Can’t afford my medical aid and insurance premiums? What now?

Can’t afford my medical aid and insurance premiums? What now?

Wendy Knowler looks at what the various insurers are offering their clients in terms of relief during South Africa's national COVID-19 lockdown…

Consumerwatch's Wendy Knowler / Supplied
Consumerwatch's Wendy Knowler / Supplied

It’s crunch time for many families whose income has either shriveled, or dried up altogether, with most industries unable to trade at all during lockdown. And for many in the travel, catering and conferencing-related industries, their financial trauma began quite a few weeks before lockdown.

Yet the debit orders are still in place - for rent or bond repayment, car, insurance policies and medical aid. The insurers have begun offering some relief, but the form of that relief varies greatly.

When it comes to car insurance, for starters, relative newcomer Naked, allows its clients to pause the accident portion of their cover on the app, and downgrade to stationary cover on the days that they’re not driving, saving up to 90% on their premium during lockdown.

Others have gone for an across-the-board premium reduction during lockdown, such as Midway (10%), Standard Bank Insurance (25%) and Discovery (15-25% dependent on whether you do more or less than 500km during April).

And then there are those, including Outsurance and the Telesure group (Auto & General, Budget, First for Women, DialDirect) which have opted for no across-the-board premiums reductions and those who enquire are told they can pay less, if they remove some of their cover, such as accident cover.

I predict a softening of that stance in the coming weeks. Competition is a wonderful thing.

What about the medical schemes and long term insurers?

Kimberley-based independent certified financial planner Kobus Kühn has done a comparison of the various forms of financial relief being offered, and he’s had to update it since Thursday’s show.

You will find it here.

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