If there’s an award for the most complicated life insurance product on the market, then Discovery would take it hands down.
Think I’m kidding? I’m sitting with their life plan guide in front of me and it’s all of 143 pages long. That’s longer than many novels!
Believe it or not, there are tons of diehard Discovery fans out there who’ll buy anything from Discovery. Many would rather buy the Discovery Life product even if it’s more expensive than other insurance companies.
Unfortunately, many are also sold on the dream of earning discounts down the road because of their Vitality status.
With that in mind I set out to clear the air regarding Discovery Life. Make no mistake, it’s a great product and for some of us it makes perfect sense. For others it might not be a perfect fit.
Let’s start right at the beginning…
Adrian Gore, the founder of Discovery, invented the concept of rewarding people for managing their own health. In interviews he has stated that smoking, poor nutrition, poor physical activity lead to four conditions which drive 50% of all mortality.
He came up with the Vitality wellness programme which has been the success story behind Discovery.
The bottom line is that you’re either into the whole “Vitality” thing or you aren’t.
If you’re a Vitality and Discovery Health member then Discovery Life makes complete sense, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
So does this mean that Discovery Life is a waste of time if you aren’t into the whole Vitality thing?
Not at all – Discovery Life has two life options available for you.
- The Classic life plan – This plan is more comprehensive offering all the ‘bells and whistles’ which Discovery is renowned for. Of course it comes at a cost.
- The Essential life plan – This is aimed at the guy wanting the most cost effective life cover possible. The costs are reduced by either removing benefits or by reducing the level of cover.
The major differences between the Classic Life Plan and the Essential Life Plan are:
- The Essential plan does not cover category C claims under the comprehensive PLUS capital disability benefit. Category C claims would pay out a percentage of your benefit even if you don’t meet the strict criteria applied to the other categories.
- On the Classic plan unlimited multiple claims are allowed under the capital disability and severe illness benefit. For example, if you’ve claimed for a heart attack under the classic plan, you can claim again if you have a second heart attack. With the Essential plan you can’t claim for the second heart attack unless the severity level is higher than before.
- The Classic plan includes automatic child and parent cover without underwriting for certain severe illnesses.
- The global treatment benefit is available on the Classic plan only. It applies to the severe illness benefit and allows you access to a range of hospitals in the USA.
- On the Classic plan all existing cover is reinstated under the minimum protected fund when you claim. The Essential plan only reinstates cover for non-related claims or where the severity level of the second claim is higher than the first.
- The Classic plan offers an automatic 5% cash conversion under the cover integrator benefit. At age 65 5% of your cover integrator benefit is paid out to you as a cash lumpsum. This isn’t available on the Essential plan.
- The Classic plan offers a financial integrator cash conversion benefit of 10%. At 65 10% of your financial integrator fund is converted into cash. This isn’t available on the essential plan.
- The Classic plan offers a Payback benefit whereby you receive a percentage of your life premiums paid in over the previous 5 years.
So as you can see, if you don’t need the disability and severe illness cover then the Essential plan makes more sense.
However, if you quite like the idea of getting money back every 5 years and a tidy cash lumpsum at 65, then the Classic plan might make even more sense?
The InsuranceFundi team
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