Following the extension of the national lockdown and the continued financial strain that clients are experiencing, Santam today announced it will refund 20% of motor premiums paid in April for all its personal lines and commercial lines clients. This equates to R155 million and will bring the Group’s collective Covid-19 relief efforts to R400 million.
Lizé Lambrechts, Santam CEO, said: “We are absolutely committed to playing our part to help alleviate some of the devastating impacts of this virus. We are listening to our clients, monitoring the impact of this pandemic, and where we are able to provide additional assistance, we will do so in a fair and responsible manner. As a proudly South African business, we are dedicated to helping our fellow compatriots by implementing real solutions that make a tangible impact on peoples’ lives.”
This announcement follows the Group’s initial relief package of R200 million which was aimed at helping clients, intermediaries, and suppliers, including a contribution to the Solidarity Fund. The new premium refund will be based on 20% of motor premiums paid in April and will be paid to all clients with active policies during the course of May.
MiWay, a Santam Group subsidiary, is also offering Covid-19 relief, which will put R30 million back in the hands of clients and suppliers while also contributing to other Covid-19 causes. MiWay clients will enjoy an additional 7% discount to the value of R18 million, on top of the 10% discount provided earlier. Furthermore, MiWay will be providing relief of R10 million to Motor Body Repairers and towing operators, taking their total Covid-19 relief package since lockdown to R55 million.
Lambrechts said this latest premium relief initiative recognises the reduction in motor insurance risk exposure during the lockdown. The relief will also support Santam intermediary partners in keeping clients covered during this financially stressful period.
Lambrechts added that for the past 102 years, Santam’s success has been rooted in its people.
“We have listened to the call from President Ramaphosa to take care of our employees during this period, and despite the financial pressure placed by the pandemic on our business, we remain committed to supporting our people. A number of our employees who due to the nature of their roles are unable to work remotely during the lockdown, continue to enjoy full benefits and have also been granted special Covid-19 paid leave,” she said
A summary view of some of Santam’s other Covid-19 relief commitments is as follows:
Assistance to clients – R135 million was made available towards helping qualifying Santam clients in financial difficulty – both personal lines clients and SMMEs, with premium relief support over the next two months.
Assistance to suppliers – SMMEs: R20 million has been set aside to assist Santam suppliers who experience a material drop in turnover and associated cashflow. Focus will be on the most vulnerable suppliers with turnover of less than R10 million per annum, but consideration will also be given to those with an annual turnover between R10 million and R50 million.
Contribution to the Solidarity Fund and CSI Initiatives: A R20 million contribution will be made to the recently established Solidarity Fund and other corporate social investment initiatives. R10 million will go directly to the Solidarity Fund and R10 million to various CSI initiatives, primarily to assist healthcare workers and other essential service employees.
Assistance to employees: The company continues to assist commission earning employees whose salaries are significantly impacted by the lockdown. An Employee Contribution Facility (Staff Volunteerism) for Covid-19 has also been established, which Santam will match 100%.
Lambrechts concluded: “Although our business, like all others is being impacted by Covid-19, we believe that a strong focus on assisting our clients, employees, and other stakeholders in the insurance value chain is critical to building a sustainable Santam and supporting our country. Our efforts in putting together a R400 million relief package indicate our commitment to continue delivering Insurance Good and Proper”.