Discovery Life warned on Thursday that clients with new policies who indicate that they are unwilling to be vaccinated might, unfortunately, be subject to higher premiums due to the increased risk.
It said in a statement the refusal to be vaccinated is treated similarly to smoking or lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, which receive a higher premium.
This premium may be adjusted should an unvaccinated client later decide to get vaccinated.
The warning means it has become the first South African insurer to consider Covid-19 vaccination in its underwriting process.
This first-of-its-kind underwriting determinant for the South African life insurance market is effective from the 29th of July 2021.
For those who do get the vaccination, Discovery Life has a “Vaccination Max PayBack Offer” for new customers, which automatically kicks them into the highest tier of rewards the company offers for the first year.
“If a new Discovery Life client is vaccinated against COVID-19, we’ll return this value to them through the Vaccination Max PayBack Offer.
“This offer provides clients who are vaccinated and who qualify for PayBacks the maximum PayBack percentage available to them for the first year of their policy.
“This is significant as Discovery Life clients can earn PayBacks of up to 100% depending on their chosen policy options,” said Discovery Life Deputy CEO, Gareth Friedlander.
Riaan van Reenen, CEO of Discovery Life, said COVID-19 has touched every facet of our society.
“We have received claims from clients of all profiles. However, clear trends have emerged over the last year. These relate to gender, age, lifestyle choices, co-morbidities, and occupation, which influence the number and severity of COVID-19 claims.”
COVID-19 adds significant risk to the health of life insurance clients across all age groups.
“Research data further highlights that people infected with the Delta COVID-19 variants have a 95% lower risk of being hospitalised after having both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with significant benefits even after a single dose.
“This research also reveals that clients have a 47 percent lower risk of contracting COVID-19 three weeks after taking their first dose of the Pfizer vaccination.”