Irrespective of age or health status, anyone can be diagnosed with a severe illness.  As more and more people suffer from severe illnesses, like a heart attack, stroke or cancer, living in suboptimal health may become a ‘reality’ for many employees.  There are however countless survivors, who were able to beat their illness and go on to live a fulfilling life because they could afford the necessary treatment and additional expenses.

To get the right treatment and regain your health can be very expensive, even if you have medical aid.  Sanlam aknowledges that the road to recovery, both emotionally and financially, is not an easy one.

According to Michele Jennings, “severe illness cover can offer much needed financial relief as it pays out a lump sum based on the likely impact of the relevant illness”, which may include unexpected expenses required to cover anything from rehabilitation costs, alternative or cutting-edge therapies, or in-home carers and additional childcare during the treatment of an illness.

The Impact Range of Severe Illness products, that Sanlam Employee Benefits: Group Risk (hereafter referred to as Sanlam) launched last year this time, were designed specifically to assist employees to manage their recovery process.  Since then we have experienced a significant increase in the demand for this type of risk cover.

The Severe Illness insurance: Impact Range has 3 different options to choose from depending on an employees group’s needs, as well as affordability:

Cancer-only benefit, which covers 50 cancer claim events According to CANSA (, cancer is one of the major killers in both the developed and developing world, including South Africa – many of us may think it won’t happen to us, but the reality is that cancer affects a staggering 25% of South Africans… if not you, it could happen to someone you know.
Claim events may include cancer, leukaemias, lymphomas and tumours.
Cardiovascular-only benefit, which covers 45 cardiovascular claim events Heart disease can affect anyone at practically any stage of their life, without the slightest warning.  According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (, 2 in 5 South Africans have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor.

Claim events may include illnesses related to the heart and blood vessels, for example heart attacks, coronary artery bypass grafts and strokes.

Comprehensive Severe Illness benefit, which covers:

  • the same claim events as the Cancer-only and Cardiovascular-only benefits combined,
  • together with more than 100 additional claim events covering various serious, as well as other milder conditions
Comprehensive benefits which provide cover for most body systems –  this means more than 200 claim events covering various severe illnesses, impairments, injuries and infections, i.e.

  • Serious illnesses like motor neuron disease;
  • Relatively milder illnesses like lupus; or
  • Common and rare diseases like liver failure and Parkinson’s disease

Sanlam’s new Severe Illness insurance offering is tailored not only to offer comprehensive insurance against the most prevalent diseases, but also

  • to be more cost effective, because pay-outs are based on the actual impact the illness has on the employee’s health and finances; as well as
  • to allow for the opportunity to claim multiple times up to 100% of the insured cover amount for related and/or bundled claim events, or unlimited times if you suffer multiple claim events that are medically unrelated.

This means that the total percentage of the insured amount you could potentially claim for over the lifetime of the policy could exceed 100% of the cover amount for which you were originally insured.

Click here to read more on SEB: Group Risk’s Severe Illness insurance: Impact Range.