Santam appeals to clients to submit outstanding Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) claims

Commercial Lines

Santam appeals to clients to submit outstanding Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) claims

Published: 03 August 2021
  • Just over 60% of CBI claimants have submitted claims information
  • Santam is appealing to nearly 40% who have not submitted claims documentation

Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer, has today issued another  appeal to clients with CBI policies, who previously indicated they would claim, to submit formulated claims and supporting documentation, so that these  can be finalised and settled.

CBI claimants have a final deadline date of 31 August 2021 to submit their claims information to Santam.

A total of 3 252 policyholders previously notified Santam of their intention to formulate and submit CBI claims, however just over 60% of these clients have submitted claims information. The policy wording requires that the statement of particulars of a claim be formulated and submitted within thirty (30) days of the end of the relevant period stipulating the length of cover (indemnity period).  The vast majority of the CBI policies have limits of cover ranging between 3 and 12 months, therefore these clients should by now have finalised their claims given the time that has elapsed. Santam has on numerous occasions extended the deadline for claims submission.

“We are very concerned that despite our previous communications, nearly 40% of the clients who initially indicated their intention to submit CBI claims have still not provided supporting documentation,” Lizé Lambrechts, the Santam Group CEO said. 

Santam has made a financial provision of R3-billion for net CBI claims, and assures clients that it is committed to paying all valid claims as soon as possible. However, the responsibility of submitting a claim lies with the policyholder and the company is not able to process such until all relevant documentation is submitted.

“We therefore urge those clients who previously indicated that they would claim against their CBI policies to furnish us with the relevant claims information that will enable us to conclude this process speedily,” Lambrechts added.

Santam has since the beginning of 2021 recruited an additional forty (40) loss adjusters to expedite the processing of claims and implemented a simplified fast-track CBI claims process for SMEs, that only requires completion of a two-page spreadsheet with supporting documentation that includes financial statements that would ordinarily be used for tax-filing purposes.

Santam has thus far paid R1,6-billion in CBI claims, including R600-million to policyholders by mid-July 2021 and  R1-billion interim relief paid to 2 500 policy holders in August 2020.  

“We are very concerned that there could be clients who are experiencing hardship but have not submitted information to enable the assessment and settlement of their claims. They effectively have a month to do so,” Lambrechts highlighted.

Social  Unrest Claims - Sasria

While the recent social unrest events have been disappointing and very costly, Santam is pleased to confirm that more than 95% of its policyholders have elected Sasria cover, which is only provided through the state-owned insurer. Like all other short-term insurers, Santam policies do not provide for this type of cover. The Sasria cover plays a critical role in returning businesses to full functionality at such times.  To date more than 1500 of our clients have notified us of their intention to claim against their Sasria cover.

 Santam is working closely with the industry body SAIA (South African Insurance Association) and Sasria to ensure that claims are settled promptly.  To that end, the company has:

  • Agreed an additional mandate with Sasria to process more claims on their behalf;
  • Configured a custom system set-up in order facilitate these claims;
  • Activated its in-house catastrophe claims management protocols which were very effective in the settlement of claims during the 2017 Knysna fires disaster;
  • Set up a dedicated claims administration team with the sole focus of processing these claims;
  • Seconded internal assessor resources to ground-zero (KZN and Gauteng) to manage and coordinate field operations; and
  • Secured additional external assessors and loss adjusters to deal with the high volumes.

“With these measures we believe that we are very well-positioned to help the businesses to speedily return to full functionality”, Lambrechts concluded.