Severe illness cover – 6 questions answered

– Chanelle Taylor (Director, Cornerstone Financial Planning)

What is severe illness or critical illness cover?

Severe illness cover is a policy benefit that offers protection against illnesses. With a severe illness policy in place, you will receive a tax-free lump sum benefit to aid in payment of additional expenses due to lifestyle changes, possible post-illnesss rehabilitation expenses, assist with shortfalls on your medical aid and to access advanced medical treatment, which is not always covered by your medical aid.

I’m very healthy and active, why would I need severe illness cover?

Even the healthiest people can develop a severe illness. Recent reports state that a 70% increase in cancer cases are expected over the next 20 years in South Africa alone ( This is supported by claim figures released by Sanlam, indicating that their cancer claims have increased with 24% over the past seven years (

Diabetes SA recently reported that diabetes is the second leading cause of death among South Africans, right below TB , and the Heart and Stroke foundation estimates that 10 South Africans suffer a stroke each hour .

Statistics rarely lie, and it is fairly clear that South Africans are becoming more and more susceptible to severe illnesses regardless of age, gender or race. Be prepared and protected and ensure that you have sufficient severe illness cover in place.

Click here to get in touch with Cornerstone Financial Services to learn more.

What illness are covered by severe illness cover?

The claim categories and illnesses covered by your policy, and the extent to which they are covered widely ranges from provider to provider and the comprehensiveness of the benefit selected. Most commonly, the following diseases may be covered under a severe illness benefit:

  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Accidental brain damage

I have a good medical aid plan; do I still need severe illness cover?

Yes, you do. Although your medical aid may pay for many of your medical expenses, severe illness cover will also address other lifestyle requirements after diagnosis. The cost of possible home modifications, caregivers and specialist physicians can be exorbitant, and it is likely that your medical aid will not cover these costs in full as it may not directly fall within the healthcare space. This is where severe illness cover comes into play to assist with these unexpected, and additional costs.

Who needs severe illness cover?

The short answer is everyone. No one is immune to dread diseases and you should always be prepared by having sufficient cover in place. However, if you have family or other financial dependants, adequate severe illness cover is vital to ensure that they can cope financially in the event of a severe illness diagnosis which may also result in loss of income.  In the event of your death due to a severe illness, a life cover benefit would also be highly recommended to ensure the future financial independence of your loved ones after your passing.

Click here to contact Cornerstone Financial Planning and find out more about the many benefits of a life insurance policy.

How can I get severe illness cover?

If you are interested in more information regarding severe illness benefits, contact us today and we will get the best possible option to meet your needs and financial goals.

In most cases, severe illness cover will include a medical assessment facilitated by a nurse (at the insurers expense) which may cover a range of tests including blood tests, urine tests and medical questionnaires. Do not let this discourage you, these tests usually take a few minutes to complete and all results and discussions are kept strictly confidential.

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