Latest News

Welcome to the home of ESBrokers. We are a leading specialist insurance provider, providing specialised insurance solutions for very niche markets.

Big changes coming to South Africa’s motoring landscape

For the first time ever, owners of new cars will have the right to repair or service their vehicles at an independent provider of their choice, notes Filum Ho, CEO of South African auto parts and glass specialists Autoboys.

These owners won’t be locked into restrictive embedded motor or service plans, and vehicle manufacturers won’t be allowed to void warranties if owners choose to go with an independent service or repair provider.

Until now, South Africa has been unique in the world when it’s come to these restrictive embedded motor and service plans. This is why the Competition Commission started a process in 2017 to bring our country more in line with places such as the US, Europe and Australia.

As a result, on 11 December 2020, the Commission published its finalised set of guidelines for the automotive aftermarket.

These guidelines — which will go into effect on 1 July this year — include several changes that will boost competition.

Importantly, these changes mark a major victory for consumers. Here are 5 things that you need to know if you’re considering purchasing a new car from July this year.

Dealerships, OEMs can’t lock you in

As per the new guidelines, car manufacturers (known as Original Equipment Manufacturers or OEMs) cannot obstruct you from seeking service, maintenance, or mechanical repair work for your new motor vehicle at an independent Service Provider (ISP) of your choice.

What’s crucial to note here is that you as the consumer still have the right to seek these kinds of services from your approved dealership, but you now have the additional option of going to an ISP if you so wish.

Unbundling of plans at point of sale

There will be an unbundling of maintenance plans and service plans at the point of sale from the purchase price of the motor vehicle. This will allow consumers to exercise choice regarding whether or not they want to purchase the maintenance plan or service plan from their dealership or from an independent provider.

This is common practice elsewhere in the world. In the instance where a car is written off, OEMs and independent providers must transfer the maintenance plan or service plan to a replacement vehicle. Dealerships or independent providers also have to disclose all information regarding the maintenance and repair of their vehicles, as well as the terms and conditions thereof.

You can fit non-original parts

Consumers will be able to fit original or non-original spare parts, whether by an approved dealer, motor-body repairer, or an ISP, during the in-warranty period. The quality of these parts will be dealt with in line with consumer protection laws, as well as existing warranties.

Consumers should look out for what are called OEE, or Original Equipment Equivalent parts. These have the same specifications and safety features as OEM parts but are sold at lower prices. Interestingly, OEE and OEM parts are often made in the same factories and are only differentiated by their branded markings.

More accessible dealership choices

In South Africa, motor dealerships have traditionally been large, multimillion rand showrooms, situated mainly in suburbs, towns and cities. There have historically been very few dealerships situated in townships or outlying areas.

A big reason for this has been that OEMs often place specific requirements regarding, for instance, the procurement of furniture, fittings and finishes as well as the size and location of the premises.

But with the new guidelines, the Competition Commission has set out that OEMs must lower the financial barriers and location requirements for new dealerships to boost their footprints. This must still be balanced with the need for economic rationale, but it could open up a whole new market.

Insurers must give you more choice

Other changes outlined in the guidelines are set to particularly impact the way your insurer deals with your repairs, especially when your car parts fall out of their warranty period. These changes include that insurers will need to offer consumers more choice of repairers within geographic areas for out-of-warranty repairs.

Insurers are expected to approve any repairer that meets their standards and specifications to undertake repairs on out-of-warranty vehicles.

Once the implementation date of 1 July 2021 comes and goes, and if consumers stumble upon dealerships or OEMs which don’t adhere to these new rules, then these consumers will still have recourse.

One option will be to lay an official complaint with the Competition Commission. A complaints form on the Commission’s website provides guidance on this.


Article courtesy of Businesstech

Tyre and rim claims are up almost 50 percent – are poor SA road conditions to blame?

Between January 2020 and January 2021, Auto and General Insurance has noticed a spike of 47 per cent in tyre and rim claims, raising the question of whether poor road maintenance is to blame.

Steep claim increases were observed in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and although claims have shown a steady increase for both men and women, a significant amount of claims were submitted by men aged between 31 and 37 who drive newer vehicles.

“This is a significant increase, and badly maintained roads are a serious concern.

“One bad patch of the road could lead to punctures, tyre bulges, bad wheel alignment and balancing, uneven tyre wear, cracked rims, damaged undercarriage and damaged tyre walls and blowouts, which could very well cost you your life,” said Ricardo Coetzee, head of Auto and General Insurance.

Saied Solomons, president of the South African Road Federation (SARF), recently stated roads that are not timeously and properly maintained are costing South Africa millions, with costs soaring even higher when a lack of maintenance sees a road rapidly deteriorating to the point of requiring total road rehabilitation.

Other knock-on effects that add to the real cost of poorly maintained roads include frequent vehicle repairs, higher transportation costs, bottlenecks on busy routes and more.

Auto and General provided the following guidelines for navigating poorly maintained roads:

Your vehicle:

• Proactive maintenance: make sure your car is checked and serviced regularly. A vehicle that is 100 per cent ready to light up, steer around or meet challenging road surfaces are the best first line of defence.

• On spec: make sure the wheels and tyres you fit match the manufacturer’s specification and that tyres are properly inflated to create an adequate cushion between the vehicle’s rims and the road surface.

• Profile carefully: low-profile tyres may give a vehicle a sportier look, but reduce the space between the rim and the road surface. Fit tyres that are in the “Goldilocks zone” between being sporty, offering comfort and protecting against rough road surfaces. Ideally, opt for tyres with rim protectors.

• Emergency kit: make sure your vehicle is equipped with the basic wheel-changing tools and safety equipment.

Your driving:

• Alert and aware: always be fully aware of your surroundings, including road signs and technology that alert you to hazards.

• Heavy loads, rough roads: be careful when using a road or lane used by heavy motor vehicles, as these typically deteriorate faster.

• Cuts like a knife: be wary of steep road shoulders and surfaces with sharp debris, especially where they can damage the less robust sidewall of a tyre.

• Slow it down: reducing speed could give you vital time to react to obstacles and other vehicles making sudden movements.

• Undercover threats: when it rains, water could easily hide a pothole or debris. The same goes for roads that are badly lit. Slow down and be extra cautious in these conditions.

• Brake and steer smart: if you can’t avoid hitting a pothole or bad road surface, apply the brakes before the hazard, but let up as you’re about to make contact. This helps to limit damage and also reduces the risk of losing control of the vehicle. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and avoid making excessive steering changes.

In the event of a potentially damaging incident or accident:

• Don’t assume that it’s just minor damage. Stop when it is safe to do so to make sure.

• Switch on your hazard lights and, if possible and legal, pull into the emergency lane.

• Make sure your vehicle remains visible – make use of your emergency triangle.

• Call emergency services and your insurer for assistance.

At ES Brokers we offer tyre insurance as well as touch up insurance , also known as scratch and dent. If you would like a quotation or would like to know more, please contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website

Written by Johann Badenhorst – article featured in Kathorus Mail

Hot works permits: Insurers tightening up on fire risk

In the aftermath of several large fire claims caused by “casual welding work”, insurers are looking to improve risk management practices by strictly enforcing the use of so-called “hot work permits”. Although hot work permits have been around for some time, the approach to these has tended to be somewhat lax. However, things have changed considerably.
Protection against fires is not only good practice, it’s also a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

A hot works permit can be issued by the health and safety officer of the business or another senior person and is essentially just confirmation that certain specified risk management steps have been taken before any welding or other work with an open flame takes place.

These vary in their detail but in general include steps such as: 

·       ​Ensuring that the person operating the equipment has been fully instructed in the safe operation and use of the equipment and in the hazards that may arise from its use

·       Clearing the surrounding area of combustible materials

·       Making sure that appropriate re extinguishers are available nearby

·       Checking that the work is properly supervised

·       Obtaining permission from the owner of the building

·       Notifying occupants of communicating (connected) buildings or neighbourhood buildings (or both)

·       Ensuring that leads and electrode holders are effectively insulated and that there are no leaking gas pipes nearby

·       Making sure that effective ventilation is provided and maintained

·       Preferably requiring that at least one other person who has been properly instructed to assist in the case of an emergency is and remains in attendance during operations

The permits are not required for businesses that ritually have open flames as part of their regular activities as it is assumed that their premises will have been suitably protected. The problem really arises where causal or ad hoc work is done. In this case it is likely that this would take place in conditions which are not as well protected against fires.

While some insurers rely on their general policy wording, which requires insureds to take suitable precautions to limit the likelihood of losses, others are addressing the issue more specifically, even including warranty wording in some cases.

Of course, the important aspect of hot work permits is not the permit itself, given the irony that if a fire does are up the permit is likely to be destroyed anyway, but rather the risk management precautions that are taken, using the permit as a “checklist” to ensure that the required actions are taken.

Insurers are also taking steps to better protect themselves against fire claims and are looking to insureds to take additional precautions as well. 

For example, it would be expected that action be taken to avoid the possibility of a re starting in the first place. This means extra attention to staff training, doubling up on re risk measures and added precautions around electrical maintenance, open measures, smoking controls, stacking, waste control (especially flammable material), etc. Where appropriate, adequate re breaks should be strictly maintained.

Insurers have also stressed the need for documented proof of ongoing assessments/tests on sprinkler systems where applicable, to show that they at least remain in working condition. Extra precautions are usually advised in plant where special fire risks may be present – either due to the particular construction of the building, the nature of the work undertaken on site, or where highly flammable or combustible goods are stored on site.

Perhaps surprisingly, some large cold-storage units can also present an additional risk because of the material used in their construction.

Additional precautions have become extremely important in the drought-stricken Western Cape, where limitations on water supplies mean that other precautions, such as doubling up on hand-held fire extinguishers or installing water tanks, are suggested. This also applies in other areas where water pressure may be low.

For a copy of a Hot works Template, that can assist you in your business, simply visit our website and leave your details.



Article by Peter Atkinson

FIA (Financial Intermediaries Association of South Africa) national technical portfolio manager


Cohabiting with vervet monkeys

With the expansion of homes and security Estates on the KZN north coast, with it brings frequent confrontations with Humans and Vervet monkeys. It is important to remember that we are developing homes in locations previously habited by troops of monkeys. Finding solutions on co-habitation is better than one taking matters into their own hands or trying to find ways to relocate the moneys, here are a few reasons why:

There have been a number of reports regarding aggressive male monkeys on the estate/s and that residents are afraid to walk.

This time of year is quite dynamic in monkey troop activities. There has been a lot of breeding activity with the result that most of the females are carrying babies and a number of young males are now doing the teenage thing and looking out for a troop to take over. These young but fully grown males detach themselves from the troop and operate in this manner until they can take over a troop or are happy to accept a lower status.
All over the land there are young male vervets looking to develop alpha-male status, so relocation is not an option.


So, what to do?
Around your home

  • Do not leave any fruit lying around. Keep it in the fridge or a microwave or other lock up box. The monkeys' sense of smell is very good and they can detect it from a long way off and will come looking.
  • Keep all doors and windows secure from monkey access. If monkeys come and cannot smell any food and cannot get into your home they will move on.
  • Do not feed birds as the Monkeys eat the bird seed as well.
  • If monkeys bother you around the house, the best way to move them on is a water pistol or spray. A water hose also works, as does flicking at them with an item of clothing or a towel.

Whilst on a walk around the estate

  • If you are unhappy with the presence of monkeys, carry your water pistol of spray gun with you.
  • Do not let your dog be at all aggressive to the monkeys.
  • If you are uncomfortable walking with a child in the presence of monkeys, try and avoid them or walk in areas where there are less trees.

Home contents and building insurance specialists -

Article courtesy of Brettenwood Homeowners Association (a security estate on the beautiful KZN North Coast)

The Risks facing home gas installations and your insurance cover

Under the Occupation Health and Safety Act, gas appliances installed in property are brought in line with electrical installations.

 In short, any person installing a liquid gas appliance onto a property, from 1st October 2009, must have a Certificate of Conformity issued in respect thereof.   

The certificate is  issued  by  an  authorised  person  registered  as  such  with  the  LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS SAFETY ASSOCIATION of SOUTHERN AFRICA (LPGAS), after he has inspected the installation, and is satisfied that it is safe, and leak free.  

 Gas installations for which certificates of conformity are required would include built in gas fires or braai's, gas stoves and hot water systems and the like. Furthermore, in terms of Regulation 17(3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations, any person disposing of a property on which such gas appliance is installed, must obtain a Certificate of Conformity in respect thereof, and must deliver a copy thereof to the Purchaser (rather like an electrical compliance certificate).  

 Indications are that insurance companies may seek to avoid liability for damage caused to a property  by  a  defective  gas  appliance,  should  there  be  no  valid  Certificate  of  Conformity therefore. This being the case, it won't be long before banks granting the Purchaser the mortgage finance to purchase property will require a copy of the Certificate of Conformity, should a gas appliance have been installed thereon.



Homeowners with gas appliances stand the chance to have insurance claims denied if it is found that their appliances did not meet the safety requirements set by the South African Bureau of  Standards  (SABS)  and  the  Liquefied  Petroleum  Gas  Safety  Association  of  South  Africa (LPGSASA).


This  is  according  to  Marike  van  Niekerk,  Legal  and  Compliance  Manager  at  MUA  Insurance Acceptances, who says that insurers expect their policyholders to prove that they have taken every reasonable measure to manage the risks associated with their insured assets.

“Gas is becoming more and more popular for household use, and a report by South Africa’s Competition Commission1 reveals that gas is used in one way or another, in at least 20% of South African electrified households and around 13% of households that are not connected to the electrical grid.” 


She says that in the event of an accident involving a gas appliance, insurers may insist on proof that the appliance and its installation complied with safety standards. “For this, the policyholder needs a Certificate of Conformity, which confirms that the appliance was inspected by an authorised person who is registered with the LPGSASA.

It is proof that the appliance is safe, leak free, and installed in accordance with the SABS regulations.”  Van Niekerk adds that if a homeowner cannot produce the required safety documentation, there is a good chance that their insurance claims could be denied. 


She says that the LPGSASA has a number of requirements that should be on every homeowner’s checklist when installing a gas appliance.

Here are a few Tips to assist in making better decisions, when it comes to home gas installations:

   ·  Only use a registered installer. Approved installers must be able to show you their LPGSASA registration certificates and have to be able to provide you with an installation certificate once the installation is completed.

 ·  Only buy gas from a qualified gas dealer. Approved gas dealers are listed on the LPGSASA website, and will always secure new and refilled bottles with their distinctive gas bottle seals.

 ·  Make  sure  that  all  of  your  gas  products  have  been  verified  and  tested  by  the  correct regulatory bodies. This includes making sure that the appliance has SABS and LPGSASA certificates of approval. LPGSASA also maintains a database of approved appliances on its website, if you need to confirm that it is indeed certified. 

Regularly check whether the seal on a cylinder matches the brand of the cylinder.

·  Regularly check gas appliances before use. No matter which appliance it is, always ensure that no pipes are damaged, no gas is leaking and that all valves open and close correctly. 

Lastly homeowners need to turn off gas appliances immediately if they suspect that the equipment may be leaking.
 “All windows and doors should be opened and a  registered gas engineer should be contacted to come and inspect the appliance.”   To further prevent any possible claims rejections, Van Niekerk advises homeowners to get registered installers  to  perform  annual  maintenance  checks. 

 There  are  major  implications  to  using  non-compliant gas appliances, and homeowners place themselves in peril – both financially and physically - if they do not manage their risks to the best of their ability.


For any further assistance and advice on the contents of this article, please phone our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website or reach Andrew directly on


Article courtesy of MUA Insurance Acceptances (insuring the High Net-worth client) written by Peter Bowes

Keeping your car costs down in 2021

What we learnt in 2020

Disaster can strike at any time, so it’s important to ensure that you’re prepared. Putting money aside by cutting down on monthly costs is a great way to stay ahead of the curve and make sure you’re financially covered for any eventuality.

If you’re still paying off your car, it’s technically owned by the bank, and thus it’s vital that you insure it against accidents, theft and other damage. However, by employing a few simple money-saving techniques and sticking to them, you’ll be able to put aside some money for any surprises 2021 might throw at you.

For any assitance with your car, home or business insurance please contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website for details

What is Ransomware and why is it regarded as a Pandemic?

What is Ransomware and why is it regarded as a Pandemic?


Ransomware is, by multiple measures, the top cyber threat facing businesses today, with damages caused including downtime costs and recovery time. Current incident statistics are sobering:
• Every eleven seconds[1], a company will be hit by a ransomware attack in 2021.
• The average ransom demand in 2020 was $178,000[2] (R2.7mil)
• The largest 2020 ransomware demand[3] made to French construction firm, Bouygues was €10mil(R150m).
• Predicted damages from ransomware are expected to be $20 billion (R600bn) in 2021[4].

What is Ransomware?

In a ransomware attack, threat actors gain unauthorised access to company networks and files using malicious software or malware. After gaining access, these cybercriminals encrypt files making them inaccessible, and demand a ransom payment in cryptocurrency in exchange for the digital key code(s) to decrypt the files. Ransomware attacks have become more advanced in their approach, including pre-emptive measures intended to coerce ransom payment such as targeting and destroying data backups to prevent restoration, and stealing data prior to encryption with the threat of public release. This leaves many victims with the difficult choice of either permanent loss of data and extended business disruption or paying a ransom to regain access and restore operations.

The Payment Conundrum

The South African Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill (B6–2017) criminalises cyber extortion in section 10 of the bill. But at present the legal route is often a lengthy one which most companies do not have the time to venture down, explaining why many ransomware victims opt to pay the ransom to recover critical files or restore the operation of critical systems.

“For most victimised entities, their decision to pay the ransom is based on whether it makes business sense to do so and, if so, how to both engage with the threat actor to negotiate and navigate the often-unfamiliar cryptocurrency landscape to facilitate payment. Post-payment, the most difficult issue facing a victimised entity is the time-consuming and technically taxing decryption process,” says Zamani Ngidi, Client Manager: Cyber Solutions at Aon South Africa, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.

“At present, many ransomware victims handle aspects of the incident response investigation themselves, including root-cause analysis of the incident, the scope of the intrusion and restoration of the business. The inherent challenge that comes with handling such a matter internally, is taking up a responsibility that the team may not be adequately equipped or sufficiently experienced to handle, which is why transferring that risk to an experienced cyber risk expert is crucial to save on time and costs,” Zamani explains.

Risk mitigation strategies

At its core, cybercrime is committed by sophisticated and motivated threat actors, who are actively trying to gain access for financial gain. Better protection inherently translates into sensitive, ergo valuable, information being guarded, which could be leveraged against a company during a ransomware attack. The recent SolarWinds debacle[5] highlights the fact that billions of Rands of IT security can be undermined by one weak entry point, an example of the ingenuity of criminal attackers and their methods to obtain access.


Seven tips to help mitigate the risk of falling victim to ransomware and better prepare for a ransomware incident:

• Be proactive – Being victimised by ransomware is a jarring experience. It tests an organisation’s emotional responses to crisis, escalation procedures, technical prowess, business continuity preparedness and communication skills. Ensure that the Incident Response (IR) Plan/Playbooks, and/ or Business Continuity Plan/Disaster Recovery Plan has been recently assessed, reviewed, and updated. But, most important, these plans and playbooks must be tested through simulated practice across realistic scenarios to help improve resilience.

• Educate employees on cyber security and phishing awareness – Phishing is still a leading cause of unauthorised access to a corporate network, including being the entry point for ransomware attacks. Training users to not only spot a phishing email, but to also report the email to their internal cyber security team is a critical step in detecting a ransomware attack. Phishing awareness is a critical cornerstone to such a cyber secure culture.

• Employ multi-factor or “two-step” authentication – Multi-factor authentication (e.g. a password – something employees know, plus an authentication key – something employees have) across all forms of login and access to email, remote desktops, external-facing or cloud-based systems and networks (e.g., payroll, time-tracing, client engagement) should be a requirement for all users. Multi-factor access controls can be even more effective if coupled with the use of virtual private network (VPN) interaction.

• Keep systems patched and up-to-date – The rudimentary cyber hygiene activity of system updates and patching often falls by the wayside, especially as operations and security teams are stretched, systems and endpoints age and move towards legacy status, and new systems, hardware, and applications are introduced as businesses grow, mature, merge and divest. Attackers can identify a vulnerable system with a simple scan of the Internet using free tools, looking for exploitable systems on which to unleash ransomware and other cyberattacks.

• Install and properly configure endpoint detection and response tools – Tools that focus on endpoint detection and response can help decrease the risk of a ransomware attack and are useful as part of incident investigation and response. Properly configured security tools give a much greater chance of detecting, alerting on, and blocking threat actor behaviour.

• Design your networks, systems and backups to reduce the impact of ransomware – Ensure your privileged accounts are strictly controlled. Segment your network to reduce the spread of adversaries or malware. Have strong logging and alerting in place for better detection and evidence in the event of incident response. Having a technical security strategy that is informed by industry experts that know the latest attacks and adversary trends is important, as is the use of continuous threat intelligence monitoring in open source and on the dark web.

• Pre-arrange your third-party response team – An effective ransomware response will often include all or some third-party expertise across the disciplines of forensic incident response, legal counsel, crisis communications and ransom negotiation and payment. As time is of the essence, it is critical to pre-vet and pre-engage a team of professionals to monitor and be ready to respond to a ransomware attack when it happens.

While the complete risk of ransomware is unlikely to be fully mitigated when considering your brand’s reputation and goodwill as well as legal repercussions, it is crucial for organisations to consider risk transfer options by obtaining appropriate cyber insurance coverage. In doing so, organisations should review how coverage addresses indemnification for financial loss, business interruption, fees and expenses associated with the ransom and incident response, as well as considerations for service providers, such as the ability to work with incident response providers of choice. The process is best undertaken with the aid of an expert broker to address every eventuality in its entirety.

For any assistance or quotations on cybercrime or ransomware please contact our offices on 0315021922 or visit our website

Article featured in insurance chat on line, written by Jonckie.
A special thanks to AON and their team for sharing useful insights into Cybercrime and more particularly Ransomware


Avoid distracted driving this festive season

A rising challenge on the roads that are posing a large and possibly greater challenge than drunken driving, is distracted driving. While many drivers will not drink and drive, often the same cannot be said about driving with one's phone in one's hand.

Whether it is a lack of understanding or appreciation of the danger, each driver needs to make an effort to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving.


Eugene Herbert, managing director of MasterDrive, says that the seriousness of distracted driving can be better understood by looking at statistics from recent studies. "As much as 88% of drivers admit to checking for messages while driving even though this makes them 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash. Ultimately, 94% of crashes are preventable.

"If compared to drunk driving, the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK says writing a text message slows reaction times by 35% whereas the reaction time of a driver whose blood alcohol concentration is at the legal limit is slowed by 12%. Thus distracted drivers are eight times more likely to have a crash whereas drunk drivers are only four times more likely. This does not minimise the danger of drunk driving but emphasises how dangerous distracted driving really is."

Distracted driving danger

Additionally, using one’s phone and driving requires the brain to multitask which has been proven to be impossible. "The brain handles tasks sequentially but when you multitask by using your phone while driving it is impossible for your brain to adequately refocus on driving quickly enough and therefore safely respond to road hazards."

The danger distracted driving presents along with the fact that it is near impossible to avoid for some drivers, is what is making technology that assists in avoiding this is so important. "MasterDrive is working alongside the developers of ping - an app that eliminates the urge to read text messages and emails while driving by automatically reading them out loud with no action from the driver.

Barrie Arnold, co-founder of ping, says: "Drivers receive a surge of dopamine to the brain when they hear a message. Even if they don’t look at their phone, they are often cognitively distracted, wondering who the message is from and whether it’s urgent. We realised that the rising problem of technology distraction and addiction required a technology solution to reach the largest possible audience."

"The app has been designed to remove the frustration and wasted time that comes with not being able to access your phone when driving, or when a time-sensitive message changes your plans. You can keep up-to-date with your communication and use the auto-response function to acknowledge urgent incoming messages."

Drivers can download the app from Google Play Store for a complimentary two-week trial period.

Article courtesy of Bizcommunity.

Even one drink will see motor insurance claims rejected

Zero alcohol drunk driving rules mean no dinking for drivers whatsoever

“Having even one drink and getting behind the wheel holds the possibility of real jail time this silly season,” warns Christelle Colman, Spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure. Very shortly too, that one drink will also see “drivers’ insurance claims rejected,” she adds.

Amendments to Section 65 of the National Road Traffic Act effectively changes the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers from 0.05 grams per 100 millilitres to 0.00 grams per 100 millilitres. The permitted breath alcohol concentration will change from 0.24 grams per 1000 millilitres also to zero. Since the insurance industry cannot apply policies in conflict with the law, reducing the blood alcohol limit to zero means that, “once this amendment is gazetted (?) any motor policy holder found to have been driving with even trace elements of alcohol in their blood will be uninsured,” says Colman.

With South Africa suffering, on average, over 13000 deaths a year from motor accidents it is very clear that something needs to be done. As such, Colman is also encouraged to see that the new zero alcohol levels are to be supported by proper enforcement. Police have, for example, announced that roadblocks will be in force throughout the country on the, “15, 16, 23, 24, 30 and 31 December 2020, including Fridays through to Sundays during the holiday period,” reports Colman. Once the amendment becomes law, vehicles of drivers with even trace elements of alcohol in their blood will be impounded and only returned after a R2000 fine – if all fines are up to date. If drivers are arrested over the weekend, cases will only be processed on the first Monday morning thereafter, “presenting anyone with even limited levels of alcohol in their system with the prospect of real jail time this December,” warns Colman.

While it is hoped that proper enforcement will contribute to reducing road death numbers, “the new legislation also has serious implications for South African motor policy holders,” says Colman. If motor policy holders are involved in an accident after even one drink, “they won’t only be facing the prospect of jail time but will also find themselves uninsured. Once the Amendment to Section 65 is law, insurers will reject accident claims outright regardless of the levels of alcohol in the blood,” says Colman. While strict by global standards, it is very clear that South Africa needs to begin to take its road death figures, and effective road safety enforcement, much more seriously. Colman hopes that this is a first step in regaining control of our roads and improving the safety of driving in South Africa in general.

The new legislation will also help remove confusion around at what blood alcohol level driving ability is actually impaired. Individuals metabolise alcohol very differently. There has always been confusion about what level of blood alcohol causes impairment. “Zero alcohol removes this confusion entirely,” adds Colman. Since drugs are also a factor in South Africa’s road death figures, Colman also warns that, “an insurance claim can be rejected if a driver is believed to have acted in a reckless manner and this behaviour is believed to be the cause of damage or destruction to a vehicle.” As such, drug users who think they can evade roadblocks testing for alcohol, should also be aware that poor driving or negligence may also see insurance claims rejected.

With a limited curfew in place and most people cautious about socialising due to a second wave of Covid-19, South Africa stands a good chance of reducing its road death figures this silly season. Motorists are also advised to make use of the value-add services provided by their insurer. “Most reputable insurers offer a number of value-added services that typically includes a limited number of Drive-Me-Home rides that can be prearranged before a night out,” explains Colman. The increasing use of Uber and other mobile ride-hailing servicers also provides a generally accessible alternative to driving with alcohol in your blood. These services are there to help policyholders avoid drinking and driving while having a good time. Motorists are encouraged to use them, not only to save lives, but also “ensure that insurance policies remain valid in the event of accident this silly season,” says Colman.

While visible and ubiquitous physical policing combined with effective prosecution are key to reducing South Africa’s unacceptably high road death rates, the increasing use of digital tracking and surveillance across the full range of devices and platforms that drivers use means that “the insurance industry is also much more able to monitor and observe the kind of poor or erratic driving that may indicate drug or alcohol use,” said Colman. It is expected that this technology will also, in time, go a long way to helping independently tackle what is, in South Africa, an acute crisis requiring coordinated intervention,” concludes Colman.

Article courtesy of FAnews, written by Christelle Colmon, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure


Time to unwind, and relax... Unfortunately, criminals do not go on holiday, and people are especially vulnerable to fall for crimes during this time. We agree with Kalyani Pillay, CEO of SABRIC (South African Banking Risk Information Centre): " Criminals are always looking for opportunities to defraud their victims, particularly at this time of year.."

Here is a comprehensive list of helpful tips from SABRIC, to help people stay safe during the festive season:

  • Verify all requests for personal information and only provide it when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
  • Don’t disclose personal information such as passwords and PINs when asked to do so by anyone via telephone, fax or even email.
  • Don't use any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as a password, user ID or personal identification number (PIN).
  • Keep PIN numbers and passwords confidential.
  • Don’t carry unnecessary personal information in your wallet or purse.
  • When destroying personal information, either shred or burn it (do not tear or put it in a garbage or recycling bag).
  • Always assume that any Wi-Fi network you are using, especially those in public areas, may be compromised.
  • Check to see if your router has any pending firmware updates by logging into the admin page and install any waiting updates.
  • Don’t use internet cafes or unsecured terminals (hotels, conference centers etc.) to do your banking.
  • Change your password regularly and never share these with anyone else.
  • Store personal and financial documentation safely. Always lock these away.
  • To prevent your ID being used to commit fraud if it is ever lost or stolen, alert the SA Fraud Prevention Service immediately on 0860 101 248 or at
  • Ensure that you have a robust firewall and install antivirus software to prevent a computer virus sending out personal information from your computer.
  • Ensure that apps you are using have end-to-end encryption.
  • When using Wi-Fi, even if password protected, best to only connect to websites that use HTTPS encryption. Ensure that you are connected via HTTPS - your browser must show a little lock in the address bar which says "secure“.
  • Make use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection, but ensure you get this from a reliable supplier.

Article courtesy of phishield, special risk underwriters who offer an amazing product called “Funds Protect”.

To know more about how to protect your funds against on line crime, contact our offices on 031-5021922 or visit our website