1Lifedirect lets you buy life insurance on your cellphone

It may seem strange to buy life insurance on your cellphone, but this is precisely what you can do with 1Lifedirect, which is offering whole life cover up to R500 000. With cellphones providing access to just about everything these days, why not life insurance?

1Life says its clients can view and make changes to their policies on their phones, too, using special technology that provides an interactive user experience. The nice thing is that life cover is available to all South Africans with a phone that has WAP access.

But don’t think you have to settle for a one-size-fits-all package — you still have to complete four lifestyle questions and six medical questions during the online application process. Of course, if you’re not honest upfront, you’ll face the usual problems later — claims won’t be processed and so on.

Because you’re taking a “short cut” to insurance, without having to fill in application forms, don’t assume that the process has loopholes in it. Lifestyle and risk factors still play a role in determining what cover you will be eligible for.

The advantages are simplicity, convenience and personal control, according to 1Lifedirect’s CEO, Anton de Souza, who suggests that insurance could well be purchased by using a cellphone by choice in the future. But traditional concerns remain. What happens once you’ve purchased the insurance and you have queries? Can you follow up with the company?

According to de Souza, the existing 1Lifedirect call centre is available to help clients take up and administer their policies, as well as make changes if necessary. Also, existing clients can use their cellphones to do so, by dialling #120#101#.

“We developed two mobile life insurance solutions. The first one allows clients to buy a policy and the second allows clients to administer their policy,” says de Souza.

You can visit the mobisite and click on “Buy now” to take up a policy: www.1Lifedirect.co.za/mobi.

The life insurance cover available on your cellphone pays out up to R500 000 to a nominated beneficiary should you die. It also covers accidental death immediately and includes terminal illness cover.

In addition, it pays out up to R25 000 of your life cover amount as a funeral benefit within 48 hours of submitting a claim.

As with any policy, though, make sure you find out exactly what is and isn’t covered and under what circumstances the policy may not pay out. Ask questions. If you are looking for pure life cover that you can administer yourself, this product certainly seems appealing.

* As with any life insurance product, you get what you pay for and you should always consider your particular individual needs before purchasing a policy. Keep these guidelines in mind before going ahead.

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information

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