Insurance and financial services provider MiWay will reduce car insurance premiums for its clients by 10 percent in the month of April.
In a statement on Wednesday, MiWay said the decision was prompted by the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The company said the risk of road accidents will be lower because most South Africans will be staying or working at home over the next three weeks.
R25 million in savings for clients
MiWay CEO René Otto said, “As South Africa heeds the call to #stayathome for the next few weeks, we want to make this time just a little easier for our clients. We follow a scientific approach to risk rating.
“When clients work from home, they drive less. This reduces the risk of them being involved in an accident. At MiWay, we believe the right thing to do is to reduce their premiums given the reduction in risk.”
MiWay said it will automatically apply the premium reduction to April debit orders on its personal lines and business insurance clients. This would amount to more than R25 million in savings for its clients.
The insurer further said its decision is in response to calls for the business sector to soften the economic impact of COVID-19 on South Africans.
‘Not just about selling policies’
“In these tough times, it’s important that we still give expression to our brand promise to go out of our way to enable our clients to live their way, whilst simultaneously complying with our corporate and patriotic responsibility to help fight COVID-19. To us, it’s not just about selling policies, it’s about helping people,” Otto said.
Other large businesses have taken similar measures. This week, Standard Bank and Nedbank announced debt payment holidays for small businesses and students, while retailer Shoprite said it will pay its shopfloor and distribution centre employees a R102 million appreciation bonus.
The lockdown will start at midnight on Thursday, 26 March and end at midnight on Thursday, 16 April. During this time, South Africans will not be permitted to leave their homes unless under certain circumstances.
According to the lockdown regulations gazetted on Wednesday, these circumstances include “performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, collecting a social grant, or seeking emergency, life-saving or chronic medical attention.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele said during a media briefing on Wednesday that the SA Police Service, assisted by the SA National Defence Force, will work to enforce the lockdown.
As of 25 March, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa stood at 709, with Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal having the highest figures.