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Disability Cover 101

Disability cover is a form of insurance if you become disabled due to illness or injury. There are different types of disability cover available. We’ll specifically be looking at disability cover that pays you a once-off lump sum if you become permanently disabled.

How do we define permanent disability? Although insurance providers have different definitions for ‘permanent disability’, the term generally refers to a situation where you permanently can’t perform your job tasks or are incapacitated. Examples are losing your eyesight, a limb, or if you suffer a debilitating illness that prevents you from ever working again.

We recommend that you read the terms and conditions and know exactly what you’re covered for when you take out disability cover. Please note that you have to provide medical proof of your disability if you claim, and you’ll need to meet your insurance provider’s terms and conditions.


  • Disability Cover usually pays you a lump sum to spend as you please if you become permanently disabled.
  • Generally, you have to be disabled or incapacitated to get a disability cover payout (however, it depends on your policy).
  • Unlike Salary Protection (monthly payments over a specified period), Disability Cover only pays out a once-off lump sum.

Why do you need Disability Cover?

Life is unpredictable and can change in an instant. Around 7.5% of South Africans live with some disability*. You need to ask: Will you afford your current and future lifestyle if you become permanently disabled? Would your family survive if you weren’t earning an income? Could you pay for any additional expenses due to your disability? A lump sum can take away the financial strain if you become disabled, and you can use this payout to:

  • renovate your home or pay off your car,
  • see a specialist or pay for bills that aren’t covered by your medical aid,
  • buy equipment (wheelchair, mobility scooter or hearing aid),
  • pay off your debt,
  • make investments that will give you future income.

* According to the Profile of Persons with Disabilities in South Africa report released by Statistics South Africa in 2014.

How much cover do you need?

To determine the cover amount you need, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you single, or do you have dependents (children, elderly parents or siblings?
  • Do you have outstanding debt (home loan, vehicle finance, student loan)?
  • Can your family support you financially?

Please note that you need to review your policy when your lifestyle or circumstances change (you get married, buy a house or have children). It would help to make the necessary adjustments by increasing your cover to ensure that it meets your present and future financial needs.

The amount of cover you’ll qualify for will depend on several factors, including your gender, age, health, income, lifestyle and education level. Any material changes in your lifestyle could affect your Disability Cover or future claims. Therefore, you must inform us immediately of any of the following changes:

  • Your smoking habits,
  • Your participation in any risky sports or activities,
  • Your job,
  • You intent to spend more than 30 consecutive days outside of South Africa in one of the following regions: the Middle East, Asia, South or Central America or in the rest of Africa.

We’ll reduce your monthly premiums if your risk profile improves.

Get cover now

If you'd like to find out more about our Disability Cover, get a quote or request a Customer Service agent to call you back.


This article does not constitute advice. The material has been created for information purpose only and does not contain any personal recommendations. While every care has been taken in formulating the information (and any portal links) for this material, no member of Liberty gives any representation, warranty or undertaking and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy, or completeness, of the information presented nor to the safety and security of the portal links, where provided, or the sites to which they link.
Please consult your financial adviser should you require advice of a financial nature and/or intermediary services.

Terms and conditions apply. Frank Financial Services is a juristic representative of the Standard Bank of South Africa, an authorised financial services provider (FSP11287). Products underwritten by Liberty Group Limited