South Africans are spending less money on food and petrol.
A new survey by Santam shows that 81% of South African respondents reported a negative impact on their finances.
Some 60% suffered financial losses due to being unable to work or contribute to household finances, while their household expenses increased. More than 80% used savings to see them through, while almost a fifth borrowed money from friends and relatives.
The 2020/21 Santam Insurance Barometer interviews almost 1 000 consumers, intermediaries, and companies, and found that only 1% of respondents cancelled their short-term insurance policies, while 2% switched to a different insurer.
The respondents gave some details about ways they curbed their expenses during the pandemic:
- 59% reduced restaurant outings and food takeaways
- 45% reduced their travel and petrol, clothing, footwear, accessories expenditure
- 33% cut hobbies, sports and gym expenditure
- 28% reduce groceries
- 23% cancelled TV subscriptions
- 19% reduced domestic travel
- 15% lowered their cellphone contract
- 10% reduced their repayment of debt
- 10% cut school fees
Santam’s research showed that over 97% of large corporates have been working from home, while two-thirds of staff of other commercial businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) worked remotely.
With more people working from home, Santam found that the average consumer is now driving 90km per week, down from 162km before the pandemic.
The survey also found that 16% of consumers upgraded their computers and connectivity to enable them to work from home. Three in four people reported an increase in their use of technology.
“This change in behaviour was evident in Santam’s claims experience – while there was a notable rise in buildings and household content claims, this was offset by a significant decline in motor vehicle claims, which normally accounts for a significant share of personal insurance claims,” said Andrew Coutts, Santam’s head of intermediated distribution.