Our company

Who we are

Our company

Santam is the leading general insurer in South Africa with a market share of more than 22%. We provide a diverse range of general insurance products and services in southern Africa and internationally through a network of 2 700 intermediaries and direct channels. We serve more than 1 million policyholders who range from individuals to commercial and specialist business owners and institutions.

Santam’s commitment to its policyholders and clients is captured in the brand promise, Insurance good and proper, which emphasises responsible and ethical insurance.

The four business units are:


For personal insurance, we have a broad and sophisticated multi product and multichannel distribution offering that provides our clients with comprehensive cover through a wide range of value-add products. Our policies offer unique benefits to their target segment and can be tailored through flexible excess structures and policy benefits to suit each client's needs. 


For commercial insurance, we offer a business portfolio in South Africa and Namibia that serves small to large enterprises by providing flexible and unique commercial insurance solutions that are tailored to suit the needs of entrepreneurs and businesses. We follow a client-centric approach by rating commercial risks according to tailored risk profiles.


Santam Specialist focuses on the insurance of complex and niche market risks. Underwriting these classes requires skilled resources to assess and quantify the risk and exposure, and is evaluated through our underwriting managers and business units. Our strategic intent is to provide specialist products that are client-driven and supported by bespoke underwriting criteria to manage and quantify their risks.

The Santam Specialist business unit includes:

  • Underwriting managers and niche business units
  • Centriq Insurance Group (Centriq) incorporating alternative risk transfer and cell captive facilities
  • Agriculture crop insurance


MiWay is the direct insurer in the group, underwriting predominantly personal lines short-term insurance business. MiWay offers a different business model, segmentation, risk profile, lapse percentages and churn rates to the intermediated businesses. This supports Santam's strategy of growth through diversification and enables it to coexist well with, and complement, the intermediary business model within the group.


Santam Re is a wholesale reinsurance service provider for Santam / Sanlam group general insurance businesses and independent general insurers in South Africa, Africa, India and South-east Asia. Santam Re operates on the Santam short-term insurance licence. Santam Re enables the group to optimise the size, quality and diversity of its overall risk pool, relative to its capital resources and risk appetite.

Investment case

Santam's success has been, and will continue to be, determined by our ability to adapt to a dynamic systemic risk landscape. Over the years, Santam has been able to continually reposition and improve itself in the changing business environment, to employ the best people, to provide a relevant offering to clients, and to optimise systems to drive efficiency. This is and will remain at the core of our value proposition.

As an investment, the group offers the following:


Santam’s geographical footprint, scale, brand strength, business diversity and distribution networks put the group in a strong competitive position in South Africa, where we have a market share of more than 22%. The group further benefits from the diversity of our product offering and multiple channel capabilities (including a growing direct channel market share), which have contributed to sustained underwriting surpluses despite highly adverse operating conditions. We currently insure 86 of the top 100 companies listed on the JSE and has a network of more than 2 700 intermediaries.

Through our partnership with SEM we offer intermediaries access to 13 insurance licences across the African continent, India and Malaysia.


Santam has been able to consistently achieve underwriting profits, while adapting our business model to the prevailing market conditions and risks. Since our establishment in 1918, we have diversified our portfolio, focusing on profitability rather than only on increasing market share. The group has enjoyed the benefit of a strong, stable and strategically aligned core shareholder in Sanlam.

Santam continues to be recognised in the market: we were voted the leading general insurer in South Africa by the intermediary community in the Personal Insurance category at the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa’s (FIA) annual Insurer of the Year awards in 2015.


Santam has a world-class scientific underwriting capability supported by a strong and experienced management team. Our pool of specialist insurance skills and knowledge is evident in the success of the specialist business, which offers a complex range of insurance cover. Due to our integrated systems and processes, we are able to proactively deal with and benefit from regulatory changes, which can constitute high barriers of entry into the industry for new players.

Santam has a stringent capital management framework underpinned by an internally developed, risk-based model and embedded enterprise risk management framework, which is integrated into strategic decision-making and capital allocation.

Growth through diversification

Santam has a strong international diversification capability through our partnership with SEM, and through Santam Re and Santam Specialist. This will rapidly gain further traction in Africa following the Saham transaction, whereas MiWay attracts new and previously uninsured policyholders through its new online life and business insurance offerings in South Africa. Acquisitive growth opportunities in the local market are limited due to our dominant position, but organic growth remains a focus area, driven by Santam’s well-established intermediary network, integration opportunities with Sanlam’s distribution network and development of the Santam direct distribution channel.


Efficient capital management and a stable dividend policy have enabled us to deliver consistent returns. An average return on capital of 25.3% was achieved over the last 10 years and 24.3% over the last five years. Ordinary dividend per share compound growth of 8.9% was achieved over the last 10 years and we paid three special dividends. The unwinding of the BBBEE scheme created a combined value of R1.1 billion to participants. A share buy-back at R190 per share facilitated the unwinding and reduced capital by R801 million in 2015.

The business is highly cash generative and investment performance has a solid track record.

Sustainable and responsible

Santam’s integrated approach to managing long-term sustainability through improved management of systemic risk ensures alignment with the strategic drivers of the business. Santam’s sustainability journey focuses on:

  • reaching the uninsured market;
  • treating clients fairly;
  • responsible investment and solvency;
  • disaster risk management through private public partnerships; and
  • ensuring a diverse, productive employee base.

This is premised on a shared value approach through partnerships and includes initiatives such as the Business-Adopt-a-Municipality (BAAM) programme – now expanded under the banner of partnerships for risk and resilience.

The Santam brand

Santam is associated with brands such as MiWay, Centriq, the specialist underwriting managers’ brands and several niche business unit brands. The Santam brand remains the most recognised and awarded among the group brands, all of whom embrace the ethos around Santam’s brand positioning, Insurance good and proper, which emphasises responsible and ethical insurance.

The Santam brand also received accolades from the annual Loerie Awards and Sunday Times Top Brands survey.