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3 Myths about disability cover

Thinking about getting disability cover? If you’ve been looking into this type of insurance, you may have encountered some of the myths surrounding it. Before we explore these myths, let’s start by answering some key questions:

What is disability cover?

Disability cover protects you in the event that you become totally and permanently disabled due to illness or injury and are unable to earn a living, whether it’s in your usual job or in any other career suited to your education, knowledge, training or experience.

Why is disability cover important?

Firstly, disability cover protects your family financially if you ever become permanently disabled and are no longer able to earn an income. Secondly, it enables you to pay for any additional expenses related to your disability.

How does disability cover work?

Disability cover typically pays out a cash lump sum which you can use as you see fit – to pay for specialist care or any bills not covered by your medical aid, to purchase a wheelchair or other specialised equipment, to pay off significant debts, or to invest in your future.

Now to bust those myths…

Myth #1: It won’t happen to me

Life can change in an instant, and tragically, not always for the better. According to the Profile of Persons with Disabilities in South Africa report released by Statistics South Africa in 2014, it’s estimated that 7.5% of the population (around 2.8 million people) live with a disability.

Myth #2: Work has my back

While this may be true in some cases, not all companies offer disability benefits. If your company does have a group plan in place, make sure you find out exactly what it covers – these policies are often limited in terms of the coverage they offer. It’s also important to remember that group cover won’t be personalised for your specific profile and it falls away the minute you change jobs.

Myth #3: There’s always workmen’s compensation

In South Africa, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act makes allowance for you or your dependents to claim from the Compensation Fund if you get injured, contract a disease or die while working, which means you are entitled to workmen’s compensation, but only in specific situations.

While there are no South African statistics available detailing the reasons for disability claims in this country, the most common reasons listed by make it clear that not all are work-related and would not therefore qualify for workers’ compensation.

Reasons for long-term disability claims:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders (27.6%)
  • Cancer (15.0%)  
  • Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains of muscles and ligaments (12.0%)  
  • Mental health issues (9.3%)
  • Circulatory (heart attack, stroke) (8.2%)

If you’d like to find out more about our disability cover, request a quote or ask one of our customer service agents to call you back.