The devil is in the detail – SA insurers vs their clients

Santam, somewhat disingenuously, has been spitting out statements to the media implying that it has settled claims from small businesses hit by Covid-19 related closures. It has offered limited payment relief of sorts but is refusing to pay out for business interruption cover – which is, after all, what its smaller clients thought they were buying.

This week giants like Santam and other insurers are being taken to court by the smaller companies. As my BizNews colleague Claire Badenhorst reports: Insurance Claims Africa is representing more than 700 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector in their fight to get insurers to honour Covid-19 business interruption claims (listen here).

The fight is over the fine-print, with insurance beasts trying to wriggle out of paying up for pandemic-related closure on the grounds that the government lockdown, and not a virus, forced businesses to close their doors. Therefore, the clause that promises payout for a pandemic does not apply to Covid-19.

It’s not only South African insurers that are fighting hard to avoid paying their dues. This is an ugly legal battle being played out in court rooms around the globe, with insurers doing whatever it takes to avoid a massive financial hit.

PS: BizNews is hiring – sub-editors wanted

Speaking of finer details, we’re looking for a sub-editor with business and financial journalism experience to join the growing editorial team at BizNews. If you can work in WordPress and Adobe InDesign, are a stickler for factual accuracy and a masterful wordsmith, send your CV and a note telling us why you want to work for us, to [email protected]

BizNews community members have free access to President Cyril Ramaphosa – the Road to Presidential Power by Anthony Butler (read by BizNews founder Alec Hogg). The first four chapters of the audio book start here. We will notify you as fresh chapters are released.

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