With the Corona outbreak, the major South African Banks has announced relief measures for consumers. Many of these relief measures are from a cash flow perspective only, and the interest on the loans due for this period will simply be capitalised, meaning they will add to the outstanding amount and consumers will pay interest on the amounts for the remainder of the loan term.

The question of credit life insurance was raised, as most people who will need relief has temporarily lost their income. Credit Insurance in South Africa is regulated by the Department of Trade and Industry. In 2017 regulations were issued, determining what should be included and excluded in credit life.

Credit life insurance has to provide for death, temporary and permanent disability and loss of income. In these cases, most workers who have temporary been laid off will be able to claim from this insurance to pay the installments of their loans. The period is the shortest of:
– 12 Months;
– The remaining term of the loan;
– Until an income is earned again.

Self Employed Individuals:
The regulations are vague about self-employed individuals and if they are covered in the current circumstances. The advice would be for the client to read the policy wording and determine from there what should be done.

It is thus recommended that before a premium holiday is considered the debtor consults with the credit provider in order to determine the possibility of a claim under their credit life insurance.

A copy of the regulations can be found here.

When you heard the possibility of a lockdown in South Africa, be honest, there was some part of you that started to panic initially. That is a normal human response to the unknown. As humans, being he superior specie we all want control of something, because our personalities differ. The degree, however, is different.  

Here are 6 things tips to deal with your clients in these unprecedented times:

Don’t tell them not to panic

When you are upset, the last thing you want to hear from someone is calm Down, so why would we say this to someone who is panicking?  Instead of telling them not to panic, rather say it’s okay to panic, followed by your response you would have if you told them not to panic. This way, you give them a sense that you are in control and the reaction they have is normal. People like to know that their reaction to events is normal.

Give them the Facts

We are in a problematic situation, and no one knows how the future will pan out. We do not know what is coming and we do not know if lockdown will work the way the government envisages it to work. For now, you need to focus on what is important, keeping yourself and your family save. Trust that the plans we have put in place will materialise as they should. It is also important to remember that you are not alone, and fund managers are all considering their options and strategies. Where you do not know the facts, be sure that you leave them with the message that should anything change they will hear from you.

Give them comfort.

If you do life insurance or medical aids, assure them that the cover they have in place will cover them and their families. This a time to remind them why the solutions you have put in place remains so critical for this journey.

Be available; be visible

Remember that you should not use this as an excuse not to be available. If you cannot be available during their most trying times, they are ever likely to experience, you will break the trust with your clients that you have built on for so long.

If you are not available for whatever reason, ensure that you have provided them with alternatives and sufficient information.  You do not have to build up a library of information overnight, share information from your other business partners. I do however want to caution, that you need to ensure that you are comfortable with the information contained in whatever you share.

Take care of YOU

During a lockdown, you need to ensure that you take care of you. Your mental and social wellbeing is more important than you might realise at this time. One way of ensuring your mental wellbeing is taken care of is to plan. Plan your days, create your accountability measures and ensure that you touch base with others frequently.

Focus on the remainder of the year.

Whilst we do not know how long this is going to last, we do know that things are going to be different for the remainder of the year and the following years, we do need to plan and review our strategies. Parts of your strategies might still be implementable whilst other parts will need a complete refocus. Use this time, to think about how you are going to recover from this.

Barbara Mundell Consult (PTY)LTD provides professional consulting services to financial planning practices. Contact us should you need assistance in planning and managing your practice. We are a recognised FPI CPD Provider, providing customised CPD programmes. We will remain fully operational during the national shut down.

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