Sanlam 2022 Claims Statistics | Legacy BlueStar | Sanlam Financial Planners Bellville, Cape Town


Sanlam 2022 Claims Statistics

Sanlam Risk and Savings paid out R6.38 billion in claims last year, down 23% from 2021’s R8.3 billion. This is why it matters.

At Sanlam we are committed to paying out claims. It is our north star and our promise to our clients. Knowing that we are here when they need us most gives them peace of mind so that they can live with confidence.

Sanlam’s recently released 2022 claim statistics give deep insights into what is jeopardising the health of our nation, says Petrie Marx, product actuary at Sanlam Risk and Savings. “During Covid-19, many people missed their routine check-ups. We urge individuals to resume these. Having your heart health checked, along with annual cancer screenings may well save your life.”

Petrie says Sanlam’s 2022 claims statistics make interesting reading and shows, amongst other things, a slight increase in claims by younger people. He says this in itself presents a stark reminder that sooner is better when it comes to putting cover in place!

To review your risk cover as part of your holistic financial plan, make contact to speak to a Sanlam financial adviser.

In a nutshell:

  • Sanlam paid out a total of R6,38 billion in claims last year.
  • R5.44 billion went to death and funeral claims.
  • R444.9 million was paid out for disability claims, loss of income and impairment claims.
  • R496.9 million was paid out to severe illness and injury claims.
  • Confirmed Covid-19 claims accounted for R139.9 million of total 2022 payouts, compared to R2.6 billion in 2021.
  • More than 70% of sickness income claims were from people younger than 45 years.
  • We saw a 6% increase in disability income protection claims for people aged 26-35 years.

A conversation with our experts

An unexpected trend

    Petrie Marx – Product Actuary at Sanlam Risk and Savings

Take care of your health

    Dr Marion Morkel – Sanlam Chief Medical Officer

Take a closer look at our 2022 claims statistics

Sanlam Risk and Savings paid out R6.38 billion in claims last year – down 23% from 2021’s R8.3 billion. The reason for the drop is partially linked to a decrease in Covid-19 linked claims: We paid out R2.64 billion in confirmed death and funeral claims in 2021 due to the virus, versus R108.84 million last year.

The statistics data shows interesting patterns which highlight the importance of cover for younger South Africans: More than 70% of sickness income claims were from people younger than 45 years and there was a 6% increase in disability income claims for those 26-35 years. With many working years ahead of them, the greatest financial risk facing younger South Africans is the possibility of losing their ability to earn an income.

Of the total R6.38 billion in benefits paid, R5.44 billion went to death and funeral claims; R444.9 million to disability, loss of income and impairment claims; and R496.9 million to severe illness and injury claims. Confirmed Covid-19 claims accounted for just R133.7 million of total 2022 payouts.

Sanlam’s claims payments are consistent with the global trend of Covid-19 cases becoming less frequent and severe as vaccination efforts and past infection result in some ‘herd immunity’ worldwide. He says our data reveals interesting pandemic patterns: Between March 2020 and December 2022, most Covid-19 death claims came from men, but sickness and disability income claims for clients booked off from work for Covid-19, were more or less the same for men and women. In terms of sickness and disability income claims, the age group hardest hit was individuals aged 30 to 39 years (39%). Most death claims came from people aged 50 to 59 years (30%). The majority (74%) of our sickness and disability income claims came from clients in the medical field.

Death and funeral claims

In 2021, diseases of the respiratory system were the leading cause of death claims due to Covid-19. This year, cardiovascular disease (21%) was responsible for most claims; followed by respiratory diseases (17%); accidents, poisoning and violence (12%); and cancer (12%). Most death claims were from men (67%), and from individuals older than 55 (74%).

In terms of accidental death claims, motor vehicle accidents were behind 33% of claims, followed by assault (24%) and suicide (21%). While the number of claims for accidental deaths has increased slightly from 2021, it is still significantly lower than pre-Covid levels as a percentage of all other causes.

Petrie says prior to the pandemic, cardiovascular disease was the main cause of death claims and we expected to see it return to this position. Non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease did not disappear during Covid-19 and he adds that it is a reminder of the importance of annual health checks and screenings to these at an early stage.

“In 2022, we paid 16% fewer death and funeral claims than in 2021. Our biggest death claim was R57.8 million and the oldest deceased was 104 years old. For both men and women, most claims for death were the result of heart disease.”

Disability claims

Cardiovascular disease was also the primary cause (23%) of disability claims; followed by bones, back, joints and connective tissue (19%); mental disorders (11%); diseases of the nervous system and sensory organs (11%); cancer (9%); and accidents and injury at 7%.

Most claims came from people older than 55 (44%), and 40% were from women. For both sexes, most claims were for cardiovascular disease (25% for women and 21% for men).

Petrie says South Africans need to focus on their heart health. “The increase in disability claims for cardiovascular disease is something that we will watch closely in the coming years. The leading causes of heart disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, an unhealthy diet, and sedentary lifestyle. We urge people to have regular check-ups and make positive lifestyle choices.”

Severe illness claims

Cancers and tumors remain the leading cause of severe illness claims by some margin, at 52%. Heart attacks followed at just 8%. Interestingly, last year saw an increase in claims for angioplasty which may point to earlier diagnosis of heart conditions.

Of the 47% of claims from women, 63% were for cancer, 48% of which were for breast cancer. Of the 53% of claims from men, 42% were for cancer, with 36% of these for prostate cancer.

58% of severe illness claims were by people under the age of 55, which also emphasises the need for severe illness cover for younger South Africans.

Disability Income claims

Bones, back, joints and connective tissue made up 29% of all disability income protector claims, followed by accidents and injury at 21%. Once again, men made the most claims (53%), 33% of which were for accidents. Interestingly, most claims came from individuals aged 36 to 45 years and the 26–35-year age group saw a 6% increase in claims.

Sickness Income claims

Covid-19 still accounted for most sickness income claims (41%) in 2022. Petrie says while Covid-19 remained the leading cause of these claims, we paid out R31 million for people being booked off work – that’s 46% less than in 2021. More than 70% of sickness income claims were from those under 45. Women accounted for 55% of claims, 12% of which were linked to pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium-related conditions.

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