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(Reuters) — South African insurer Santam Ltd. said Monday it will start processing business interruption claims for all commercial policies that were affected by a coronavirus-led lockdown in April beyond those of its hospitality and leisure division.
It will cover a total base of Santam's 4,000 commercial clients who have claimed interruption to their business due to the lockdown, said Santam in a statement to the stock exchange.
“Santam made the decision to include the claims from all commercial policies with CBI extensions after further analysis and consideration of recent court judgments,” it said.
CBI is contingent business interruption and related to businesses that were shut down during the lockdown.
Insurers in the country had refused to honor claims by companies that were shuttered due to the national lockdown as they argued that these claims were not covered under their business interruption policies.
But a court ruling in December overturned an appeal by insurer Guardrisk, forcing other insurers to start processing some claims.
Earlier this month Santam had said that it will start processing some claims arising out of business interruption due to COVID-19 it earlier rejected under its hospitality and leisure division.
There were around 1,300 claims under this division, the non-life insurer said Monday.
The company reiterated that it will continue to pursue its legal challenge to a November court ruling that said it was liable for an indemnity period of 18 months in a case brought by hotel group Ma-Afrika.
More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.
South Africa-based insurer Santam Ltd. has paid more than 500 million South African rand ($29 million) in business interruption claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eyewitness News reported. Many of the policyholders were small and medium businesses operating in the tourism and hospitality sectors.