Financial services provider and general insurer, Santam Group, has committed R200-million in Covid-19 relief to help clients and suppliers and to contribute to the government’s Solidarity Fund.
Santam Group will also contribute to flattening the Covid-19 curve through additional corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives and assisting its employees to deal with the impact of the pandemic.
Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts says the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is a collective fight that calls for unity, patriotism and a deep sense of humanity from all South Africans.
Santam Group has committed to contribute to three initiatives, including assisting clients with premium relief, assisting suppliers and contributing to the Solidarity Fund, as well as CSI initiatives.
In terms of helping clients with premiums, Santam has availed R135-million, which will be made available towards helping qualifying Santam clients in financial difficulty, both those that are personal lines clients and small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs), with premium relief support over the next two months.
In this regard, cover will remain fully in place during this period and all valid claims will be honoured. Priority will be given to loyal clients who have a solid premium payment history but find themselves under financial pressure emanating from Covid-19.
Santam intermediaries will also benefit by retaining clients as a result of the premium relief offer. Qualifying clients will be contacted by their intermediaries with more details.
In terms of assistance to suppliers, R20-million has been set aside to assist Santam suppliers that experience a material drop in turnover and associated cashflow.
Santam Group notes that maintaining a sustainable supply chain, especially in the fulfilment of claims is critical to the business and in meeting client expectations. Focus, therefore, will be on the most vulnerable suppliers with turnover of less than R10-million a year, but consideration will also be given to those with yearly turnover of between R10-million and R50-million.
A further R20-million contribution will be made to the recently established Solidarity Fund and other CSI initiatives that are critical in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The donation will be distributed with R10-million contribution going to the Solidarity Fund, R10-million to fund various CSI initiatives – primarily to assist health workers and other essential service employees who risk their lives daily in the front-line fight against Covid-19.
Further, an employee contribution facility (staff volunteerism) for Covid-19 will also be established, which Santam will match 100%.
In addition, Santam is also considering ways in which to assist its employees, the most impacted segment among them being those who mainly earn variable income. In this regard, over the lockdown period, those employees who normally earn commission or sales-based income will be paid an average of their past three months’ earnings, to lessen the income impact.
Further, Santam will proceed with planned yearly salary increases during April and is, as far as possible, committed to retaining jobs.
Santam Group will also continue with employee wellness initiatives during this difficult period.
The Santam Group’s R200-million commitment also includes a R25-million contribution from Santam subsidiary, MiWay, which last week announced support towards the Covid-19 fight by offering their motor policyholders a 10% discount on their premiums for the month of April.