Insurance innovations protect the poor this Easter

Road accidents are set to rise again this Easter and the poor will be hit the hardest

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As the Easter holidays approach, many South Africans are preparing to ‘hit the road’ as they travel to visit family and friends or to enjoy a break away from home.

During the holiday season, danger can be the farthest thing from one’s mind but the sobering reality is that road accidents spike significantly during the Easter period. Last year road fatalities rose by 51%, with passengers accounting for half of all deaths.

“No matter how cautious we are, accidents are often beyond our control, particularly when we are travelling in someone else’s vehicle,” says Sonja Visser, CEO of long-term insurance provider African Unity Life (AUL). “This is exactly why having travel insurance is important for people using public transport to travel this Easter.”

According to Visser, accidental death cover should be a critical consideration for anyone with dependents, be they a partner, children or elderly parents. However, historically this protection hasn’t always been accessible to many South Africans.

Public transport, particularly minibus taxis, is the preferred method of transport for 50% of South Africans who live below the poverty line and who therefore might have limited access to insurance products. This limitation has inspired the development of a pioneering travel insurance that protects cash-strapped travellers against accidental death for as little as R12.

The innovative insurance solution, created by JustGo and underwritten by African Unity Life, is tailored specifically to the needs of price-conscious travellers regardless of their preferred mode of transport.

“For a nominal once off payment, travellers are covered for R30 000, for a continuous period of 30 days from the day they depart until they return home again,” explains Visser. “This means that more South Africans can enjoy peace of mind on the roads this Easter regardless of whether they’re travelling in a plane, a car, a bus or a taxi.

“People on low incomes are particularly vulnerable to financial risks when faced with events such as illness and incapacity to work, or death. The provision of easily accessible, affordable protection like this is an important step towards promoting financial inclusion,” she concludes.

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