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 COVID-19 – Insurance Companies Speak

COVID-19 – Insurance Companies Speak

Gaborone — Chief executive officer of Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) Mr Newton Jazire says the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and livelihoods is being felt throughout and short term insurance has not been spared.

Speaking at one in a series of press conferences designed to update the public on the organisations’ preparedness on COVID-19 preparedness, Mr Jazire said his company had given free bereavement cover of P10 000 for all its customers. Therefore, if any of their customers lost any member of the family to COVID-19, the company would pay P10 000. Further, BIC has reduced premiums for private motor insurance by 30 per cent for the months of April, May and June.

He said those who had paid a lump sum for the whole year, BIC was making arrangements to refund them the 30 per cent based on their analysis of the situation, given that most of their customers were on lockdown and their vehicle were parked.

“It will only be fair that we give back something to our customers in this period of the pandemic,” he said.

Furthermore,Mr Jazire said they also had a premium rescue package price in the hospitality, restaurants, and bars, given that they were the most affected by the COVID-19, noting that some hotels closed sho altogether, while some had not received any clients.

He further said post COVID-19, they would advocate for the national insurance scheme, noting that things like terrorism and political riots had been handled in other countries using the national insurance scheme.

On other issues, Mr Jazire said insurance companies around the world had the capacity to deal with a pandemic like COVID-19, adding that they intended to engage the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to try and get their understanding that there was a need to set up a national scheme for future pandemics.

For her part, managing director at Old Mutual Short Term Insurance, Ms Kushatha Moswela said the covers that her company had were not standard, adding that they had, house, cars, mines, and hotel insurance packages.

She said the mine and hospitality industry was the hardest hit by the COVID-19, adding that the company then realised that they could not have a blanket approach to their customers’ problems.

“We need to deal with our customers on a case by case bases, so that we address their exact pin-points,” she said.

Ms Moswela said they had set a three-month premium payment holiday for the clients.

As for Hollard managing director, Ms Jane Tselayakgosi, she said the company had contributed P830 000 towards the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

She said they also had motor vehicle premium discount for their clients, adding that if it happened that one of their broker or their policy holders died due to COVID-19, they would assist the family with P10 000.

Source : BOPA