Old Mutual in R4bn free life cover pledge for healthcare professionals
The 174-year-old insurance group said the cover was free for 430000 registered health workers, and was neither a product nor a policy.
It said no premiums would be recovered on it.
Interim chief executive Iain Williamson said the decision was inspired by a collective call supported by Old Mutual’s 30000 employees.
Williamson said the company, as the country’s leading insurer, was compelled to respond to the immediate need of its employees.
“We’re acutely aware of the critical work being done by all essential services workers across the country as they continue to serve, care and protect our nation during this crisis,” Williamson said, adding that healthcare workers were among the most vulnerable to the pandemic.
“While we acknowledge that we cannot practically cover every single essential service worker at this time, the business has nevertheless made a call to provide R4bn in free cover to the approximately 430000 registered healthcare workers who we believe are among the most exposed to the virus, and who continue to serve our nation so diligently.”
Old Mutual said the cover was effective from April 1 to the end of December 2020, and included a R10000 benefit that would become payable in the event of the death of a qualifying healthcare worker.
The company said the benefit would be a cushion to families who may have to deal with the tragic loss of a loved one during this period.
“The cover has no exclusions, and will include death related to any cause,” said the company.
It said that members registered with the Healthcare Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and those practitioners registered with the South African Nursing Council would be covered.
HPCSA spokesperson Daphney Chuma confirmed that the council had signed a memorandum of agreement with Old Mutual.
The cover comes as South Africa has implemented a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has claimed 13 lives of 1 749 confirmed cases, with 45 people recovering.
Old Mutual said it was also supporting national initiatives to access personal protective equipment for essential service workers such as face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser to the tune of R5million.
“We believe this will go a long way in supporting the other critical essential service workers who continue to serve the public at this time.”
The group recently announced a comprehensive Covid-19 relief response that includes a R50m pledge towards relief efforts that addressed immediate educational needs, hygiene awareness and nutritional support.
Old Mutual Insure pledged R40m towards small and medium-sized enterprises and service provider support during this period.
The group said that it had included the Solidarity Fund as a beneficiary on its staff Payroll Giving Pro- gramme in which employees, including senior leaders and the executive team, have been encouraged to give generously.