If you are on the lower income earning scale, then you know how difficult it can be to get life and disability cover. It feels like a nearly impossible task, with numerous obstacles to overcome and mounds of paperwork to complete. However, it can be achieved if you know what process to follow and are properly prepared.


Contacting firms that deal specifically with lower-income earners can help immensely in getting life and disability cover. And once such firm is African Unity Life (AUL), a company that understands how difficult it can be to get the insurances that you need.


What is life cover?

Life cover provides your family and dependents with a lump sum payout upon your death, which can be used in whichever way they see fit. If this sum is allocated to your mortgage provider, then it will be used to pay off some of the amount that is left outstanding upon your death. You will decide for how long you would like the cover and the amount that is to be paid out.


What is disability cover?

Disability cover is similar to life cover, in that a lump sum is paid out.  But in this case it is in the event of your becoming permanently or temporarily disabled. This lump sum can be used for living expenses and to pay off outstanding debts, and is useful if you are the sole earner in a low-income household. This cover does, in most cases, cease at age 65 or once you have retired.


How to apply for life and disability cover

The application process for lower income earners is similar to the normal process, but it is important to be prepared before beginning this process as it will speed things along and help with a successful application.

For many banks that act as insurance providers, you will need to be an existing customer, so it is easier to find an insurance provider that is standalone.


Have all documents ready and available

There are documents that you will need to submit for a life or disability cover application, which include the following:

  • Personal information, such as proof of residence, a certified copy of your identity document and a valid bank account.
  • Proof of income, such as three months of bank statements or payslips showing that you are earning a lower income.
  • Medical records disclosing pre-existing conditions (if these conditions are not disclosed, they will more than likely not be covered by either life or disability cover).
  • Proof of employment, in the form of a letter from the company or business by which you are currently employed. Note that it is vital to inform your insurer of any employment changes, such as loss of job or change of employer.

Once you have readied these documents, then you will need to go into your bank or the offices of your chosen cover provider in order to discuss your options based on your age, living situation and income.


Disclose every pertinent piece of information

If you withhold information on your application, then it will most likely be unsuccessful or have future consequences that are highly negative. It is vital to put the correct bank account details and the correct salary and personal information onto the application form, as well as all medical conditions. The insurer will not be able to give you an accurate quote if they do not have the correct information and you may end up paying more than you are able to because of this.


Choose the right option

Life and disability covers often offer more than one option to clients and it is important that you choose one that is right for you.  If you are the head of a household and the sole income earner, then it is vital to choose a life and disability cover that offer options such as group life cover, permanent disability, temporary disability, funeral benefits, spouse cover and educational cover.


These options ensure that your family is able to function should something happen to you. However, if you are single with no dependents, then you may consider only getting disability cover rather than both, unless you believe that your marital situation is likely to change relatively soon after you take the cover out.



If you are earning a low income, you should not feel as if life or disability cover are impossible goals. Being prepared by collecting the correct documents and deciding on the best option for your situation will help you on the process of applying for life and disability cover. Fortunately for those who are in desperate situations, there are companies who specialise in offering cover to those who are in low-income households because they know that everyone deserves dignity and the assurance that their families can continue regardless of any problems.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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