Old Mutual’s response to Covid-19 (coronavirus): What investors and policyholders need to knowOld Mutual - 10 March 2020
news what you need to know about the impact of covid 19 coronavirus on risk cover and investments

As a responsible business, we take the safety and wellbeing of our employees, business partners and other stakeholders very seriously. For this reason, Old Mutual is cautious in its approach to the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

  • To safeguard the health of our people, our communities and our fellow citizens, we have made it a top priority to take steps to help contain its global spread, and we are guided by governmental health departments and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 
  • We are following a robust and comprehensive crisis response plan that is updated regularly as the situation changes.
  • Our response plan includes contingency measures to limit direct exposure to the virus and to ensure that we honour our commitments to you, whether it’s providing advice, paying out claims or steering your investments through turbulent markets.
  • As a company that is 175 years old, we have the organisational resilience and expertise to operate in challenging environments.

IMPACT ON INVESTMENT MARKETS

Although the majority of people diagnosed with Covid-19 experience only relatively mild symptoms and make a full recovery, the uncertainty is a key driver of the market. We saw this on the JSE on 5 March 2020 when SA confirmed the first case.

Things to remember about investment markets:

  • Markets are volatile in uncertain times
  • The current sell-off follows a strong rally late last year and into January
  • While the world economy will inevitably take a knock, it should be temporary. Once the outbreak has run its course or is brought under control, normal economic activity should resume.

What should you do as an investor?

Remember the following important investment principles:

  • Don’t panic, stick to your investment plan to meet your goals
  • Stay invested. Time out of the market is costly. If you disinvest, you might miss the recovery and you might face penalties
  • There will always be global events such as this outbreak triggering volatility in investment markets. The best defence every time is to have a long-term horizon and a diversified portfolio.
  • Exercise caution when making investment decisions and ensure that you are adequately covered for risk events. This is where the right financial plan is vital.

AS AN OLD MUTUAL POLICYHOLDER, CAN YOU CLAIM IF YOU GET DIAGNOSED WITH THE VIRUS?

We continue to assess claims against the terms and conditions of the policy contracts. If a claim is valid and meets all claim criteria, we will pay. This includes claims as a result of Covid-19.

Here are some examples of various GREENLIGHT benefits that could pay out if you become infected with the virus:

GREENLIGHT Death benefit:

  • We will pay out all valid death claims related to Covid-19.

GREENLIGHT Sickness Income benefit:

  • If the symptoms of the virus result in you being booked off work for longer than your waiting period (7 days or 1 month), we will pay you up to 100% of your net income. We won’t even ask you to prove a loss of income.

GREENLIGHT Temporary Income benefit:

  • If you are unable to do your job for longer than your selected waiting period, we could pay you a monthly income for up to 24 months to replace any lost income.

GREENLIGHT Severe Illness benefit:

  • If you are diagnosed with the virus and it leads to a listed condition, we will pay.

WHAT WE SUGGEST YOU DO

  • Speak to your financial adviser to help you review your financial plan, or answer your questions
  • If you are not currently in contact with a financial adviser, send us an email, or phone us on 0860 60 60 60.

IMPORTANT HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

To prevent catching or spreading the virus and to help keep your families, colleagues and communities safe, it’s essential to follow these preventative guidelines:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water – for at least 20 seconds at a time. Always dry them properly afterwards, preferably with a paper towel
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home if you feel ill
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, sleeve or elbow, and throw tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Avoid hand-shaking
  • Avoid large crowds or gatherings
  • If you display any of the flu-like symptoms associated with Covid-19, please call your doctor immediately