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South Africans are smoking a bit less and buying a lot more life insurance - FNB

15 October 2020 9:38 AM
Tags:
Smoking
FNB
life insurance
smoking ban
Lester Kiewit
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
cigarette ban
cigarette sale ban
FNB Life
smoking rates
Lee Bromfield

"People are thinking about their mortality," says Lee Bromfield, Chief Executive of FNB Life.

There’s been an 18% decrease in the number of FNB clients declaring themselves as smokers since the lockdowns started at the end of March.

The bank’s life insurance division regularly assesses the health risk profile of its clients, including their smoking habits.

FNB conducts about 40 000 health risk questionnaires each month.

"Have a ciggie!" - Dr Death

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The bank says that smoking rates started to pick up, but only slightly, since the lifting of the prohibition on the sale of tobacco products.

Botswana was the only other country in the world that banned smoking as a measure curb Covid-19 and foreign media reported widely on the peculiarity - and the resultant crime wave - of the ban.

Lester Kiewit asked Lee Bromfield (Chief Executive of FNB Life) for comment.

“There is a chance that people are lying,” admits Bromfield.

“Obviously, there’s a big risk that people were cautious of declaring themselves as smokers when cigarettes were banned.”

Bromfield added that they do sometimes test for tobacco use and that they haven’t found huge discrepancies between declared and actual smoking habits.

Quitting smoking could cut your monthly life insurance premiums by 20%, says Bromfield.

“People are thinking about their mortality,” says Bromfield.

“Our branches were closed, but our digital applications for life cover spiked by between 200% and 300% during the lockdown,” says Bromfield.

“Our sales were good throughout lockdown and since [the easing to level-one] our sales have stayed strong."

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


15 October 2020 9:38 AM
Tags:
Smoking
FNB
life insurance
smoking ban
Lester Kiewit
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
cigarette ban
cigarette sale ban
FNB Life
smoking rates
Lee Bromfield

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