Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Buy life cover ‘on demand’ via your phone

Sanlam has launched an accident insurance product designed to appeal to the smartphone generation, writes


In the same way that traditiona­l taxi drivers have been knocked sideways by the phenomenon that is Uber, establishe­d financial services companies are having to adapt quickly to compete with online disrupters spawned by the internet revolution. One of South Africa’s major life assurers, Sanlam, has recognised this fact and has launched something that, for the local industry, is groundbrea­king: limited- term accidental injury and death cover on demand via an app.

It’s called Go Cover. You download the Go Cover app to your smartphone or tablet and register with Sanlam. You nominate a beneficiar­y, and an additional contact person, if you wish. Once registered, you can buy cover for accidental injury or death, when you need it, for up to a month.

Jack Kruger, the head of design at Sanlam, says you can buy cover of between R100 000 and R1 million for 24 hours, or for up to 30 days, for as little as R10. The cover can be activated immediatel­y, or at a precise future date and time within 30 days. For example, you can buy 14 days of cover now and set it to take effect in a week.

Kruger says the design of the app is based on observatio­ns of how the digital era has transforme­d the way people buy. “We identified the unbundling of services, a move towards micro-services, and services available on demand as major trends behind contempora­ry digital business models such as Airbnb and Uber. People want quick, easy-to-understand, affordable and convenient products, and this is what we want to offer them with Go Cover,” he says.

To keep things simple, Sanlam offers only three levels of cover. For a 24-hour period, a premium of R10 buys you cover of up to R100 000, R20 for up to R500 000, or R30 for up to R1 million. The daily rate decreases as the period of the cover increases.

The product covers death or injury resulting from an accident (or a traumatic event such as a shooting or stabbing that requires surgical interventi­on under general anaestheti­c), not from natural causes such as illness. It pays out a lump sum when you meet the claim criteria for over 30 types of injuries, and, depending on the severity of the injury, this may be less than or equal to the maximum amount. For example, if you are covered for R100 000 and suffer multiple rib fractures, resulting in artificial ventilatio­n in an intensive care unit, you will receive R50 000. For severe head injuries, paraplegia, loss of sight, coma or death, the full amount will be paid.

There are no exclusions related to your age, but, like most policies, it will not pay out if you are involved in criminal activities or drink-driving, or if an injury is self-inflicted. The death cover for children under 12 is restricted, although they receive full injury cover.

Kruger says Go Cover will suit people who don’t want to buy permanent accident cover with monthly premiums, but still require it from time to time, or it can be used to boost your existing life cover. For example, you may want it when participat­ing in activities such as paraglidin­g or mountain-biking, or to protect your family against the risks of travelling by road when you go on holiday. It is also suitable for people who require a degree of workplace protection – either for themselves or their employees, he says.

Go Cover can be bought by anyone in South Africa, including foreign tourists visiting the country. It also covers South Africans travelling abroad.

Kruger says you should not regard the product as a substitute for comprehens­ive life cover or medical scheme membership. “Go Cover is more of a complement­ary insurance, and it pays out over and above any other insurance you might have. It can be very handy if you participat­e in hazardous activities that are excluded in your longterm insurance. It can also be used as a form of travel insurance by people travelling by road or by air.”

The app is available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, or via the Go Cover website. As a special offer, you will receive your first seven days of cover up to R100 000 free, by redeeming the voucher code “Sanlam” on the app. Learn more by visiting www.sanlam.co.za/gocover


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