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HomeWeekly RoundupDiscovery's trend analysis: Leading causes of death of insured clients

Discovery's trend analysis: Leading causes of death of insured clients

Insurer and medical scheme, Discovery has highlighted claims data trends through its shared-value insurance model, reports Business Tech.

Discovery Life’s chief medical officer, Dr Maritha van der Walt, noted that younger policyholders are seemingly at a considerably higher risk of unnatural death, mostly as a result of motor vehicle accidents, while older generations appear more prone to cancer and cardiovascular related health conditions.

Since 2013, the leading causes of death in clients under 30 have been suicide and trauma, making up 68% of life claims. Of those claims, in 2019, 50% were a result of vehicle accidents. Members between the ages of 31 and 40 are at a lower risk of dying prematurely from heart-related conditions. When compared to claims from 2014 to 2016, heart and artery severe illness claims have fallen by 22% over the past three years among millennials.

Nearly 1 in 5 death claims made during 2019 were submitted due to unnatural causes. “Suicides are seemingly more prevalent in clients between the ages of 41 and 50. During 2019, however, we did note a 29% decline in the incidence rate when compared to figures recorded five years prior,” said van der Walt.

Women of all ages are at risk of developing breast cancer. However, over the last four years, it has been the leading type of severe illness cancer (49%) in women between the ages of 51 and 60. While men are more likely to pass away from heart and artery conditions, cancer is the second leading cause of death.

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in severe illness claims and accounts for 32% of male cancers in all age groups and 43% of male cancers in the 51-to-60 age bracket. Severe illness claims for prostate cancer have increased by 20% in the last three years, when compared to the prior three years.

“During 2019, we noted that cancer unfortunately remains the most common cause of death among female policyholders – particularly breast cancer. Male clients appear to be more at risk of death due to heart- and artery-related health conditions. Men also appear to have a higher proportional risk of unnatural deaths, at 1.5 times that of women.”

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