(Ecofin Agency) - Several insurance companies in South Africa reported they will charge higher premiums to customers seeking life insurance coverage if they do not provide proof of vaccination. George Kolbe, Head of Life Insurance Marketing at Momentum, told Moneyweb that his company already requires new customers seeking life coverage to do so.
“Old Mutual will consider new customers’ vaccination status to offer differentiated pricing for underwritten life and funeral cover products,” said Kavir Ramjee, MD of protection solutions at Old Mutual. Meanwhile, Discovery has taken a clear position on mandatory vaccination in recent months. The company’s management team says new customers who refuse to be vaccinated will be subject to a premium based on the increased risk.
Sanlam, Africa's largest insurer in terms of geographic presence and market value, has its own strategy. “We are not taking a view that we are going to divide you like smokers and non-smokers into two categories with different premium rates,” Sanlam group CEO Paul Hanratty tells Moneyweb.
In many African countries, vaccination is not compulsory per se but it is required to travel, to European countries for example. Although based in South Africa, largest insurance companies operating in the country are owned by investors who are subject to their home countries’ compliance rules, and very often they are in the West. In countries covered by the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets, in particular, this is not an issue since insurers are not obliged to compensate or cover covid-19 patients.