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South African SMEs Find themselves in the Cold

South African small businesses fighting rejected coronavirus-related claims said insurers’ offers of relief are too little too late for many and could leave some already struggling to survive with nothing at all. Insurers around the world have argued COVID-19 lockdowns were not covered in policies many clients thought would protect them as the pandemic brought business to an abrupt halt. Facing pressure from the financial services regulator and with reputational damage mounting, South Africa’s insurers have offered to either settle with some clients or provide interim relief payments while court cases play out. Ryan Woolley, CEO of Insurance Claims Africa, which represents around 600 affected businesses, warned such offers were unlikely to fend off widespread layoffs and closures. Around 30% of his clients would likely receive nothing, he said. Others saw settlement offers as “unreasonable”.