newsBusinessLive reports that on average, South Africans are short R2.2m in cover, the latest SA life and disability gap study shows.  

The shortfall in life and risk assurance cover for the country as a whole is growing, with the insurance gap reaching almost R34.7-trillion for its 15.6-million income earners.  This gap has widened by almost R6-trillion, or 6.4% a year, since the end of 2015, according to the 2019 Insurance Gap Study of the Association for Savings and Investment SA (Asisa).  The study, conducted every three years, measures the difference between the risk cover SA income earners have in place and what they actually need.  The insurance need is defined as the amount of money a person or his/her family would need to maintain the same standard of living prior to the person dying or becoming permanently disabled and losing income.  It does not take into account any debt, or additional once-off costs associated with disability, such as adapting a home for a wheelchair.  The shortfall in life cover of R1m and in disability cover of R1.2m means the average income earner has a combined insurance gap of R2.2m.  The loss of an earner could have devastating financial implications for families if no provision is made for adequate life cover, Asisa‚Äôs Rosemary Lightbody warned.  She also noted that the need for disability insurance was higher than for life assurance because household expenses tended to decrease when a family member died, while disability tended to increase household expenses due to the needs of a disabled person.  


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