Inside Covid-19: Existential battle looms as companies take on their insurers in SA, US and elsewhere. Ep 56

In Episode 56 of Inside Covid-19, we get perspective on the surge in South African coronavirus infections and mortalities; take an in-depth look at an existential battle between companies and their insurers both here in South Africa and the United States; and hear the sobering news that despite a $130bn direct cash injection for 5m businesses from the American Government, between 20% and 30% of them are still expected to go bankrupt. – Alec Hogg

In today’s Covid-19 headlines:

  • South Africa’s coronavirus cases are continuing to rise, with confirmed daily infections breaking above 10,000 for the first time on Saturday. A record 173 mortalities were reported on Sunday, although the number was inflated by a mix up in the Gauteng reports with three days being reported together. The country remains fourth in the world on the rise in daily infections and on Sunday occupied 6th place on new deaths, sandwiched between Peru’s 177 and Iran’s 163. Brazil, Mexico and India, at between 420 and 530 daily mortalities, are now the world’s three hardest hit countries, followed by the USA. Good news, however, is the growing belief that South African mortalities will be far lower than the original projections of between 60,000 and 80,000. In Biznews today retired actuary Dave de Klerk crunched numbers which projects total mortalities of around 10,000, a number which aligns with the forecasts of PANDA, a group of actuaries and professionals who have consistently criticised the much higher numbers upon which South Africa’s economically destructive three month lockdown was based.
  • Only in South Africa. The two year old Gabola church, where booze is a critical part of the service, is running into trouble with the lockdown-inspired ban on alcohol.
  • The existential fight over Business Interruption Insurance, which has been sold for over a century, is not only a South African phenomenon. In the litigation-crazy United States, it’s a fight for many billions of dollars between millions of companies who claim the payouts are the only thing that will save them, and insurance companies which say paying out will bankrupt them.
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