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South African insurance companies agree to pay for COVID-19 losses



In recent months, we have been writing about decisions by various European insurance companies to pay policyholders for their COVID-19 related losses. The positive trend is now moving across continents.

In response to COVID-19, the Government of South Africa imposed restrictions allowing only key services to operate during a lockdown introduced in March 2020, resulting in significant losses for businesses and small businesses. In response to policyholders' claims, the South African insurance companies Santam, Hollard Insurance Company and Guardrisk Insurance Co. Ltd. agreed to pay certain business interruption losses due to COVID-19 and related government orders. Insurance companies recently announced that they will offer residences and temporary relief to thousands of their insured companies under business interruption insurance policies that cover losses due to infectious and contagious diseases.

The decision of the South African insurance companies comes at a time when other insurance companies are awaiting disputes over the payment of COVID-1

9 related claims in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority's action against eight insurance companies aimed at resolving conflicting interpretations of business interruption insurance policies has recently completed declaration procedures and is likely to be decided next month. In the United States, insurance coverage cases are only beginning to get through the courts, with a federal court recently ruling on the policyholder in a case that covers COVID-19 losses. [1]

Perhaps Continued Expansion of positive responses from insurance companies around the world will affect insurance companies in the United States – many of which actually report high net income during the pandemic – to meet their policy and applicable law obligations. This remains to be seen as thousands of COVID-19-related claims continue through claims and lawsuits.

[1] https://www.huntoninsurancerecoveryblog.com/2020/08/articles/business-interruption/court-conccepts-that-covid-19-losses-can-qualify-as-direct-physical-loss/ Chapter19659006]
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