We miss a hug. A handshake. A run even. But in order to get back to all our favourite things, there’s just one little thing we need to do: stay home and stay safe. That’s why the Motsepe family and companies associated with them, including Sanlam, have pledged R1 billion to help South Africa.
As one can expect, COVID-19 is currently having a negative impact on global financial markets, and the disruption caused will probably continue for a few more months. However, after being impacted by global turmoil previously, the markets have always recovered and will do so again – it may just take some time. It is now more important than ever that you remain level-headed and continue to stay the course on your savings and investment journeys.
As our client, it is important to us that you remain informed and protected. Now, more than ever, your financial planner is here to assist you and guide your financial decisions – so make contact digitally or telephonically if you need to. Please refer to our FAQs and our holding statement to find out what you are covered for and how to claim. For more answers to your questions, please fill in the form below. We are here to help you.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we are actively investigating opportunities to also contribute towards supporting existing activities and initiating new ones to alleviate the impact and spread of this virus and the consequent COVID-19 disease on our clients, our staff, our partners and South Africa, particularly the economy.
We are continuously monitoring the situation, and by using the insights of reputable sources, we’ve compiled a COVID-19 Information Toolkit for your convenience. Here, you’ll find useful information relating to the virus.
This page will be updated regularly, so please check in with us again.
27 March 2020
Dear Sanlam client & partner
The reality of the global spread and impact of the Coronavirus and COVID-19 confronted us squarely on Monday evening when President Ramaphosa addressed the nation, announcing the unprecedented lockdown of the whole country, following the first set of emergency measures introduced a week earlier.
This is an action which I believe will go a long way in supporting South Africa... Read more
This is an action which I believe will go a long way in supporting South Africa to prudently and efficiently respond to the rapidly spreading Coronavirus and its impact on our society and on our already flailing economy. The President, the Minister of Health and Government have shown requisite leadership as we navigate this unique global challenge. We are fully behind the decision and we believe the lockdown is the best means available now to “flatten the curve”. To support the economy will require a package of monetary and fiscal stimulus given the challenges faced.
With the health and wellbeing of our staff foremost, we have also implemented significant and carefully considered business continuity plans to ensure that we are able to service our clients in the best way possible under these circumstances. We believe our team has the relevant expertise and resilience to sustain the critical parts of our operations even at this business unusual time. We are able to service our clients in the best way possible.
In his address, President Ramaphosa mentioned essential financial and payment services which will remain open. A number of our services have also been designated in this category. These include, among others:
To this end, I would like to let you now that these areas in our business will continue to operate while we heed as best as we can the measures that have been introduced. The authorities requested that we work off-site versus on-site as far as possible. Therefore, a number of our staff in the areas above will be working remotely. We believe this will further support our business continuity efforts outlined above.
As a responsible corporate citizen, we are actively investigating opportunities to also contribute towards supporting existing activities and initiating new ones to alleviate the impact and spread of this virus and the consequent COVID-19 disease on our clients, our staff, our partners and South Africa, particularly the economy. We will be making a significant announcement over the next few days in this regard.
As a member of the Association for Savings and Investment in SA (ASISA), Business Unity SA and the Business Leadership SA, we are also working together with industry peers on initiatives and provisions that can be made to provide relief to our clients whose financial position has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. We will announce such decisions and initiatives through the industry associations and we will keep you informed as these unfold.
At our annual results presentation a couple of weeks ago, we communicated that in line with the regulatory requirements, Sanlam is very well-capitalised to deal with the shocks that such events may evoke. Our 2019 financial performance was extremely good particularly so on a relative basis given the challenging economic conditions.
You, as a Sanlam client, staff or partner, have our commitment that we will do everything within our capabilities to support you during this challenging episode in our history. At Sanlam we will play an active role in keeping the economy going at this time.
Solidarity will be important for us to remain resilient in the face of this challenge, so our hearts go out to those who have been infected and affected by the Coronavirus and COVID-19.
We appreciate your continued support and commitment to Sanlam. Take care during this time and I wish you and your families well.
Yours sincerely, Ian KirkGroup Chief Executive OfficerSanlam Limited
We are here to assist with any claims or policy related queries or concerns that you may have.
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Depending on the specific benefit you have, Sanlam will cover you for any illness, impairment or disability where these conditions are caused as a result of complications linked to infection by any bacteria or virus. The virus can be COVID-19 or another virus. This includes claims for temporary or permanent inability to work, severe illness or even death.
The purpose of both Sickness- and Temporary Disability Income benefits is to cover the life insured’s inability to work as the result of an illness or injury. In the spirit of this purpose, Sanlam is extending our assessment of being unable to work, to include being medically isolated on medical advice of a doctor or by government authority, in response to direct or probable contact with COVID-19.
However, these benefits are not designed to cover business interruption as the result of such a lock-down, or general directives from professional bodies that are now recommending the suspension of practicing one’s occupation or certain aspects thereof. That is why governments, worldwide, announce certain measures to ease the financial burden on individuals and business alike in these times. Typically, though, such benefits are focused more on the poorer segments of society, for them to afford essential groceries, medication, etc., or on small business. It can also take the form of changes to taxation.
For the more affluent, business interruption cover can also be a short term insurance product, but then it has to be taken out beforehand of course. It will also be subject to the terms and conditions of those products.
It will depend on the specific benefit you have. For our Sickness and Temporary Disability Income benefits, when claiming for sick leave or temporary inability to work as the result of COVID-19, we will require you, your doctor or employer to complete a special COVID-19 form to fast track these claims. For all the other benefits, like Death, Disability, Impairment and Severe Illness benefits the normal claim requirements will apply.
Only for claims for sick leave or temporary inability to work under our Sickness and Temporary Disability Income benefits a special COVID-19 claim form will have to be completed by you, your doctor or employer, based on your specific claim. This will help to ensure that you experience an easier and fast-tracked claims process. You will still need to complete a standard claim form as well.
For all the other benefits the normal claims requirements will apply.
When claiming under these benefits, we will review your temporary inability to work or sick leave under the following categories:
No, contracting COVID-19 is not a defined disability, severe illness or impairment. Based on international patterns, most people who are infected will make a full recovery. Should it result in permanent disability or impairment, or a condition listed under our Severe Illness benefit however, this will be assessed under Sanlam’s normal claim definitions for disability, impairment or severe illness.
Sanlam pays all death claims in line with its normal requirements, regardless of what caused the death. For funeral claims we will, wherever applicable, take into account the waiting period for natural causes which applies for policies taken out recently.
Should you decide ON YOUR OWN to self-isolate/quarantine without any medical advice or without advice from your employer or Government, then you will not have a valid claim under our Sickness and Temporary Disability Income benefits.
At Sanlam we are in the business of paying valid claims, and we want you to have peace of mind that you are properly covered. Please find answers to most of the questions you might have if you are covered by your company’s group risk insurance.
Drafting of new wills and trust deeds will continue as usual, but you can also draft a simple will online. There might be slight delays with many staff members working from home, and possible challenges with remote access to the company’s systems cannot be ruled out.
The administration of deceased estates where Sanlam Trust is the executor continues with administrators working remotely. It should be noted that the Master’s Office has also closed for the 21 days’ lockdown, which will delay the reporting of deceased estates.
Should any other situation beyond our control prevent us from keeping to our turnaround times for the above services, we will inform clients as soon as possible.
Sanlam Trust’s usual lines of communication remain operational as far as possible.
South Africans are governed by the Wills Act, which does not allow for e-signatures. All wills executed in South Africa must be originally signed. That means, paper copy, printed, signed by the maker of the will and witnesses in ink. The Master of the High Court will not accept any e-signed wills.
In cases where the will was signed electronically, the testator’s family will have to apply to the High Court in order to have these wills condoned as a valid will. There have been instances in South Africa in which the Court has declared a document drafted by the deceased and stored on his/her computer to be a valid will, where the court has been satisfied that the computer-generated file represents the person’s final wishes as to the distribution of the estate. However, Sanlam Trust cannot guarantee the success of such an application.
It is important to note that a will must be signed in the presence of two competent witnesses who are not mentioned in the will. In the event that you are unable to print and sign your will, we suggest that you advise family members where and how to find the file on your computer or smartphone. In order to support an application for condonation, it may be wise to record a voice message where you read your will too.
You can also email the will to your financial planner or a close friend and tell them that this document is your last will and testament.
We recommend that you keep your signed will safe during the lockdown and inform close family members where it is kept.
Once the lockdown ends, immediately print and sign your will as required.
We fully support all measures announced by our government to curb the spread of the virus and are prepared for variations of its possible impact.
Our rigorous business continuity plans have been activated, in line with requirements to continue servicing our clients.
We understand that this is a very challenging time for everyone and we assure our clients that we are committed to do whatever we can to help our people and to support and protect our economy.
As a business, we have various options available to assist people who may have cash flow constraints, and we encourage clients to speak to their intermediaries for advice.
Sanlam remains fastidious in honouring all claims that meet contractual requirements. While we do not have specific COVID-19 claimable events, we will cover all valid claimable events across the entire range, – including events caused by organisms such as the current Coronavirus infection.
We remain online and available to our clients telephonically and via email for enquiries, claims, advice and new product sales. Due to the majority of our staff working remotely, as well as high call volumes, you might have to hold on a little longer, unfortunately. As an alternative, our self-service options are also available and we encourage people to use them. Visit Sanlam Secure Services or WhatsApp using 0860 726 526. Text “Hi” to start your chat.
Internally, we have strong communications protocols to ensure engagement and optimal communication with employees across the Group and we have implemented significantly increased hygiene scenarios in offices across South Africa wherever our employees are rendering an essential service from our offices.
We urge our employees and clients to remain vigilant and healthy by adhering to the national lockdown, practising social distancing and through safe hygiene habits.
We are here to help.
We encourage you to visit our FAQ section, but should you have any questions that are not addressed there, please complete the form below or contact your adviser for advice and guidance regarding your financial decisions and Sanlam products.