Liberty’s Lifestyle Protector
celebrates 20 years

For the past two decades, Liberty’s flagship product has been delivering to clients an overarching protection plan that covers a variety of needs. As a long-term insurer, the Lifestyle Protector has paid out over R67 billion in the past 20 years, changing the lives of more than 380 000 families.

The plan is based around four pillars:

 Life Protection
Protecting your life and those around you

Loss of Income Protection
Securing your Income

Lifestyle Protection
Your health means everything

Policy Protection
Protecting your cover

Life Protection

Covers the risk of dying and the financial impact this event will have on your surviving family, sometimes dealing with an expensive terminal illness, and extending to the inevitable costs of family funerals.

Loss of Income Protection

Covers the risk that you lose your income through some form of
disability or impairment that prevents you from earning a living.

Lifestyle Protection

Covers the risk of being burdened with the cost of surviving and
recuperating from some form of critical illness or unexpected traumatic event.
Options exist to extend this cover with specific female and child-related
critical illness benefits.

Policy Protection

Covers the risk of losing or being denied access to appropriate levels of
cover in the future, either because of a temporary inability to make the
premium payments for some reason, or because your health circumstances
may have changed.

Two of their financial advisors shared
their experiences with us about the plan,
and how their clients have benefitted from it.

Dean Taitz

I've been in the business for 17 years, and I find the Lifestyle Protector the most amazing product to sell because of its vast benefit structure that allows the client to tailor their policy to meet their own specific needs. The way I put it to my clients is that it covers you “from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, from your left finger to your right finger”. In my opinion, there’s no weakness in the product. I always recommend that advisors sell the Rolls-Royce of benefits, and not to skimp because you must give the client the full opportunity to get paid in any eventuality.

 What impresses me the most is that the claims assessors are clearly very in tune with the benefits themselves. My claims experience with them has been unbelievable. I've never had a claim not paid in 17 years. I've seen miraculous things happen from the Lifestyle Protector policies.

Unfortunately, I've cried with clients, but I've also laughed with clients with claims for everything from income protection all the way through to life cover, death claims and the dread disease claims. The death claims I often find rewarding because you get to see the life of the beneficiary literally changed overnight, for the right reasons. When it comes to medical benefits, I’ve helped other people from other companies get paid for major joint replacements because of the Liberty definitions. We really are the trendsetters.

I had a claim quite a while ago where a woman lost her job. She had a policy with me for R500 a month as an investment. She struggled to keep it but we had a good rapport, and I kept going back to her, encouraging her to keep the policy, and eventually she found a good job. After about four and a half months, she phoned me to say, ‘I've got to cancel my life policy’. I managed to get her to keep her life, disability and dreaded disease cover. That was enforced for about four months. Then she phoned me to say, she's cancelling, she's lost her job again.

I took extra special care. I met with her and said let's rather reduce the policy instead of cancelling because I feel it's vitally important during this vulnerable time. She phoned me three days later with great news that she’d found a brilliant job in the Congo and was leaving in a couple of days. She managed to keep the policy in force, and the cover was untouched. This was about five months after the policy was taken out.

Six days later, she phoned me from hospital to let me know she was being airlifted from the Congo. She had to get an ambulance to the airport and an emergency flight home. I had to get authority from the medical aid. Three days after she arrived, she couldn't breathe. She thought she had bronchial pneumonia.

I think it cost about half a million rand to get her from the Congo to South Africa with a doctor. They checked her for bacterial pneumonia, which was negative. Then they did a biopsy of the lungs, and she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She had no prior symptoms. I went to see her in hospital and it was the most devastating time. We put in a claim for dreaded disease cover, and because it was an early claim, limited to their due diligence and medical aid history, within a couple of days everything was done. Then I got a claims letter from the assessor to ask for a letter of employment, which we were able to obtain.

Liberty sent me the decision letter that she was getting paid for dread disease cover of a R1 million, which was a 100%. Then they authorised a 100% of her Absolute Protective Plus for Disability, because she had been employed, even though it was only for 48 hours. Liberty honoured the plan. How fantastic is that? When I went to see her, she was already undergoing chemotherapy. I was able to tell her she wasn’t just getting the expected R1 million, she was actually getting R2 million. She was so overwhelmed; it was the most amazing thing. About four months later, she sadly passed away and her son and daughter got about R750 000 each, over and above, being left debt free. It literally changed their lives.

Jackie Bebbington

 It's a great product and it offers everything anyone needs in life to protect them going forward. When I sell this policy, I do an analysis with the client to work out how much life cover they need, how much dreaded disease and so on. What’s lovely is that the policy is so flexible. You can just add on or take things away as people’s life circumstances change.

I've had most of my claims on dreaded disease, which is cancer, heart attacks and the like.

 We’ve had a couple of people who have actually gone into the hospital and then they've had a heart attack. We've done the claim forms and we've actually paid out the claim. And one man said to me, I'm lying here and the last thing I have to worry about is money. I can just focus on getting better and that just makes you feel fantastic that you've really helped that family.

 A lot of companies will just offer life cover and disability, so it's either or. So, if you get disabled, it pays out. That's the end of the claim. But with our Lifestyle Protect, we have something called a Plus Plan, so it doesn't affect your basic life cover. You get accelerated and non-accelerated benefits. So, you can have a Disability Plus claim that doesn't affect anything else.

A few years ago, Liberty had a special on the Lifestyle Protector. If you were a certain age, we'd give you life cover with immediate effect. You didn't even have to have medicals. My client took that policy. He hadn't paid the first premium, but we gave him immediate life cover. He phoned me a couple of days later and said: “I've had a stroke”. And started laughing. I said, yeah, sure. And he said, no, Jackie, I'm in hospital. I've had a stroke. And Liberty paid that policy and he hadn't paid a premium yet. Isn’t that amazing? It’s showing mercy, but it's also just showing honour.

The other story is quite sad. Three guys were on a roof fixing something at their company, and they got electrocuted. My client landed on his back on the concrete. In the hospital, he was diagnosed as being paraplegic.

I did the claim form, and the doctors were great. Through his disability cover, we paid up R1 million really quickly. His family could no longer live in the double storey house they’d been living in, they had to have move and have the home adapted for him. His wife said that money was a lifesaver for them. I can’t imagine how hard it would've been if they didn’t have that there to help them.

A life covered is a life lived.
Get in touch with a Liberty Accredited Financial Adviser today.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute tax, legal, financial, regulatory, accounting, technical or other advice. The material has been created for information purpose only and does not contain any personal recommendations. While every care has been taken in preparing this material, no member of Liberty gives any representation, warranty or undertaking and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy, or completeness, of the information presented. Please consult your financial adviser should you require advice of a financial nature and/or intermediary services.
Liberty Group Limited is a Licensed Life Insurer and an Authorised Financial Services Provider (no 2409).

 About Liberty: Liberty is a  wholly owned subsidiary of The Standard Bank Group and is currently one of the largest providers of long-term insurance solutions to South Africa’s retail affluent market. With a strong and relevant brand of more than 60 years, Liberty offers an extensive, market-leading range of products and services to help clients build and protect their wealth and lifestyle. This is enabled by Liberty’s 3,000-strong tied distribution force that expertly equips customers with knowledge to make financial decisions that add value throughout their various life stages. Liberty's incorporation into Standard Bank provides synergies and advantages not only in South Africa but across the African continent, positioning Liberty as an integral part of a universal financial  services organisation focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences and superior value.  Liberty's wholly owned asset manager STANLIB is one of the biggest retail unit trust managers (including money market) in South Africa, with award-winning capabilities in property and fixed income, who together with their market-leading offshore partners are able to provide unique investment opportunities for clients. Liberty Group Ltd is a licensed life insurer and an authorised financial services provider.

Images: and supplied.