Excuse the soppy title but when it comes to Norma, I get that way sometimes. Norma is our domestic helper and nanny who has worked for us for nine years, since we came back to live in South Africa and first put down roots in Joburg. Norma has been there to witness me sobbing over a newborn, not knowing what on earth to do. She’s comforted me through losing my mom, she’s helped care for Gareth through a back surgery and she’s generally looked after our family for almost a decade now.
I went back to work when Rachel was four months old and I left my tiny baby with Norma, knowing with confidence that she would be safe, happy and loved. I’m well aware that Norma has her own family, and she sacrifices so much to work, earn a living and provide for them in Zimbabwe. When we moved from Joburg we offered to get her a job there with another family but she chose to move with us to Cape Town, and we know that took a lot of sacrifices too.
Norma takes care of us and we want to do the same for her. So beyond her salary and overtime pay, we contribute monthly to a pension scheme for her, so that when she retires she will have a nest egg to use as she wishes. She also has her own funeral policy she took out independently, which covers her and multiple family members. Beyond this though, it’s always worried me what would happen if she were unable to work, and what would happen to her family she provides for.
The issue is that not many insurance schemes in South Africa will cover foreign nationals, even if they do have valid work permits. But I have found one that does and the process has been slick, simple and hugely satisfying! As Norma said herself once we signed up for the disability and life insurance policy with Simply: “no matter what happens to me now, everyone will be okay”.
The process literally took about five minutes, as long as you have the right details to hand like passport numbers, full names and birth dates of beneficiaries. For R129 per month, we got Norma R100 000 of life insurance and R300 000 of disability insurance, plus we got the cash back option, which pays back 50% of her premiums if she doesn’t claim in the next five years.
The policy documents are easy to understand and clearly illustrated (and I can say this with authority, because I do a lot of insurance writing myself in my day job and I’ve seen some shockers;). Overall I’ve been hugely impressed with the value of the offering and the ease of the sign up process.
Other things to know about Domestic Cover from Simply:
- there are no blood tests (you just have to ask your employee a few short health-related questions)
- they’re covered instantly, as soon as you sign up
- you complete the entire process online and don’t have to speak to a single human (unless you want to!)
- you can customise their package and choose from life, disability and funeral insurance, plus how much coverage you want for each of those three
- SA citizens and those working in SA legally can qualify
- in order to apply on their behalf, employees need to have worked for you for at least 24 hours a month, for six months or more
- if for some reason your employee doesn’t qualify for full cover (because the health questions indicate they have a serious medical condition for e.g.), then they can still get accidental cover. So if they die in a taxi accident for example, their family can still claim a payout
Taking this policy out for Norma has given us both peace of mind that if something happens to her, funds will be paid out to her or her child and family, to cover their cost of living or complete their education – even though she can no longer work and earn a salary.
She’s given our family so much and this is one small way of ensuring that we can help take care of her and her loved ones, no matter what happens.
Who is Simply?
Simply is an authorised Financial Services Provider who markets, distributes and services long-term insurance products. They’re bringing new ideas to the market but all their policies are underwritten by Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited (OMART), a registered long-term insurance company in the Old Mutual Group, and reinsured by the Reinsurance Group of America (RGA). So you can trust that your claims will always be paid. You can read more about them here.
P.S. Norma gave permission for her story and images to be used in this blog post, but preferred not to list her full name.