The life insurance sector, which will need to foot the bill for rising rates of illness and death blamed on Covid-19, is at the sharp end of the pandemic. But unlike large swathes of the tourism sector, for example, it is not on the brink of collapse.

There are free assets of R373bn in the life offices, more than double what is needed under the solvency capital requirements imposed by the Prudential Authority. And recent market ructions won’t leave policyholders stranded...

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