Insurance Claims Africa (ICA), a firm specialising in public loss adjustments, has revealed it has over 400 claimants in the tourism and hospitality sector who have been unsuccessful in receiving their insurance claims.

ICA acts on behalf of claimants to assist them with preparing, motivating, quantifying and negotiating the settlement of their insurance claims.

Information points to a growing number of insurers reneging on business interruption policies.

Despite financial statements indicating that claims can be settled without the help of reinsurers, information points to a growing number of insurers reneging on business interruption (BI) policies. This leaves many tourism and hospitality businesses in a precarious position, with policyholders believing they are covered under these terms.

“It’s unconscionable that businesses in one of the most vulnerable sectors are being put through such a traumatic and debilitating experience. Internationally, several global insurance companies are settling their customers’ BI insurance claims on a compromise basis. Locally, we are working on a similar strategy with insurance companies whom we urge to work with us to find a mutually beneficial way forward,” says Ryan Woolley, CEO of ICA.

ICA is currently in talks with leading insurance companies to reach a settlement for businesses who are most in jeopardy and face imminent closure. Failing which, it says, it will turn to the courts.

ICA is currently in talks with leading insurance companies to reach a settlement for businesses who are most in jeopardy and face imminent closure. Failing which, it says, it will turn to the courts.

“We urge insurers to enter discussions on the understanding that their actions could determine the future sustainability of much of the tourism sector in South Africa,” Woolley says, adding that the pandemic requires an ethical response from all partners, including insurers.

“The global call for solidarity requires companies, industries, governments, regulators and the public to act responsibly, and to share the burden of the impact of the pandemic. This has been the call from President Ramaphosa from the outset. It’s to this call that we add our voice and say to the insurers: ‘To compromise is not to lose. Instead it allows everyone to win and ultimately survive’,” he concludes.

NOTE: More information on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the tourism sector as well as the various current relief projects in place can be accessed here.