Things Every Woman Should Know About Risk Cover | Legacy BlueStar | Sanlam Financial Planners Bellville, Cape Town

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Things every woman should know about risk cover

According to  Statistics SA, the life expectancy for men increased to just over 60 years, while for women, it increased to just over 67 years. And while there are many advantages to having those few extra years, the reality is that many women suffer because of it. When it comes to retirement, disability, or illness, those extra years can be filled with an unthinkable amount of financial stress. This, paired with the fact that society is still facing pay gap inequalities, risk cover is perhaps one of the most important things for women to consider in order to ensure that they are financially confident in their later years.

Risk cover for women vs. men

For Sandra Scharf, Business Intelligence and Actuarial Analyst at Sanlam, it’s important to approach the conversation from a place of knowledge. In her experience, the annual claim statistics show how severe events experienced by women and men differ.

“For instance, in Sanlam’s latest claim statistics,” she says, “65% of all cancer-related severe illness claims for women, were related to breast cancer. This highlights the need for additional cancer cover for women.” However, it’s not only severe illness benefits that cancer can be claimed for. “As much as 19% of disability claims for women were for cancer as well, and so were 15% of income protector claims. This shows the need for comprehensive cover as conditions like cancer not only affect your health but can also negatively impact your ability to earn an income,” she explains.

“The knowledge of how different events affect women differently can then be applied to the life stage framework,” says Sandra. “This framework considers each client’s unique needs and the cover she would need during each stage of her life; from the time she starts her first job, to getting married, having children, and eventually retiring.”

What women should consider:

Death cover

    Death cover is important for anyone with dependants, so especially important for women who are sole breadwinners, like single mothers, but also for dual-income households where the family relies on both incomes.

Disability and income protection cover,

    Disability and income protection cover which pays if you are unable to work, is important for anyone who is employed, including single women without any dependants.

Severe illness cover

    Severe illness cover is important for females in general, to protect against the financial implications of being diagnosed with a serious illness, like breast cancer.

But what about when money is tight?

Times are undoubtedly tough, and ensuring that there’s enough money for risk cover isn’t always easy. Karen says that while it’s difficult to prioritise risk cover when money is tight, it’s important to remember that financial problems will be far greater if you lose your ability to earn an income. “Ask yourself some ‘what if’ questions,” she advises. “Consider a scenario where the loss of income is temporary, like a few weeks or months, but also consider a scenario of permanent disability. Then sit down with your monthly budget to see if there are any non-essential outflows that can rather be redirected to a life insurance premium. If you cannot fully cover your risk needs, try to at least cover as much as you can – some cover always being better than no cover.”

For Sandra, the peace of mind that comes with being adequately covered is reason enough to start investigating solutions. She adds that “women can feel confident and secure knowing that Sanlam accredited advisers will understand their needs and recommend solutions that are most appropriate.”

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