Are you sufficiently insured against all Coronavirus-related risks?

When it comes to our financial wellbeing and that of our loved ones, planning for death or serious illness, are two unfortunate things no-one can ignore. Especially not in these uncertain times of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Even if you already have risk cover, you should review your insurance, top up where necessary, and make sure you are covered for all eventualities from death to loss of income.

Get financial affairs in order

With a national lockdown forcing all of us to stay home, now is an excellent time to get our financial affairs in order. And that includes reviewing our insurance policies – life cover, critical illness insurance, income protection, business assurance, especially key person cover, and any other potential risk for which one may have to make provision.

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Don’t panic but be prepared

In the United States the rapid spread of the coronavirus has led to panic buying, not only of food and toilet paper, but also of life insurance. Since late January companies in the insurance industry there have seen applications for life cover increase by up to 50%.

We don’t think there is a need for such panic. But we do believe it’s wise to be prepared – review your insurance, adjust where necessary and make sure you are covered for all eventualities. Your Wealth Specialist or Financial Advisor is the ideal person to help you with this and will be able to advise you about the best and fastest options under the current conditions.

Questions we need to ask

The following are some of the unpleasant but necessary questions we need to ask ourselves right now in the face of Covid-19:

  • Are my financial affairs in order if I should contract Covid-19 and pass away?
  • Do I have sufficient life cover to make sure my loved ones will be well taken care of?
  • What happens if I spend an extended period in hospital, am quarantined or the lockdown is extended indefinitely? How will I protect my income?
  • Will my business be able to survive if Covid-19 claims a key person or partner? Is the business sufficiently covered against this?

Types of insurance to consider

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Life Cover

For a specific term or your whole life, this can provide cash or income for your dependents or pay off debts like a mortgage after your death.

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Critical Illness Cover

If you are struck by serious illness, this cover can help pay medical bills or pay off  other debts and help you maintain your financial independence.

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Income Protection

Should you be unable to work because you have become ill or disabled, this insurance will replace part of your income until you can start working again and covers most illnesses.

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Business Assurance

It allows a business with more than one owner or shareholder to survive unfortunate life events and can consist of life cover to finance a Buy-and-Sell Agreements, Key Person Cover should a key person or partner pass away, or Contingent Liability or Loan Cover.

Does Covid-19 affect insurance cover?

Yes, because of the disruptions caused by Covid-19 some of our providers have been forced to make some changes to the underwriting process for the duration of the pandemic, or as to how new cover can be issued. This applies mainly to new policies being written in this period, while existing ones continue without change.

For instance, because of the current pressure on the healthcare system and the restrictions placed on the movement of people, one provider is issuing new cover with medicals being delayed or with these being waived altogether, but subject to certain conditions, cover limits or higher premiums. Also, because of restrictions on movement, providers will not demand physical signatures to be provided on new cover applications during this period. Instead all applications or transactions can be ‘signed’ or authenticated using various options via email.

Due to the increased risk associated with Covid-19 for insurers, some providers are asking new applicants to provide declarations regarding their recent and proposed travel, and their potential exposure to the virus. They are also reviewing application requirements from  immune-compromised applicants who are at greater risk of contracting the virus. Your Financial Adviser will be able to supply you with full details of any new rules that may apply.

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Contact your adviser

If you are concerned about being sufficiently insured in this time of the Covid-19 virus or want to find out more about insurance options in general, call your Financial Adviser today or contact Carrick at wealthmanagement@carrick-wealth.com.

For COVID-19 updates, visit the South African Government's official portal www.sacoronavirus.co.za