Let’s be smart about life insurance
What is insurance?
Insurance is a promise. This is an agreement whereby the insurance company agrees to pay a sum of money to the insured if a specific event occurs. In return, the person pays a regular premium, usually monthly. If the person does not pay their premiums, the insurance company will not be able to pay.
Short-term insurance protects your possessions, like your home and car
Most people are familiar with short term insurance, where you insure your valuables such as your car or house. If the insured item is stolen or damaged, your insurer will pay you money to help cover the cost of the replacement or repair. Short-term insurance is generally renewed every year.
Long-term insurance protects you and your body
Long-term insurance protects something even more valuable than your possessions. It covers your life or your ability to earn income. Long-term insurance policies include policies such as funeral coverage, life insurance, disability coverage, and income protection. These policies are written for a much longer term and most policies do not end until retirement or death.
Long-term insurance protects you and your family from the financial uncertainty that accompanies life-changing events, such as critical illness, injury, disability or death
If you become seriously ill or injured and can no longer work because of it, you may be eligible for your disability or income protection coverage. The money you receive will help pay for your living expenses. Depending on the coverage you have, you may receive a lump sum cash or a monthly payment from your insurance company.
Insurance companies must be duly registered and licensed
Both short-term and long-term insurance companies must be registered with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and the Prudential Authority (PA). You can check if an insurance company is registered by going to www.fsca.co.za for this information. They have to comply with strict laws including the Short Term Insurance Law for short term insurers, the Long Term Insurance Law for long term insurers and the Insurance Law for all insurers. There are also specific policyholder protection rules that aim to protect you as the policyholder. In addition, most insurance companies subscribe to mediation programs. An ombudsman is an independent public servant who assists the public by investigating complaints against businesses – in this case, insurance companies.
- If you have a complaint about a short term insurance policy, you can contact the Short Term Insurance Ombudsman at osti.co.za
- If you have a complaint about a life insurance or funeral insurance policy, you can contact the long-term insurance ombud.co.za
This consumer education article was created especially for you by BrightRock.
BrightRock Life Ltd is a licensed financial services provider and insurer. Company registration number: 1996/014618/06, FSP 11643. General conditions apply.
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