Mortality claims statistics from the insurance industry show that more than a million policyholders died in the most recent one-year measurement period, which the sector says is “no doubt” linked to COVID- 19.
According to BusinessLIVE, the Association for Savings and Investment SA (Asisa) statistics show that 1,023,083 policyholders died between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 — a 43% increase on the 713,350 deaths over the corresponding period in the previous year.
The stats include claims made against individual life, group life policies offered by employers, credit life and funeral policies. Total payouts totalled R47.58bn.
The claims support arguments that actual deaths from the pandemic may be far higher than the official 81,830 deaths that had been recorded by Tuesday afternoon. Many deaths, particularly in impoverished and marginalised communities, occur before a COVID-19 diagnosis can be made.
The SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) believes there have been more than 240,000 excess deaths since the pandemic’s start. Discovery estimates that 70%-80% of the population may have contracted the virus, adds BusinessLIVE.
Stats SA reported in July that COVID-19 had caused a significant increase in the countryʼs crude death rate, from 8.7 deaths per 1,000 people in 2020 to 11.6 deaths per 1,000 people in 2021.
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