Life insurers can deal with Covid-19 fallout
The South African life insurance industry has healthy reserves and is therefore well positioned to deal with the Covid-19 fallout over the coming months.
Hennie de Villiers, the deputy chairperson of the life and risk board committee at the Association for Savings and Investments South Africa (Asisa), says newly released statistics show that the industry held assets of R3 trillion at the end of last year, with liabilities of R2.7 trillion, leaving reserves of R373 billion.
De Villiers says a healthy reserve buffer is critically important, because it enables insurers to honour long-term promises to policyholders. These reserves take on even greater importance in times of crisis. “As an industry, we understand that the pandemic will present challenges that are unprecedented.
While we are not able to predict with certainty how this will unfold in the months to come, we can give policyholders and their beneficiaries the assurance that the industry is well positioned to weather this storm and that we will be able to honour every single valid claim.”
De Villiers says policyholders who experience difficulty in paying their premiums should contact their financial adviser or insurer urgently to discuss potential solutions. He says life insurers are looking at ways to assist policyholders who may be struggling financially as a result of Covid-19 measures, but says this will be done on a case-by-case basis.