The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of panic and uncertainty; many people have questions about their financial future and the impact of the pandemic going forward. Those with long-term insurance cover want clarity on how the pandemic will affect their long-term insurance cover.

Johan Minnie, managing executive for customer & adviser experience at Liberty, says: “Now more than ever, consumers should contact their financial advisers to navigate the terminology and understanding of the kind of cover they have in place.”

From a Liberty perspective, Minnie answers some questions that are probably on your mind regarding your insurance cover with Liberty.

Answers to your questions

If I die from Covid-19 virus, will death benefits still be payable?

If a client dies from Covid-19, death benefits will be payable.  The normal terms and conditions of the policyholder’s policy will still apply.

What happens if I contract the Covid-19 virus and am unable to work?

This is where Income Protection becomes very important.

Income protection has become a vital benefit for policyholders who have the ability to earn an income, as this is their greatest asset. It is important for policyholders to know that if he/she is unable to work due to medically validated reasons, such as contracting the Covid-19 virus, for a period (which exceeds the waiting period specified in the policy), the income protection benefits will be paid.  A normal claims process will be followed and the claim will be assessed according to the terms and conditions of the policy.

Medical conditions that are claimed against the policy will be considered in line with policy definitions and normal claims practices.

Can I make a permanent disability claim if I contract the Covid-19 virus?

To date, the Covid-19 virus as far as we can confirm does not seem to create any complications that could cause long-term disability. Cases have shown no clear permanent lung damage after the infection has cleared.

All permanent disability claims will be assessed based on the qualifying criteria covered under the policy and the permanent impact the virus has on your health and your ability to do your job.

Does Liberty classify the Covid-19 virus as a critical illness?

The Covid-19 virus currently doesn’t fall into any of our benefit categories for critical illness.

However, the virus may lead to certain secondary conditions that may trigger a pay-out under the definitions within the current benefit categories.

It is important to note that at this early stage, due to the speed of new information arriving, each claim will be assessed on its merits and a decision will be made based on the perceived impact on the health of the individual.

Clients should also engage with their Liberty financial adviser to get professional financial advice.

For more details, visit http://www.liberty.co.za/