The grim toll of the Covid-19 pandemic is reflected in soaring death claims to insurers and shown in statistics released on Tuesday by the Association for Savings and Investment SA (Asisa).
The association said 1,023,083 policyholders died between April last year and the end of March this year.
The data reflects claims made against individual life policies and group life plans offered by employers and credit life and funeral cover policies.
Hennie de Villiers, deputy chair of the Asisa Life and Risk Board Committee, said this represents an increase of 309,733 lives lost when compared to death claims statistics for the previous 12 months.
“These are staggering numbers and there is no doubt Covid-19 has caused many of these additional deaths, whether directly as a result of a person contracting the virus or because people were reluctant to seek medical attention for other serious conditions,” he said.
Death benefits of R47.58bn were paid out.
This represents a 64% increase in the value of claims paid by life insurers when compared to the previous 12-month period, said De Villiers.
The association urged South Africans to get vaccinated.
“As an industry we expect the death claims statistics for the current financial year to tell a grim story as they will reflect the severity of the Covid-19 third wave.
“We urge all South Africans to get vaccinated rather than risk death, severe illness or even potential long-term debilitating side-effects often caused by Covid-19.”