Insurers around the world have argued Covid-19 lockdowns were not covered in policies many clients thought would protect them as the pandemic brought business to an abrupt halt.
Facing pressure from the financial services regulator and with reputational damage mounting, South Africa’s insurers have offered to either settle with some clients or provide interim relief payments while court cases play out.
Ryan Woolley, CEO of Insurance Claims Africa, which represents around 600 affected businesses, warned such offers were unlikely to fend off widespread layoffs and closures. Around 30 percent of his clients would likely receive nothing, he said. Others saw settlement offers as “unreasonable”.
“We’ll put the money to good use to those that receive the benefit. For the balance, it’s . . .just more agony,” he said.
Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, and Hollard Insurance Group are proposing interim relief payments on some claims while court cases are ongoing. — Reuters.