Stephen Cranston Writer & columnist

I have long believed that Santam may be the best business in the financial services sector. But it is going to have to work hard to repair last year’s reputation-battering move to oppose insurance payouts to small businesses ravaged by the government’s Covid lockdowns.

For a start, the short-term insurance business model works in its favour. Unlike life offices, in which premiums are ringfenced, general insurers earn interest on their written premiums through the free float. Even after claims have been lodged, they earn money until the claim is actually paid out...

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