The country’s largest short-term insurer Santam says the billion rand it has made available for its policyholders in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail services industries is mainly focused on small and medium-sized commercial policyholders. The company made the announcement on Saturday.
Scores of companies in these sectors are either on the verge of collapse, considering retrenchments or cutting wages.
Santam Group CEO Lizé Lambrechts says these companies are going through turbulent times, with debilitating liquidity challenges as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
“We are offering this relief because we acknowledge that the lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic have had a devastating impact on our economy. After careful consideration of the situation, especially the unforeseen impact of the lockdown and the ongoing restrictions that are impacting businesses, we decided to assist with the substantial payment commitment to help sustain our policyholders in the most impacted industries.”
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni earlier told MPs that the dire economic climate demanded all hands on deck.
Santam immediately responded, saying it felt obliged to come to its clients’ rescue. The company says it will continue to play a supportive role to its policyholders during this time of anxiety and need.
The relief payments will be set at a minimum of R25 000 and a maximum of R1.5 million for individual policyholders. They will have to register a claim in order to qualify for the relief.