Old Mutual honours business interruption claims
By Riaan Vermeulen
Old Mutual Short-Term Insurance Managing Director.
When the State of Emergency was declared two years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a wave of severe financial losses suffered by Namibian businesses. These losses greatly impacted Old Mutual Namibia Short-Term Insurance customers who had to navigate challenging times to sustain the livelihoods of their employees.
During these difficult and unusual times, Old Mutual Namibia had deep sympathy for business owners who were anxious about how they were going to sustain their operations. Initially, it was unclear whether the insurance industry would consider the losses under the applicable Infectious and Contagious Disease clauses which resulted in several legal battles and court judgements. For this reason, Old Mutual Namibia, based on its legal interpretation, decided to proceed with accepting business interruption claims that it considered valid under the respective policy conditions.
We have been working closely with our key brokers to obtain the relevant information from our mutual clients who enjoyed the relevant business interruption cover. Due to the complexity involved in the assessment of the validity and quantum, business interruption claims usually take a long time to finalize. However, our specialist claims team has been committed to doing whatever it takes to resolve these claims as speedily as possible.
Through a thorough assessment carried out by highly skilled technical assessors on each of the claims that Old Mutual Namibia received, to date it has paid out sizable sums in interim-and final settlements on valid business interruption claims. Old Mutual Namibia is now in the process of concluding and settling the remainder of the claims based on the expiry of the respective Indemnification Periods.
As a responsible business, the priority of Old Mutual Namibia throughout the COVID-19 crisis has been to ensure that it considers and pays valid claims. As the world faces the ongoing daunting challenge of overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and its unprecedented challenges, Old Mutual is proud of the role it has played to support its valuable clients and aid the recovery of the Namibian economy to create hope and stability.
We have always had an appreciation for the incredibly difficult time our clients and their businesses experienced. We remain sympathetic towards the ongoing challenges and difficulties that our customers are facing due to COVID-19 related restrictions and the impact thereof.
Old Mutual remains committed to supporting our customers, now and into the future.