In 2010, cancer represented 36% of all Sanlam’s severe illness claims. Within only seven years, this has rocketed to almost 60%.
This is according to new data from the insurer, which showed that it paid out almost R291 million to severe illness claims last year. Heart attacks accounted for 10%; while strokes represented only 5%.
Karin Muller, Chief Executive of Sanlam Individual Life, says cancer as a reason for severe illness claims is constantly rising. The company is also noticing a sharp rise in diseases affecting the bones, back, joints and connective tissue.
In 2014 these diseases represented 11% of disability claims. Within three years, this increased to 22%. Sanlam paid out more than R231 million in disability claims last year.
Poisoning, violence and accidents make up most of Sanlam's sickness claims (outside of severe illnesses) among men. It represented almost a quarter of all Sanlam’s sickness claims paid out to men last year, the insurer disclosed on Wednesday. For women, most sickness claims were for respiratory-related illnesses and diseases of the bones, back, joints.
Sanlam said it paid 99% of death claims - totalling almost R3 billion - it received last year. The majority of accidental death claims were paid for clients aged 35 to 55 years. The biggest amount paid for a single death claim in 2017 was R20.4m.