Santam commits N$30 million in relief to contingent business interruption clients
Santam, Namibia’s largest short-term insurer will pay up to N$30-million in urgent relief funding to clients in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail services industries who have Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) cover with the company.
The payments will be made to policyholders who have incurred losses during the COVID-19 pandemic period and have CBI extensions in their policies. The aim of the relief payment is to support policyholders who are in financial distress and does not serve as indemnity under a policy contract.
The N$30-million disbursement equates to 70% of one months’ value of the sum insured for Santam’s policyholders in the identified industries. The one month is indicative of the period where most businesses were impacted by the restrictive trading environment imposed by the Level 1 lockdown in the country. The 70% is based on a view that the businesses would have experienced variable expense savings during the lockdown. The relief payments will be set at a minimum of N$25 000 and a maximum of N$1.5 million for individual CBI policyholders.
Franco Feris, the Santam Namibia CEO, said the insurer had opted to offer the urgent relief in response to the financial distress faced by policyholders in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail services industries.
“We understand that the pandemic has caused devastation on individuals, businesses and the overall economy. We therefore decided to assist with a substantial contribution to help sustain our policyholders in the most impacted industries,” said Feris.
Policyholders will have to register a claim in order to qualify for the relief. The relief applies to Santam CBI policyholders in Namibia. The relief payment is mainly aimed at small and medium sized commercial policyholders in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail services industries that have the CBI extension and suffered a loss due to the national lockdown. Large corporate clients are excluded due to the bespoke and complex nature of insurance policies for such businesses.
To qualify for relief payment, the clients must meet the following criteria:
Their policy must have CBI extension;
The CBI extension must have been taken out before 18 March;
The policy must still be in force;
The client must have incurred a loss; and
They must not be an essential service provider allowed to trade during the lockdown.
“As Santam we pride ourselves on being a responsible and patriotic corporate citizen. Over our 60 year old history, we have built a reputation of always acting with integrity and in the best interests of our clients and stakeholders,” Feris said.
Policyholders qualifying for payment must register a claim with Santam. Qualifying policyholders will be required to sign a funds release form prior to payment. The release form will require the policyholder to confirm and agree that:
They have suffered a financial loss as a result of the lockdown;
They acknowledge that should they be entitled to any further payment in respect of a claim against Santam under the CBI extension, the relief payment received by them will be considered as an advance payment of such claim;
They will disclose whether they are registered for VAT.
Santam has to date also contributed more than N$20-million in COVID-19 funding to provide relief through premium reductions, premium refunds as well as direct support to insurance industry business partners, corporate social responsibility and Government initiatives.