Old Mutual relaunches its Swakopmund branch

Floris Steenkamp 

Old Mutual Namibia’s life insurance business unit paid out N$1 billion in death claims since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company’s short-term business unit, OMSIC, paid out N$35 million to insurable losses incurred by clients due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

These figures were released last Thursday by Mr Lionel Kannemeyer, the Retail Market Executive of Old Mutual Namibia, during the re-launch of the Old Mutual branch at Swakopmund.
Far from viewing it as a burden, Kannemeyer said Old Mutual Namibia takes pride in the fact that despite the financial challenges brought about by the pandemic, the business remains strong, vibrant and responsive to its clients.
“On 31 August, we released our Interim Results which indicated that our diversified business model remains well capitalised, with strong solvency and liquid positions. That is despite disruptions caused by Covid-19 and the associated hard lockdown since March 2020”, said Kannemeyer.
Old Mutual is in business since 1920 and today has 25 branches throughout Namibia. Over a century Old Mutual built strong local credentials and a respected brand. Strong leadership ensured the company was able to weather storm after storm, with the Covid-19 pandemic the latest of such storms.
Kannemeyer on the re-launch of the Swakopmund branch explained the new location, in the Pandion II building in the town’s Sam Nujoma Avenue (the main street), will enhance the connection between the business and its clients. The new branch office is more visible, and Kannemeyer invited Old Mutual clients to come and visit the new branch.
The new branch is staffed by 25 employees and were described by him as “well equipped and ready to serve with professionalism and efficiency.
“I can therefore assure you with utmost confidence that the staff members who are serving our customers at this branch are well equipped and ready to serve our customers professionally and efficiently, anchored in our values – ensuring customers have a clear understanding of the various investments, savings, insurance, and other financial products Old Mutual offers”.
On the insurance pay-outs in death benefits and to business related losses paid out by OMSIC, Mr Kannemeyer admitted the first six months of 2021 was tough. There was an increase in Covid deaths. It created excess deaths and sub-sequent excess death claims four times the number expected for June under normal circumstances.
For July it worsened to 5 to 9 times the normal.
“In our life insurance business, we have seen a considerable increase in the number of death claims that we processed on a weekly basis since the outbreak of Covid-19. By the end of August 2021, we have paid out N$1 billion in death claims in our life insurance business”, explained Kannemeyer.
“In our short-term insurance business, given a fair amount of guidance obtained from relevant court judgements on business interruption claims so far, we continue to engage with all our insured clients who believe that they have submitted valid claims in terms of their policies. To date, we have paid over N$35 million to our clients in final and interim settlements”.

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