Sanlam 'very concerned' as it braces for third wave of Covid-19

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Sanlam Corporate says it's starting to fear that the third wave of Covid-19 infections will be as bad as the second wave. (Getty)
Sanlam Corporate says it's starting to fear that the third wave of Covid-19 infections will be as bad as the second wave. (Getty)
  • Sanlam Corporate says it's "very concerned" about the likely severity of third wave of Covid-19 infections.
  • Low availability of vaccines and misinformation deterring people from taking jabs aren't helping.
  • Insurers have already paid billions of rands in death claims in the first quarter of 2021.


While insurers were hoping that the third wave of Covid-19 infections would not be as severe as the second wave, they are starting to fear a possible repeat of what happened between December 2020 and February this year.

"What we're seeing at the moment is that the third wave is tracking very closely to the second wave. We were hopeful that the third wave would not be in the region of the second wave. So, we are extremely concerned," said the CEO of Group Risk at Sanlam Corporate, Michelle Jennings.

Speaking at Sanlam Corporate's 2021 retirement benchmark survey presentation, Jennings said the low availability of Covid-19 vaccines and rumours that some vaccine centres are standing empty, and people fearing to take the vaccine because of misinformation in social media created a recipe for rapid spreading of the virus now that new infections are breaching the 10 000-mark every day.

When they said they were expecting a kinder third wave, Jennings said insurers' models were based on assumptions that there would be a little bit more community or population immunity because of the extremes of the virus exposure in the second wave.

"But that doesn't really seem to be coming through, and it's very concerning," said Jennings. The second wave hit insurers hard.

While Sanlam's death claims mirrored the national trend in the first wave, in the second wave, the insurer's death claims were higher than the national trend. And that's something that the industry representative body, Association for Savings & Investment South Africa, said was consistent among all major insurers.

The virus claimed more lives in the insured working population, and deaths were 400% greater than the expected mortality.

In May, Old Mutual reported that it paid approximately R2.7 billion of Covid-19-related death claims in the first quarter. Jennings said Sanlam paid R3.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday.  

Go to the Fin24 front page.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
18.09
-0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.21
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.74
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.1%
Gold
1,660.90
0.0%
Silver
19.03
0.0%
Palladium
2,166.50
0.0%
Platinum
864.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders