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What are waiting periods?

Sanlam Indie will cover you from the moment your policy is active, but for some types of claims, we have to wait a while before we can pay out a claim.

Funeral benefits

With Funeral Cover, death by suicide has a 12-month waiting period after taking out the policy; death by natural causes (illness or a medical condition) carries a 6-month waiting period after taking out the policy. There is no waiting period for accidental death (e.g. car accident). 

Why? Funeral Cover isn’t underwritten, which means we don’t ask medical questions and don’t know how close someone might be to claiming. Someone might take out a policy knowing they were very sick and likely to die after paying just one or two premiums. If too many people did that, we’d have to significantly increase everyone’s premiums just to make up for those extra claims, and insurance would be too expensive for most people.

Remember, you get free cover for up to 35 days after you take out your funeral policy. Waiting periods kick in the day your policy is active. If your first payment is outside of this 35-day window or is unsuccessful, then your waiting period only kicks in from the date of your first successful payment. 

If you increase your cover or add family members to your policy, new waiting periods will apply to the additional cover amounts (e.g. if your original cover is R30,000 and you increase it to R50,000, a new waiting period only applies to the additional R20,000). 

Life benefits

For Income Protection, your claim will be paid at the end of the same month in which you successfully submitted your claim (e.g. if you submit a claim on 13 March, you can receive payment on 31 March). 

Will I be refunded if I cancel my policy during the waiting period?

We won’t refund your premiums if you cancel your insurance during the waiting period, because it would just be too expensive for us as a business.

On the plus side, we do offer a standard 31-day cool-off period as required by law. That means you can cancel your policy within this period for a full refund.

Remember, the waiting period only applies to claims for natural causes or suicide. You’ll be covered for accidental events from the moment you sign up.

Do my existing waiting periods count if I move from another insurer?

The good news is, if you take out a Sanlam Indie funeral policy within 31 days of cancelling a policy with another provider, we’ll take into account the amount of time you’ve already been insured when working out what your waiting period should be. But we’ll only take into account the waiting period for the lives and cover amounts of your old policy. Any extra cover, or any new lives added to your Indie policy, will start a new waiting period.

If you cancel an underwritten insurance policy to move to Sanlam Indie, any waiting periods you served on the old policy won’t count toward your new Sanlam Indie policy. This is because different insurers will have their own unique terms and conditions, which might include different waiting periods for different conditions.

Basically, waiting periods are in place to keep premiums as low as possible for everyone.

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Copyright © Sanlam Indie 2022. All Rights Reserved. Sanlam Indie's product offering is underwritten by Sanlam Life Insurance Limited, a licensed life insurer & financial services provider. Sanlam Indie is a division of Sanlam Life Insurance Limited - Reg No. 1998/021121/06. Sanlam Life Insurance Limited is an authorised FSP (No. 2759). Address: 1st Floor Glacier Place, 1 Sportica Crescent, Tygervalley, Cape Town, 7530

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