By Vernon Wessels, Bloomberg
Johannesburg: South African life insurers including Old Mutual Plc and Sanlam Ltd. have dropped payout restrictions for people who are infected with HIV.
Insurers have agreed “ to waive existing HIV/AIDS exclusions for all lump-sum death and disability benefit claims submitted from 1 April,” Gerhard Joubert, chief executive officer of the Life Offices’ Association, told journalists in Johannesburg today. The trade association of 36 insurers controls more than 95% of the South African insurance market.
Before the changes, beneficiaries of a policy holder who died of an AIDS-related illness weren’t paid. By mid-2006, about 5.4 million people, or one in nine South Africans, were infected with the virus that causes AIDS, the government said on 13 March. That is second only to India, whose population is 22 times larger.