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Discovery Life 2023 claims and here's some very interesting highlights.

In the previous year, Discovery Life disbursed billions of rands in payouts for individual life policies, with a notable 51% allocated towards ancillary benefits such as severe illness, disability, and income continuation.


Recent data released by Discovery Life for the year 2023 revealed that the company paid out a total of R8.4 billion across both group risk and individual life policies. Within the life insurance category, a significant portion was directed towards ancillary benefits, with the severe illness benefit amounting to R1.5 billion, the capital disability benefit totaling R1 billion, and the income continuation benefit reaching R613 million.


Death claims accounted for just under R3 billion of the total payouts, while R298 million was disbursed for various other benefits.


meeting with a lawyer

Life Insurance clams:

  • During their claims roadshow, they mentioned that Life Cover claims are up 1% year on year

  • There has been a sharp increase in deaths of clients under the age of 30;

  • 20% of life cover claims were as result of cancers;

  • 20% of life cover claims were as a result of heart and artery

  • 1 in 6 claims due to unnatural causes (crime and accidents);

Claims due to Unnatural causes;

  • Largest single claim was a male aged 57 that passed away due to motor vehicle accident with a sum assured of R60 million;

  • Youngest claim paid was for a 23 year old female in a motor vehicle accident;

  • Youngest male claim was for a 25 year old on a motorcycle accident

  • Vehicle accidents totaled 30%;

  • Crime 28%;

  • Other 23%

  • Suicide 19%


Gareth Friedlander, Deputy Chief Executive of Discovery Life, emphasized the significance of comprehensive coverage, noting that the aggregate payouts for living benefits exceeded those for mortality claims. He highlighted the broad scope of life insurance, encompassing not only payouts upon death but also various living benefits such as severe illness, income protection, and disability cover.


"Our claims data for 2023 underscores the importance of holistic coverage," Friedlander stated. "It's evident that a considerable number of life cover claimants had already utilized benefits for life-altering illnesses or disabilities prior to their demise."



women walking with a zimmerframe

Disability Claims:

With significant claims under disability, raging from lump sum disability claims, impairment and income disability, some of the most alarming information was that there was a sharp increase in claims for clients younger than 50, and statistically 4 in 10 disabled clients are younger than age 50.


Some causes of disability claims were as a result of:

  • Cancer - 32% males and 35% females;

  • Mental illness - 7% males and 17% females;

  • Nervous system - 19% males and 15% females


doctor doing a scan

Severe illness Claims:

Cancers remain the primary causes of critical illnesses in both men (35%) and women (53%). This is closely followed by heart and artery diseases for men (33%) and nervous systems in women (12%).


Early detection and treatment can significantly increase the survival rates, and since 1970 the median cancer survival times have increased nearly 6 times.


Dr Maritha van der Walt, the chief medical officer at Discovery Life explained that "Discovery covers the whole spectrum from the very early cancer to high payouts for the first event, but they don't stop there. For related and unrelated cancers, there will be further payouts and also for relapses of the same cancers, which is, of course, the biggest risk if you're looking at the long term prognosis of cancer."


In 2023 period, 27% of Discovery Life's severe illness benefit claims paid were for second and subsequent claims. Which totaled R416 million, to multiple claimants. This is very profound.


The group published their comprehensive claims information for the 2023 year, but its important to see how claims are allocated and paid out for various illnesses and disorders and claims events to policyholders.


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