Life insurers hit by policy lapses

By Staff Writer

By Mzwandile Jacks, Business report

San-Marie Crause, a risk development actuary at Old Mutual, said it was difficult to pinpoint a single reason for the high levels of surrenders and lapses.

"We cannot say whether it is the economy or high interest rates. But we can certainly say that it is likely to have an effect when policyholders come under financial pressures," she said.

Policyholders always cited unaffordability as the reason for surrendering their policies, said Crause.

Marque van der Walt, the head of retail business communication at Metropolitan, agreed that it was difficult to attribute any "decline in persistency" in the long-term assurance industry to any specific economic trend.

"We cannot say Metropolitan is experiencing a rise in policy lapses as a direct result of the economy," said Van der Walt.

Analysts said the increase in surrenders and lapses was due to high interest rates and high costs of food and transport.

An analyst based in Johannesburg said the pressure that insurance companies had to deal with was not different from the bad debts that banks had to deal with.

Steve Meintjes, a senior analyst at Imara SP Reid, explained that the high levels of surrenders and lapses tended to happen when interest rates were high and there was an economic downturn.

Tim Rutherford, a researcher at Ernst & Young, said the first thing that policyholders did when they came under financial pressure was to cancel policies.

However, short-term insurers are not as badly affected as the life insurers.

Merrick Oeschger, the executive general manager at Mutual & Federal, said: "I think the reason for this is that if you decide to cancel insurance on your car, the bank will not allow you to do so.

"What we have experienced, though, is that people are now seriously looking around for cheaper deals."

 

 

Recent Articles

Featured The real tax benefits of retirement annuities

We all know that having a retirement annuity (RA) helps us to retire comfortably and with dignity. But what many people miss are the tax benefits that are linked to an RA.

Request your credit report from the right bureau

With so many different credit bureaus in South Africa, it may be difficult to decide from which one to request your credit report. We have a look at what you should be aware of when selecting a credit bureau.

Applying for a home loan? Consider the repo rate

When you apply for a home loan, one of your top priorities should be to secure a low interest rate. In order to achieve this, you need to be familiar with the repo rate. We find out more about this.

Effective financial planning as a single parent

As a single mom or dad, it can be challenging to keep up with the ever-increasing expenses of raising a child. We have a look at the importance of setting up a budget as a single parent.

Deals

The President Hotel’s Sunday Lunch Special

Price: From R250
When: From 30 January 2022
Where: Cape Town

The Vineyard Summer Special

Price: Available on request
When: Until 28 February 2022
Where: Cape Town

Pure Day Spa Laser Treatment Special

Price: Available on request
When: Thursdays
Where: Durbanville


Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions