Old Mutual announced that it is making $220-million (R4-billion) worth of cover available to approximately 430,000 registered healthcare workers across South Africa.
Unlike with traditional cover offered, this is neither a product nor a policy and no premiums will be recovered on it.
Instead, the cover will be freely accessible to registered healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic who are selflessly working to ensure the wellbeing of impacted South Africans everywhere, every day.
Explaining the initiative, Interim CEO, Iain Williamson said that the business’s decision to support healthcare workers was inspired by a collective call supported by its 30,000-strong workforce.
“We were compelled to respond to the immediate need by our employees and by our responsibility as the country’s leading insurer. We’re acutely aware of the critical work being done by all essential services workers across the country as they continue to serve, care and protect our nation during this crisis,” he says.
“While we acknowledge that we cannot practically cover every single essential service worker at this time, the business has nevertheless made a call to provide R4-billion in free cover to the approximately 430,000 registered healthcare workers who we believe are among the most exposed to the virus, and who continue to serve our nation so diligently.”
The cover will be available to qualifying categories of members who are registered with the Healthcare Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as well as all registered practitioners of the South African Nursing Council (SANC). Effective from 1 April 2020 to 31 December 2020, the cover includes a $500 (R10,000) sum which becomes payable in the event of the death of a qualifying healthcare worker and is intended to provide relief to families who may have to deal with the tragic loss of a loved one during this period. The cover has no exclusions and will include death related to any cause.
The Group is also supporting national initiatives to access personal protective equipment for essential service workers such as face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to the tune of $2.7-hundred thousand (R5-million). “We believe this will go a long way in supporting the other critical essential service workers who continue to serve the public at this time”.
This announcement follows closely on the Group’s recent comprehensive COVID-19 relief response which already includes:
- A $2-million pledge towards relief efforts that address immediate educational needs, hygiene awareness and nutritional support
- Old Mutual Insure has pledged another $2-million towards SME and service provider support during this period
- The inclusion of the Solidarity Fund as a beneficiary on its staff Payroll Giving Programme in which employees, including senior leaders and the Executive Team, are encouraged to give generously
- The provision of secure space adjacent to its Pinelands office in Cape Town, for a COVID-19 testing centre, in partnership with Lancet Laboratories
- The provision of ongoing customer relief, premium payment holidays and interest-free loans to qualifying cash-strapped SME customers
“During this time, it is important for us to band together to support those who continue to support all of us. The healthcare workers we intend to cover represent our customers, our families, our friends and a critical part of the overall essential services community which we are now proud to serve,” concludes Williamson.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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