The Santam Group, South Africa’s largest general insurer today announced that it would make R200-million available as COVID-19 relief to help clients, suppliers, and contribute to the Government’s Solidarity Fund. The Santam Group effort will also be aimed at flattening the Coronavirus curve through additional Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives and assisting its employees to deal with the impact of the pandemic.
“The fight against the Coronavirus pandemic is a collective fight that calls for unity, patriotism and a deep sense of humanity from all South Africans”, said Lizé Lambrechts – Santam CEO.
The Santam Group has committed to contribute in the following areas:
Assisting Clients with Premium Relief Initiatives
R135 million will be 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. 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.
Assistance to Suppliers – SMMEs
R20 million has been set aside to assist Santam suppliers who experience a material drop in turnover and associated cashflow. As the Santam Group we are of the view that maintaining a sustainable supply chain, especially in the fulfilment of claims is critical to the business and in meeting client expectations. 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.
Contributing to the Solidarity Fund and Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives (CSI)
A further R20 million contribution will be made to the recently established Solidarity Fund and other corporate social investment initiatives that are critical in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The donation will be distributed in the following manner:
- R10 million contribution 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 frontline fight against COVID-19. Santam is humbled by these selfless patriots and commits to helping those that assist with saving our lives.
An Employee Contribution Facility (Staff Volunteerism) for COVID-19 will also be established, which Santam will match 100%.
The most impacted segment amongst our employees are those who mainly earn variable income. 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. In addition, Santam will be proceeding with planned annual salary increases during April 2020 and is, as far as possible, committed to retaining jobs.
The Santam Group will continue with Employee Wellness initiatives during this difficult period. As a 102-year-old company, employees have over the decades proven to be our most important asset, and as a Group we will do all possible to support our colleagues.
The Santam Group’s R200m 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 2020.
Lambrechts said the group will do all it can to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and lessen its impact on South Africans.
“This is a titanic human struggle that is unpreceded in our lifetimes. It is a time that calls for sound leadership, courage and adhering to the new ways of managing our everyday lives. From a Santam Group perspective, we are pleased with the decisive response by the authorities and encouraged by the leadership shown by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Government. As a caring South African corporate, we are working alongside Government and other stakeholders to help alleviate the suffering of fellow South Africans and to minimise the financial impact of this crisis,” she said.
“We have decided to take a decisive stand and do all we can to support efforts to flatten the curve and lessen the economic impact on fellow South Africans. It is critical that we stay safe, stay at home and stop the spread of this highly contagious virus,” added Lambrechts.
Lambrechts concluded that, “as a company that prides itself in doing insurance good and proper – it is even more crucial at a time like this, to live to our brand promise and equally do good in the fight against this pandemic”.