What happens if your domestic worker passes away?

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Is Their Problem Your Problem?

Your domestic worker takes care of your family.  For some families, she really is part of the family.  What would happen to her family if she were to die?  Do you care?  Should you care?

Put yourself in this situation

Just after eight the doorbell rings.

“Who is it?”



“Yes, Joseph. I’m Maria’s husband.”

“Oh yes. Hi Joseph, where’s Maria?  I see she’s late today.”

“Ma’am, Maria passed away at the weekend.”

“Oh, Joseph, I’m so sorry to hear this. Hang on, let me open the gate. You better come in.”

Maria’s been working for just over 8 years as your fulltime domestic servant. You’ve always paid her more than the minimum wage, something you’re proud of, and which is why she’s been so loyal over the years.

But Maria’s closer to 60 than 40 and you’ve been worrying about her retirement and whether you have any responsibility towards her. And now, out of the blue, this has happened…

“So Joseph, what happened?”

“I don’t know. She went to bed like normal and never woke up. The doctor doesn’t know either.”

“So what are you going to do now Joseph?”

“I don’t know Ma’am. She was the only breadwinner, and I have three children to feed.”

“Is there anything I can do to help, Joseph?”

“Yes Ma’am. I don’t have money for the funeral. Can you please help?”

Is there anything you can do?

Tough question to ask, but one you feel obligated to. Deep down inside you’re hoping they’ll say no don’t worry, we’ll be fine, but you know this won’t be the case.

I bet up to now you didn’t even think of yourself as an employer. Legally, you don’t owe them a cent but deep down inside you know it’s just plain wrong to refuse to help. Not only that, but how do you sit in Church next Sunday while the pastor preaches on taking care of the widows and orphans?

Simply has come up with a simple solution called SIMPLY EMPLOYER. It takes care of three very tragic scenarios:

  • Your employee dies
  • Your employee becomes physically disabled
  • One of your employee’s immediate family members dies

Here is how SIMPLY EMPLOYER works

First, who qualifies as your employee?

Your employee must be:

  • a South African citizen, or a foreigner with a work permit
  • They must be working for you full time (which means at least 24 hours a month), and
  • They must have been employed by you for at least 6 months.

Are all the above tick boxes checked? Let’s now drill down into each of the three benefits:


This is paid as a lump sum to your employee’s beneficiaries if your employee dies. On top of this they will also be paid R500 a month for 6 months. That’s to help with the cost of groceries.

How much life cover can you buy for them?

Basically you’re limited to the lesser of:

  • 5 x their annual salary as a lump sum, or
  • R200, 000 as a lump sum.

So let’s imagine they earn R5, 000 a month which works out as R60, 000 a year. R60, 000 multiplied by 5 equals R300, 000. But because R300, 000 is more than R200, 000, the maximum cover allowed is R200, 000.


Look, this is no frills cover. If your employee is severely and permanently disabled, they would receive a lump sum. Disability is defined as:

  • The physical loss of a body part, or
  • The loss of use of a body part

So here are some examples of how the disability claim works:

  • Lose both hands at or above the wrist – 100% of cover
  • Loss of one hand at or above the wrist – 50% of cover
  • Third degree burns covering more than 40% of the body – 100% of cover
  • Third degree burns covering more than 20% of the body – 50% of cover

How much disability cover can you buy for them?

Basically you’re limited to the lesser of:

  • 8 x their annual salary, or
  • R400, 000

So once again let’s imagine they earn R5, 000 a month or R60, 000 a year. R60, 000 multiplied by 8 equals R480, 000. But because R480, 000 is more than R400, 000, the maximum cover allowed is R400, 000.


The nice thing about this is that it not only covers your employee but also their family members. You can cover:

  • Your employee
  • Their spouse, and
  • Up to 5 children (New children can be added on later)

So the maximum cover you can purchase for them is R50, 000, and this will be paid out within 24 hours of Simply receiving all the necessary documents.

If your employee dies then the spouse and children receive free cover for the next 6 months. There’s also a body repatriation service to anywhere within South Africa (to a maximum of R15,000 per annum).

Only family members living in South Africa can be added, and children must be 21 years old or younger.

By the way, you don’t need to take out all three of the benefits mentioned above. If all you want is funeral cover, then so be it. And the Simply staff will help you work out how much cover your employee qualifies for.

What if my employee doesn’t qualify for cover?

It will happen that not all employees will qualify for full cover. Simply doesn’t request medical tests, but they do ask some simple health questions, and the answers to those questions will form part of the underwriting decision to grant cover.

In that case you’re more than welcome to apply for accident only cover. In this instance your employee is only covered for death or disability caused by an accident. Natural causes of death such as heart attack for instance, will not be covered.

This is also a much more affordable option.

What if I pay for years and years and we never claim?

Simply has this covered too. Pay a small extra cost, and they will throw in the SIMPLY cash back option.  Every 5 years, they will refund 50% of your total premiums paid in over the previous 5 years as a lump sum to you.

Of course there are two conditions:

  • You must have paid in all of your monthly contributions, and
  • There must never have been a claim during all this time.

What you do with this money is up to you. Keep it to recoup your costs or pay it to your employee as a bonus.

Can you Trust SIMPLY LIFE?

You’d be quite right to doubt. But the truth is that Simply products are underwritten by Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited (OMART), which is a registered long-term insurance company in the Old Mutual Group. Underwriter means they authorise the claims and they pay the claims too.

The process to get your employee signed up is hassle-free. You can either:

  • Complete the online application or
  • Speak to someone over the phone

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Kind regards,

The InsuranceFundi Team

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