating that the claims had subsided during the fourth wave of the pandemic compared with the other waves that were more severe and detrimental.

Meanwhile, Sanlam’s insurance unit recorded a sixfold increase in Covid-19-related claims between January and December 2021 compared with 2020. According to media reports, Sanlam’s data revealed that the unit paid out R459-million in Covid-19-related claims in 2020, and R3.2-billion was recorded in 2021.

Mortality and funeral claims accounted for 82% of the R3.2-billion recorded in 2021 compared with 2020 when the pandemic was at its peak.

Fifty-seven Covid-19-related deaths were reported on Wednesday, June 22, bringing the total to 101 697 deaths recorded since the start of the pandemic, which is now purported to be slightly fading.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla repealed the Covid-19 regulations relating to face masks, gatherings, and persons entering the country.

According to the minister, the country has seen a decline in the number of reported cases, hospitalisation, the effective reproductive rate of the virus, positivity rate through the number of tests done, and the number of deaths reported.

Phaahla said South Africa has exited the recent spike in cases, or the fifth wave, that the regulations were promulgated to mitigate.

Also read: Confirmed: Wearing of face masks no longer compulsory

Leaked memo recommends scrapping of Covid-19 regulations

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