Category Archives: Insurance

Working daze?

I think SARS started it all with their 21 working day turnaround times for things like “verification of supporting documents”. Or 30 working days turnaround for disputes! And they claim to be “at your service”? Unfortunately, it hasn’t taken long for some of the dinosaurs of the financial services industry to follow their example. Continue reading Working daze?

It’s often the little things that matter…

One of the “compulsory” forms of insurance that people with bonds have to have is Home Owners Insurance (HOI). This is insurance that covers the cost of replacing the building if it is destroyed through things like fire and floods. Usually the bank that provides the bond also very kindly arranges this insurance and the unsuspecting home owner signs the policy document along with all the other bond documents. There are at least two huge problems with this Continue reading It’s often the little things that matter…

A gilded cage is not the answer, Liberty and Discovery

I remember, just after 9/11, listening to Clem Sunter speak about the choices that America had in response to the events that had just unfolded. Essentially, they had two choices, and the choice they made would define their future.
Continue reading A gilded cage is not the answer, Liberty and Discovery

The great South African funeral-cover rip-off!

Can someone explain to me why funeral insurance is so expensive? It has got to be one of the biggest rip-offs and forms of institutionalised abuse of South Africans. I did some shopping around online Continue reading The great South African funeral-cover rip-off!

Simply…too expensive!

I got quite excited about the new insurance start-up, Simply, that I read about on Moneyweb recently . Cover in the direct market and for “lower income” earners has been too expensive for too long. They also promise that the application process will be quick and simple. So welcome, Simply!
Continue reading Simply…too expensive!

At Liberty to do what they like?

It seems that Liberty Life have decided that they can do what they like and ignore written instructions from their clients. They appear to have adopted a policy of sending policy information requested by a non-servicing advisor, on behalf of a client and with the client’s written consent, to the client and not to the advisor who requests it.

This is NOT what the client has requested? How can they get away with this?

It also makes the work of the financial planner so much more difficult to do (and adds to the cost of servicing the client). I’m prepared to venture that this is not in the spirit of TCF!
If Liberty are worried about advisors obtaining information fraudulently then perhaps they need to look at the quality of the average advisor with whom they are doing business and not upset their existing client base either.
Rather than retaining the business, this kind of attitude goes a long way in encouraging clients and advisors to move business away from Liberty Life.




The real advantage of knowing…

Liberty Life is currently running a radio ad about their income replacement product. Income replacement is an essential part of managing your financial risk and for any self-employed person it is almost essential cover. However, not all income replacement cover is created equal and it is essential that before you buy this kind of cover that you make sure that read the fine print and find out what is and what is not covered. In other words, what exclusions and restrictions are there on the cover?
I had heard a rumour about the Liberty Income replacement product not covering depression so I set about to try and find out if this is true or not.
It is quite difficult to get the information when you don’t have a contract with a company but I did manage to find a PDF* document online that details the exclusions on their product…and here it is…no “mental health or musculoskeletal conditions for the first 2 years of eligibility”.
Not 100% sure what that means but I would make sure that I get an answer (in writing) from Liberty before I sign anything. I have written to Liberty to find out more and will update this if/when they reply.
You need to find out before you sign the application form – it is too late to find this out at claim stage. Now that’s the real advantage of knowing!



*Pdf document accessed here:

Stop wasting money…

If you have a bond on your property, please make sure that you are not paying the home owners’ insurance premium via your bond account. The banks are very quick to set this up for you because it is good for them as the premium will never be rejected but the reality is that you will end up paying interest on this premium for the full term of the bond. This could result in you paying thousands extra – what a waste of money.
Rather, make sure that the premium comes off your normal current or savings account. You would also be wise to get a comparative quote from your short-term insurance provider. The banks are notoriously uncompetitive when it comes to this kind of insurance and while you are required by the bank to have Home Owners’ Insurance, you are not compelled to take it out through the bank providing the bond.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, Liberty Life

I just came across a client who has been sold a decreasing life annuity by someone representing Liberty Life. Yes, I know that there is no such thing (officially) as a decreasing life annuity (no one would buy it if there was) but this is effectively what a non-escalating life annuity is. You have condemned the client to future poverty!

While the initial income may look more attractive, in 20 years time (the guarantee period on the annuity for a 65 year old with stage 3 cancer and no financial dependents?) she will be getting an income which will be less than 1/2 of what she should be getting if there was an inflation linked escalation.

This is the kind of product and advice that gives our industry a bad name. If the insurance companies and ASISA wont act then perhaps it is time that the regulators banned this kind of product.