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Its competitors have had to set aside billions of rands in extra provisions to help them pay out on Covid-related death claims, but Sanlam said this week it did not need to go that route - thanks in part to a pandemic reserve it had set aside long before the world knew of Covid.

Sanlam, which is SA's largest life assurer, increased headline earnings by 3% to R4bn for the six months to end-June, during which it paid out R8bn in mortality claims. Cumulatively it has paid out R22bn since the beginning of 2020...

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