Anton Coertzen, Head: Santam Commercial Privé
As the South African economy slowly starts to re-emerge from the Covid-19 devastation, businesses are being forced to reflect on their risk and resilience strategies as a prerequisite for future sustainability and growth.
One crucial element that has resurfaced as a clear strategic and operational priority for businesses across all industry sectors is that of proactive risk management. It is no longer enough for businesses to rely on traditional reactive risk management measures to minimise financial loss in the wake of an adverse event.
Businesses now need to focus on reducing their overall risk exposure capacity by anticipating, planning for and even avoiding risks before these could pose a threat to operations or deplete the bottom line. This is particularly true for businesses that, despite the already challenging pre-pandemic economy, were able to scale up and established themselves in the mid-corporate market over the past few years. The mid-corporate segment falls between SMMEs and larger corporate market. These are sizeable businesses with more sophisticated systems and processes and extended infrastructure and assets under management.
It’s becoming increasingly essential for executive decision makers in this market to engage with specialist risk knowledge partners to help them better understand and manage the complex nature of interrelated risks that could threaten their operations. If businesses are to grow and remain competitive in a post-pandemic economy, they need proactive and agile risk management strategies to ensure that they remain competitive, especially against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and heavily regulated and risk compliant landscape. To this end, Santam, South Africa’s largest general insurer, recently introduced its Commercial Privé solution with a specific aim to serve businesses in the mid corporate commercial property market. The Commercial Privé model allows for the development of proactive risk frameworks and agile risk management strategies and solutions to help prevent and mitigate exposure to commercial property damage and business interruption in
particular – two of the most pertinent risk scenarios faced by commercial property owners today.
SUPERIOR RISK APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS BACKED EXPERTISE AND SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE
The Privé team is able to leverage in-depth knowledge with historic, current and predicted data analytics in the commercial insurance sphere to calculate and reduce exposure to known as well as emerging risks that could impact every aspect of an organisation. Santam Privé employs a team of specialist risk engineers and mandated underwriters with a solid understanding of the statutory regulations and requirements pertaining to the installation of appropriate risk prevention solutions across a large number of industries. They liaise directly with our network of brokers as well as with Santam’s commercial underwriting teams to jointly identify and develop superior insurance solutions to address the very specific insurance needs of commercial property owners. This approach ensures that each client’s risk management strategy and solutions is tailored, risk appropriate and optimally priced. Business that would benefit most from the Privé solution are those clients who require cover for commercial property, loss of production, damage to equipment, business continuity and liability. Typically these businesses will have a minimum of same risk value of R250m.
PRIVÉ DESIGNED TO FILL GAP IN MARKET AND NEED FOR SOLID UNDERWRITING
The dire need for holistic, proactive risk management strategies and a dedicated solution aimed at this market segment became clear as an increasing number of insurers reduced their mid corporate capacity due to continued pressure on underwriting profits. The industry has experienced a number of underwriting cycles over the past ten years. New players enter the market with the drive to target proper scale. Unfortunately this often results in proper risk management being overlooked, leading to unsustainable underwriting.
CORE FOCUS ON RISK PREVENTION, COMPLIANCE AND CLIENT EDUCATION
The main focus of the Privé offering is to drive risk prevention through educating clients and business partners on potential risk scenarios, but also to ensure that their risk prevention solutions comply with the necessary regulation, legislation and government acts. Solid risk advice that drives compliance when protecting commercial property is now more important than ever. At Privé we would rather advise our clients to take proactive steps to prevent potential severity claims as this would ultimately benefit client with better rates, terms and conditions.Privé is currently developing a range of additional services which add further value to the existing Privé offering. We look forward to the journey with our Santam Privé clients as we help rebuild and strengthen their businesses for steady growth and future success.