The importance of female dread disease cover and how you can assist your clients

Kobus Wentzel, Executive Head: 1Life Distribution, looks at how to protect the risks connected to your female client’s well-being.


With Mother’s Day around the corner and World Health Day having just taken place on 7 April, it’s appropriate to look at how to protect the risks connected to our female client’s well-being and maybe do some introspection along the way.

Because, a healthy and happy mother translates into a healthy and happy family.

A mother’s goal is to take care of her family, and our research suggests that women are more pro-active when it comes to securing life cover. In fact, 12% more women have life cover than men.

Although this is an encouraging statistic, the reality in South Africa remains that many women find themselves at the head of the household and often without a big support system.  According to Stats SA, these female-headed households are more likely to find themselves in low-income situations. But, even if they are in a high-income bracket, a cancer diagnosis can bring about unexpected financial hardship. Cancer is not selective.

What you can do to help

Can you identify any of your clients in this situation? If yes, then read on to see what you as an adviser can do to help them prepare better for the risk of female dread disease.

Empower the client

The first step would be to ensure that your client has access to a good medical aid by helping your client assess what they need from a medical aid. The second step would be to encourage them to use the cancer screening benefits associated with their medical plan. Early detection saves lives. With Covid-19 currently taking center stage, so many women are neglecting their cancer screening. Encourage them to make their health a priority all year round.

However, even with medical aid, certain clients might still be overwhelmed when it comes to the cost of treatment. These clients might need alternative risk protection, which could be in the form of a dread disease policy.

The importance of female dread disease cover

In November 2020, 1Life had a look at what medical aids will cost in 2021 – and the unfortunate fact is that healthcare is not cheap.

A 2020 study into the cost of chemo therapy for breast cancer in the public sector revealed that each episode of care costs a patient R15 774 on average, at Groote Schuur hospital. Besides the direct cost of treatment, there are secondary costs such as time off work, paying for transport, paying for additional over-the-counter medicine and paying for additional childcare if the client isn’t lucky enough to have a good family support system.

This means that women who are the breadwinner and/or have a family history of cancer should really consider adding additional risk protection.

This brings us to step three: Both breast and cervical cancer have been identified as a national priority with increasing incidences occurring. You can help your clients assess how female dread disease cover could supplement both their medical aid benefits and any generic dread disease cover they might already have.

This is where the benefits of the financial needs analysis (FNA) come into play. At 1Life, our FNA not only utilises life stage modelling, but also brings the client’s unique circumstances around affordability into the mix. This is a winning combination and a unique value proposition you can offer to future clients.

1Life All Woman cover

Certain insurance options, such as 1Life All Woman cover, pay out a percentage of the cover amount if the mother or up to four children are diagnosed with certain types of cancer. This cover is a great example of inclusive cover, because which mother wouldn’t want to ensure that her children can get the same care and treatment which she receives, with the bonus of paying one premium.

Many female dread disease policies also cover other diseases – at 1Life our policy also covers systemic lupus, pregnancy-related complications and accidental HIV exposure. The good news is that these policies are geared towards covering costs not paid for by a medical aid and to cover basic living expenses while the patient recovers.

Simpler underwriting with 1Life Vantage

With 1Life, you also have the advantage of simpler underwriting of our All Woman policies through our financial adviser digital solution, 1Life Vantage. 97% of 1Life policies are now being accepted in under 35 minutes, making it easier for you and your client.

Vantage provides you with remote acceptance through electronic signature and two-factor verification via a one-time pin. This enables both the financial adviser and client to conclude business safely and securely. We believe that this is vital during this time of social distancing.

If you are interested in registering with 1Life as a financial adviser, to get access to our digital solutions and innovative product suite, then simply contact Barry Shrosbree on

Remember, if your client or her children have been diagnosed with cancer, help them get counselling through the CANSA Help Desk on 0800 22 6622.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Forum said: “The health of mothers and their children is the key to achieving development and equity” – and we can’t agree more.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.