Over the course of the pandemic, the reputation of one financial services sector has been hit more than any other. The short-term insurers were portrayed as callous for not paying their clients’ business interruption clams. Hotels, restaurants and B&Bs, devastated by the series of lockdowns, hoped to get a lifeline from their insurers. Instead, they were turned down on technical grounds.

Loss adjuster Ryan Woolley came across as the people’s champion for leading a consortium of clients against the insurers — a media hero unprecedented since Vuyani Ngalwana SC was pension funds adjudicator and forced life insurance companies to increase their termination payouts on retirement annuities...

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