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Don’t be taken for a ride: Cyclists urged to protect bicycles ahead of upcoming events



All eyes are on the return of some of South Africa’s biggest cycling events: The Cape Town Cycle Tour takes place this weekend, followed by the Absa Cape Epic later this month and the 94.7 Ride Joburg Race in November. 

These events are expecting mass participation from cyclists who have not been able to race in months due to the pandemic, with the first event – the Cape Town Cycle Tour – bracing for a turnout of more than 18 000 cyclists.

“Avid cyclists participating in these prestigious cycling events must remember to take the necessary steps as part of their pre-race preparation to ensure they fully cover themselves against potential financial losses,” says Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure. “This is to avoid nasty financial shocks if experiencing an accident, bicycle or gear theft or loss of possessions on the day of the race.”

He adds that bicycle and associated equipment costs have skyrocketed, going from as little as R3000 for an entry-level bike to in excess of R100 000 for high-end models.




“With so many amateur and serious participants, the combined value of gear at these upcoming cycling events is easily expected to reach over millions of rands.”

He says that it is likely that opportunists as well as well-oiled bicycle syndicates may target such events, with latest news reports and community policing forums suggesting that bicycle theft syndicates have been active, especially in Cape Town. In the space of one-week last month, six bicycles were stolen from Durbanville – valued between R10 000 and R75 000 each.

“Most cyclists are often unaware that their expensive bicycles and equipment could be underinsured, meaning that if you need to claim if you have experienced a loss, you risk being out-of-pocket,” explains Mnguni.

A tip he gives cyclists is when insuring valuable possessions, not to choose the cheapest premium, given that not all insurance is equal. "Premiums vary across providers and the lowest premium doesn't necessarily offer the best cover.”

He adds that the premium rate of insuring a bicycle can end up being more expensive than insuring other assets, such as cars and homes. "Annual insurance premiums for bicycles can vary between 10%-15% of the bicycle value, this is substantially more than cars or homes, which can vary between 3%-6% of the car or home value.”



Mnguni advises that bicycles should be specified under the All Risks section of your personal insurance policy. This means your bicycle will be covered when you take it out for a ride and when you travel for events. Your cover should include all tools and accessories.




Below are Mnguni’s top tips for cyclists to check that they are adequately covered against losses ahead of big cycling events:

• If you are using your bicycle for competitions and races, advise your insurer accordingly, bearing in mind that some insurers specifically exclude insurance cover for loss or damage to bicycles as a result of taking part in cycling events. 
• Your cover should include details such as the make and model of your bicycle as well as the serial number and the amount it is insured for.

• Specify an appropriate amount you want your bike to be insured for, as its replacement value is not necessarily the same amount you bought it for. This is because the replacement value considers factors like inflation and the fluctuation of the rand, which impacts imported bicycles or even bicycle parts. A particular type of bicycle is likely to cost you more in five years’ time than when you bought it.

• Have a plan for your keys. This is because it has become common practice for people who participate in outdoor sports activities to park their motor vehicles in unattended parking spaces and then leave the keys hidden on one of the wheels – with thieves realising this and taking their opportunity. Reduce the number of keys on your key ring and take it with you, or alternatively use a saddle bag.
• Remain vigilant of your surroundings on race day. In order to protect valuable personal possessions, it is essential that extra care is taken to avoid loss of items and potential insurance claim rejections due to negligence.

• Take proper precautions when you take your bicycle out. If you are not using it, then it should be locked inside your vehicle, secured to a bicycle rack or chained and locked.

• Check with your insurer what cover and exclusions are in place for your bicycles. Some insurers also have specific exclusions for cover of all sporting items while they are being used, while some insurers exclude theft of any sporting equipment that is left unattended during an event.

• Find out whether your insurance will cover the bicycle while in transit. For example, if you transport the bicycle via plane, the last thing you want is to arrive at your destination, find out that it has been irreparably damaged during transit and be stuck without a bicycle.

For assistance with your bicycle insurance click here

Photos by Pexels and pixabay
Articel by Old Mutail Insure
Featured in FANews

Hong Kong issues first ILS (Insurance linked securities) catastrophe bond



Greater Bay Re, the first authorised special purpose insurer (SPI) in Hong Kong, has inaugurally issued insurance-linked securities (ILS) in the form of a catastrophe bond.

The bond was made available by China Re and the China Property and Casualty Reinsurance Company.

It provides protection against losses suffered as a result of typhoons in mainland China following the heightened frequency and severity of natural catastrophe events.

The issuance was facilitated by a regulatory regime for SPIs launched by the Insurance Authority (IA) in March this year, as well as the pilot ILS grant scheme as part of the 2021-2022 budget which subsidises upfront costs of up to HK$12 million for each eligible transaction.

The IA notes that ILS is an “effective tool” to mitigate the risks associated with such events because it is not as susceptible to economic cycles as commercial insurance products.

Clement Cheung, CEO of IA, comments: “This decision of a leading state-owned reinsurer not only exemplifies the potential and attractiveness of Hong Kong as an emerging ILS hub, but also demonstrates our crucial role as a global risk management centre.”

“Taking full benefit of the explicit support given by the central government, we will ramp up efforts to nurture a vibrant ILS ecosystem, playing our part in increasing underwriting capacities, enhancing financial resilience and narrowing protection gaps.”

Last month, the IA highlighted how Hong Kong can leverage its status as a captive domicile and reinsurance hub to consolidate its position as a global risk management centre.



Photo by Pixabay
Article courtesy of captive insurance times - (captiveinsurancetimes.com )
Reporter: Rebecca Delaney


What is a "Money Mule"



Criminals approach bank customers with requests to have funds paid into their accounts and often offer them a reward for the use of the account. Often the money that is paid into the account is proceeds of another crime. The account holder can be charged with money laundering even if it was unknown at the time that the money was proceeds of crime.





An example of the above modus operandi is where a criminal (A), committing a fraudulent or fake sale of a car, approaches a legitimate bank account holder (B) and requests the use of their account to facilitate the sale by receiving the funds on A’s behalf. A reward is promised to B in payment for the use of their account. Often, B and the buyer of the vehicle (C) hold accounts at the same bank to ensure that the funds are cleared faster – which is the reason given to B for needing the use of the account. This reasoning, coupled with the promise of a reward serves as motivation for B, making them more likely to assist. C is given B’s account particulars to make payment. C has become the victim of a fraudulent sale while B has become the money mule by receiving the proceeds of a crime into their bank account.




Criminals also approach people with valid identification documents and ask them to open accounts for them to transact on because they do not have the correct documentation to qualify for an account. Because foreign nationals experience such difficulties and people want to be neighbourly, many people have been tricked into opening accounts that are subsequently used by criminals to launder money.


Be aware! Allowing proceeds of crime to be laundered through your bank account, knowingly or unknowingly, is a criminal offence. Bank clients can be charged and convicted for money laundering and even receive a prison sentence.


Pictures by Pexels
Article courtesy of Phishield (Cyber Underwriters for Bryte Insurance Company)

Insurance sector has shown its resilience - Deloitte



WHILE the insurance industry record books may show 2020 was a year in which reported financial results were well below expectations, the industry did show its resilience, while at the same time it positively impacted the lives of its customers in a time of great financial need, according to the Deloitte South African Insurance Outlook 2021 publication.

The effect of the pandemic and the lockdown response was the key driver of the 2020 financial results of insurers.

Deloitte director for actuarial and insurance solutions Jaco van der Merwe said the past year had shown that capital coverage of the insurance industry had not been affected as much as it might have been feared at the start of the pandemic.





“However, it has highlighted the importance of a robust capital management and capital optimisation strategy … The pandemic has prompted change in a sector that was already dealing with systemic challenges.

“The silver lining, though, was the industry’s response that led to unexpected improvements in areas such as customer satisfaction and communication,” said Van der Merwe.

In its overview of the 2020 financial and embedded value results of the largest five listed insurance groups in South Africa, the firm said the completion of the December 31, 2020 financial reporting cycle by the listed insurance groups offered an opportunity for reflection, as the results showed an industry that delivered for its policyholders and the broader economy in uncertain times.

Deloitte said despite the local equity markets drop in value in March last year, the markets recovered during the remainder of the year to end relatively unchanged compared to the start of 2020 (using Swix as a reference).





“That recovery allowed insurance groups, on an aggregated basis, to report a respectable 3.8 percent increase in assets. Insurance groups are also impacted by the value of assets throughout the year, though.

“Old Mutual points out in their results commentary that the average market levels during 2020 were 6.7 percent lower than the prior year, which negatively impacted asset-based fees for insurance groups that manage and administer customer assets.”

The aggregated equity for the insurance groups decreased by R15.6 billion, or 6 percent. The lower equity was mostly a function of the aggregated loss after tax of R4.7bn reported by the insurance groups as well as ordinary dividends paid of R12.7n (2019: R16.2n).



Photo’s by Pexels
Article by Given Majola
Featured in Insurance on line – link to article click here


Solving your geyser problems

You’ve got a busy day ahead, but wake up to no hot water – or steam and hot water are pouring out of that pipe just under the roof that you’ve never noticed before. You mostly take the luxury of hot water for granted, until you don’t have any.

Although we usually don’t dwell on things that can go wrong with the geyser, the reality is that something will, at some point. Most electrical geyser manufacturers supply a warranty for the actual geyser for between five and ten years, but its individual components only carry a warranty of one to two years.

What are geyser components?

These are items that generally wear, such as thermostats, elements, pressure control valves, vacuum breakers, seals and gaskets. 

When a geyser component fails, it doesn’t necessarily mean the geyser needs to be replaced. If something goes wrong with one of these components, check with your broker if your insurance policy covers it.

Most importantly, if you suspect that your geyser is leaking or has burst, report your claim to your broker so that they can appoint a qualified plumber to see to the problem. If you don’t, you may find yourself out of pocket due to limits on your policy when not using an approved plumber.





Did you know?

·         The most cost-effective temperature to keep your geyser at is 60 to 65 degrees Celsius.

·         Going away for two days or longer? Then turn your geyser off. Switching your geyser on and off regularly will not harm your geyser but turning it off for short periods has a negligible effect on your electricity bill. 


Insurance Tip courtesy of Hollard Insurance Company

Will car insurance cover “loss of income”?



Imagine you’re stranded due to car trouble. You’re on the side of the road, and frantically explaining to your client that you won’t manage to meet their looming deadline. This means you won’t get paid for your current project, and you may even lose them as a client.

Under these – or similar – circumstances, what kind of role will your car insurance play? We answer this question, and consider other ways your insurer will support you during times like these.




Will your car insurance kick in? 

Glenn Anderson, general manager of Dotsure, says that personal lines insurance, which typically covers individuals against loss, differs vastly.

“If your policy specifically stipulates that you’re covered for loss of income, then it will be covered, provided that the claim meets the relevant criteria,” says Anderson.

However, he explains that this is not something you can expect to find as a standard benefit on an ordinary car insurance policy.

Caron Whitfield, head of distribution and marketing at the Apio Group, says car insurance is usually only applicable to sudden and unforeseen accidental damage to a car, such as an accident or theft.




How will your car insurance assist you? 

Unless you have a high tier insurance policy, loss of income cannot form part of your claim. Either way, it’s important to know what else your insurer might cover, and how it could help you in this situation.

“Keeping their vehicle in good working order is the responsibility of every motorist, but we understand that breakdowns do happen,” says Whitfield.

“Emergency roadside assistance is normally attached to comprehensive motor policies. A toll-free number can usually be contacted at any hour, and the team will assist with towing, flat batteries or tyres, and other minor roadside incidents,” she explains.

On top of this, many insurers will supply a temporary car to assist you with your day-to-day travel needs until your car has been fixed. Contact your insurer directly to find out whether this is part of your policy.

According to Christiaan Steyn, head of MiWay Blink, this is called “car hire” on most insurance policies, and it’s usually an optional item at an additional premium.

“The reason for this is that there are multiple options to suit the needs of different people and each comes at a different cost,” says Steyn.

He explains that the first decision you need to make is what type of rental vehicle you would need. This ranges from an entry-level manual hatchback to an SUV or bakkie – it all depends on the number of people you tend to transport and the job that you do.

“The second decision you need to make regards how long you may need a rental vehicle in the event that your vehicle is damaged, written-off, or stolen,” says Steyn.

“You could choose the shortest period – let’s say 10 days – which at least sorts you out for the initial period while your car is in for repairs. This will give you time to make alternative transport arrangements should your vehicle not be repaired by day 10,” he explains.

Steyn adds that the premium you pay for car hire depends on the combination of these two choices. Obviously, the more expensive the rental car option you choose and the longer the period of car hire cover sought, the higher the premium is going to be.

 

 

Photo’s by Pexels
Article by Harper Banks
Featured in justmoney.co.za


Household insurance when moving



For most people, moving house is a stressful experience. There is so much to do and usually not enough time to do everything before the removal van arrives.

In this situation, it is easy to overlook important details – like the need to insure your belongings while they are in transit from your existing home to your new home.

Existing cover

If you already have a household contents insurance policy, you should be able to add the cover for protecting your belongings while in transit. Some insurers only require details of the date of the move and the new address and don’t charge extra for this cover. Other insurers may charge an additional once-off fee for including household goods in transit cover in your standard policy.

If your household contents are not already insured, there are other insurance options you can consider. However, make a note to at least consider taking out household contents cover once you settle in your new home. This type of insurance is relatively inexpensive and will give you peace of mind in the event of possible future disasters, such as fire or theft.





Before the move

Moving house is a good opportunity to get rid of all the items you no longer need or want. Do this before you move – don’t take the clutter with you. Remember that the more items there are to be moved, the higher their moving cost.

To make sure that your household contents remain covered throughout your move:

•  Make a list of all the items to be moved.

•  Notify your insurer of any changes, so that your insurance premiums will accurately reflect the value of the contents.

Other options

If you are employing professional movers for your move, the quote from the removal company will almost certainly contain a charge for cover for goods in transit.

This cover is not always included, particularly with smaller removal companies. It is also usually more expensive than cover that is part of a standard household contents policy.

Before choosing an option, you need to compare costs, specific details of the cover offered, and benefits.




If family and friends are helping you to move to save costs, keep in mind that insurers usually only cover loss or damage to your household goods in the case of vehicle collisions.

Claims

When you unpack, take note of any damages caused by the movers. Make sure you submit any claims for damages before the deadline stipulated in the policy.

And, whichever option you choose, make sure the household contents in transit are insured at the correct value. You want to be able to replace all your goods being transported if anything does go wrong. If you are under-insured your insurer will only admit part of the claim. If you are over-insured, your premiums will be higher than they should.


Check with your Broker first because goods in transit insured under a household contents policy offers limited cover.

 

Photo's by Pixabay
By Sarah-Jane Meyer
Article featured in privateproperty.co.za

 

 


Technology that can detect potholes



The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has announced the development of an 'AI-based automatic pothole detection system'. The system is designed to be installed on the windshield of a vehicle to detect potholes on the road surface in real-time. Potholes can damage cars and may even lead to life-threatening accidents.

South Africa’s ageing road infrastructure is fraught with dangers. As motorists, we have to be aware of other vehicles, animals and pedestrians. We also have to take defensive action against an increasing number of potholes.

In Johannesburg the city claims it fixes up to 4 500 potholes per month.

The City of Cape Town reportedly spends more than R110 million per year repairing 250 potholes per week. Despite their efforts, potholes are still prevalent.





In particular, potholes can cause problems in the rainy seasons. 

In Korea, the number of potholes reported across country from 2016 to 2018 was 657 993. Total damage compensation amounted to R58million nationwide.

Road surface management starts with quickly detecting damaged sections, and this involves vibration-, laser scanning-, and image recognition-based detection technologies. In particular, with the recent development of the detection technology using deep neural networks, image recognition-based road surface management methods are receiving attention. In addition, the image-based technique can be used with personal devices, such as a vehicle or smartphone camera. This makes it easier for local governments, which have relied on visual inspections by humans, to employ the technology.

A research team at KICT led by Dr Seungki Ryu developed this system that detects potholes in real-time by photographing the road surface while driving with a vision sensor installed on the windshield of a vehicle. The AI inference model semantically segments damages on the road surface using an encoder-decoder network based on the FCN (fully convolutional neural network) architecture.





A common problem in image-based detection is that even at the same location images can vary in the pixel unit information depending on changes in the external environment. In particular, it may be challenging to identify damages on the road surface with the AI inference model as the brightness of the road surface changes over time. To solve this issue, a new CNN (convolutional neural network) model for image preprocessing was developed and combined with the semantic segmentation model to show robust detection performance with road images taken under different brightness conditions.




This technology consists of a mobile app for gathering data using the AI model and a map-based cloud server platform to identify potholes based on data transmitted from the mobile app. Currently, several local governments in Korea, such as Gwangju Metropolitan City, Goyang-si, and Gimhae-si are piloting this technology. Dr Ryu’s research team aims to further expand and introduce this technology to other local governments.

Dr Ryu said “It is essential to maintain road facilities in good condition in the coming era of autonomous vehicles. This AI-based technology will make effective road surface management much easier.”

 

Photo’s by Pixabay, Ian Taylor, Matt Hoffman.
Article featured in Insurance On Line. (iol.co.za), by staff reporter


Covid’s a wave, climate change a tsunami



The insurance industry has responded robustly to the Covid-19 pandemic and it needs to meet the climate change challenge similarly. 

There’s consensus in the scientific community that the climate is changing and global temperatures are rising. Though individual weather events cannot be attributed directly to climate change, the overall trends point to an increase in both global temperatures and extreme weather events. Climate change has already caused the earth’s temperature to rise by more than 1 degree above pre-industrial levels.  

There is clear evidence that climate change is causing more frequent severe weather events, from floods to fires to droughts, leading to higher and more volatile weather-related insurance claims. We are seeing this trend in our statistics. We’ve had more frequent floods and fires, especially in the last 10 years, with the Knysna fires in 2017 being our worst ever weather catastrophe, as well as several floods and hail storms over the past 3 years in KZN, Gauteng, and Limpopo. Not to mention severe drought and the threat of “Day Zero” in Cape Town in 2018/19. We see this trend even more alarmingly on a global scale, for example, recent wildfires and severe weather events in Australia and California.




Risks to the insurance industry

In South Africa, physical losses are exacerbated by declining infrastructure in municipalities. Inadequately equipped fire brigades and poorly maintained stormwater drains.

The greatest risk is that the insurance industry won’t be able to keep up with increasing weather claims; insurance premiums will spiral; we may need to remove/reduce cover in some areas. This is already happening on a wider scale in the US and France, where the government is needing to step in with special catastrophe insurance pools. We believe we have a responsibility to help our customers and communities reduce the impact of climate change, and to underwrite responsibly.



We must respond 

The insurance industry has responded robustly to the Covid-19 pandemic and it needs to meet the climate change challenge similarly. The industry needs to have the relevant infrastructure in place to measure climate change and manage its impact. To achieve this, data is key. 

Here are the key data sets we need and how we should make use of these sets. 

  • Accurate data on our existing exposures and their location
  • Data and models on the impact of climate perils by location
  • We need to understand which properties we insure in coastal areas and which of those areas are at the highest risk of flooding, as well as how that flood risk will increase over time, and possibly destroy infrastructure and interrupt business
  • Despite historical data, a lot of climate science research and expert judgement will be required to capture the possible future impacts of climate change
  • We must run comprehensive scenario tests to understand and plan for the impact of climate change

In addition to managing climate risk, we need to look at our responsibilities to society. We need to make responsible decisions about the carbon footprint of our building and staff. For example, the Old Mutual Group has installed greywater systems, light sensors, solar panels, and recycling in many of our buildings. We are encouraging all our staff to do what they can in their homes through staff campaigns to “Save our Planet”.

We are also adapting our investment philosophy to be more environmentally friendly. Th Group has made investments of R34.5 billion towards clean energy projects across Africa and developmental assistance to vulnerable areas most affected by climate change. We are formalising this commitment by launching our Initial Public Coal position this year. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a rare opportunity to recalibrate our priorities and reconsider our possibilities. We have learned from the current crisis that concerted action can make a real difference.




Photo’s by Pixabay
Article By Lisa Pines, Old Mutual Insure, Chief Actuary


Homeowner’s or Household Insurance




Homeowners’ insurance, also sometimes referred to as ‘building insurance’, provides cover in the event of damage to your home’s physical structure. This insurance is in respect of the bricks and mortar, roof, windows and the like of your home.  Homeowners’ insurance, as the name implies, is available to an owner of the property and would generally not be available to a tenant. The insurance is obtained to provide cover for the owner should the building be damaged as a result of certain types of unforeseeable events, such as fires, floods, torrential rain and malicious damage to the property, amongst others.

So why is your bondholder (usually a bank) interested in the insurance details? If a property has been bonded, it means that the bank’s security for the loan it made to the owner lies with the property and the buildings thereon. Therefore, in many instances, it is a bond requirement that the property must at all times be sufficiently insured to protect the security of the bondholder.



In sectional title schemes, it is the body corporate that is responsible to ensure that the buildings in the scheme are sufficiently insured.  Owners of units in the scheme will note that the insurance premium is included in their monthly levy contribution.



Household insurance, or contents insurance, on the other hand, covers the household goods that are not covered by homeowners’ insurance. This includes furniture, electronics, clothing and even valuables such as art and jewellery. Due to the myriad of contents in a home, household insurance usually requires that a detailed inventory and value of items to be included in the cover, is provided. Certain high value items may have to be itemised and insured separately.  This type of insurance is not a legal requirement, but highly recommended to tenants and owners alike.


Photo’s by Pixabay
Article by STBB