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A VERY DIFFERENT EASTER HOLIDAY FOR SOUTH AFRICA



A very different Easter Holiday for South Africa 

 

As South Africa prepares for a 21-day lockdown in a bid to prevent the uncontrollable spread of COVID-19, you’re likely to find yourself at home with a lot more time on your hands.  With any travel and entertainment plans on hold, the likelihood of suffering from serious cabin fever is high.

Aon put together a list of home projects you can undertake to keep you busy and at the same time, will ensure that your insurance cover is in top shape for any unforeseen event: 

·       Update your asset register – It’s the perfect time to do a thorough audit of all your assets at home and ensure that they are appropriately insured.  Have you accumulated new electronics, clothes, computers, furniture, jewellery and other assets?  Use the time at home to make sure your home inventory list is accurate and that new items are included under your cover.

·       Avoid under-insurance - Thanks to the rise in living costs, your home and motor vehicles could be significantly under-insured in the event of a major catastrophe. Make sure that your buildings, home contents and vehicles are insured for their replacement value and not the resale value, especially under your buildings cover.  Your updated asset register will be invaluable in ensuring you are covered for the correct values and items. 

·       Do essential maintenance - check your roof for wear and tear and replace any broken tiles or weathered waterproofing.  Check your taps, fittings and plumbing for signs of wear and tear and repair what you can.  Make a note of any work that needs to be done by a repair company after the lockdown.  Paint, clean out, spruce up and remove all the clutter.

·       Keep gutters clear – As we enter the autumn season, keep your inlet/outlet pipes of any drains and gutters clear of leaves and debris.  Also address any waterproofing issues by repairing damaged flashings on the roof.

·       Are your renewable energy solutions covered? - The increasing focus on green technology means that many households have solar geysers and solar PV panels installed.  Check whether these items are included under your homeowners’ insurance cover and increase the sum insured on your policy to account for the additional value they add to your property.

·       Power Surge – Load shedding remains a reality so check your policy to ensure that your appliances are covered and for any requirements on your policy for power surge protection – remember that this will need to be installed on your distribution board by a qualified electrician, so put this on your to-do list for when things are back to normal if not done already.  

·       Fire hazards - Minimise your home’s risk of fire by cleaning out the clutter and rid your home of unnecessary flammable materials such as dry garden debris, empty boxes, paper, chemicals and leftover paint.  Check whether your insurance policy has any clauses related to fire extinguishers or smoke detectors and make sure you have them in place, for your own safety.

·       Give your car a once-over – Check wiper blades and tyres for wear and tear and that the tread is still in good shape.  Make a note of any items that need replacing or repair to schedule for later.

·       Working from home – With many people working from home, you may need to consider business cover in order to address possible risks you may face in your home office environment.  Ensure that your business assets such as laptops, cell phones and other work-related equipment are insured under your commercial policy.  Bear in mind that business related public liability cover is not covered under your personal policy.  Discuss appropriate business insurance options with your broker, as soon as possible.

·       Be vigilant - keep an eye out for loiterers or unfamiliar people scanning the area and be aware of official government activities, so that you are not foiled by would-be criminals posing as officials.  If anything seems out of place, notify your armed response to investigate.

·       Security – Check with your security company how they will conduct their operations during this time, so that you are familiar with the process in the event of an emergency.

Speak to us today to make sure your insurance policies are up to date, while addressing some issues around the home that may affect your insurance covers.  Our offices remain fully operational during the lockdown and our staff will be available to assist you with any queries, claims, policy changes you may have.
  Use the time at home to get to those essential maintenance issues that have been long overdue and focus on getting your insurance cover into top shape.

 

 

Article written by and credits go to Teresa Settas

 

BLOG COVER FOR THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID19) EXCLUDED UNDER THE BUSINESS INTERRUPTION

Dear Valued Client,

 

Insurance is a contract between two parties, whereby the Insurer provides indemnity / compensation for stipulated events that happen by chance or are fortuitous by nature. 

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International concern on 30 January 2020 by the World Health Organization, and thus can no longer be seen as a fortuitous event going forward for clients that now start asking for this cover.

 

Defined Events as per the attached Monitor Commercial Policy Wording:

Loss following interruption of or interference with the business in consequence of damage occurring during the period of insurance at the premises in respect of which payment has been made or liability admitted under:

(i) the fire section of this policy

(ii) the buildings combined section of this policy

(iii) the office contents section of this policy

(iv) any other material damage insurance covering the interest of the insured

but only in respect of perils insured under the fire section hereof (hereinafter termed Damage).

Liability shall be deemed to have been admitted if such payment is precluded solely because the insured is required to bear the first portion of the loss.

 

 

Business Interruption on a Commercial or Building Insurance Policy does not cover losses caused due to the COVID19 virus.

While the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on larger businesses, stock markets and economies around the world, individual businesses of various sizes are not only vulnerable to work stoppages but might not have adequate cover from the outbreak’s impact on their Business. The Insurance Companies are unable to offer cover to remedy these situations.


Policy Exclusions:

Infectious Epidemic Exclusion (Applicable to Fire, Buildings Combined, Office Contents, Goods in Transit, Business All Risks, Accidental Damage, Motor, Motor Traders, Electronic Equipment and any other property classes)

This insurance excludes any loss, damage, cost or expense, directly or indirectly arising out of, contributed to by, or resulting from any infectious epidemic/pandemic. For the purpose of this clause Infectious Epidemics shall mean the sudden, unexpected, large-scale manifestation of an initially locally contained, infectious disease relating to people which spreads very rapidly and with great virulence. If the company alleges that by reason of this exclusion, any loss, damage, cost or expense is not covered by this policy the burden of proving the contrary shall be upon the insured.

 

Infectious Epidemics/Pandemics Exclusion (Applicable to Money, Glass, Fidelity, Public Liability, Employer’s Liability, Stated Benefits, Group Personal Accident and any other casualty classes) 

This insurance excludes any loss, damage, cost or expense, directly or indirectly arising out of, contributed to by, or resulting from any infectious epidemic/pandemic (if classified either way by the appropriate national or international body/agency) which leads to:

a) the imposition of quarantine or restriction in movement of people or animals by any national or international body or agency;

and/or

b) any travel advisory or warning being issued by a national or international body or agency and in respect of a) or b) any fear or threat thereof (whether actual or perceived). 

 

If the company alleges that by reason of this exclusion, any loss, dame, cost or expense is not covered by this policy the burden of proving the contrary shall be upon the insured.

 

 

Coronavirus Exclusions:

Notwithstanding any cover or extension under this section indicating anything to the contrary, this section does not provide cover for any loss following interruption or interference with the business directly or indirectly

caused by, or contributed to by, or in consequence of:

 

a. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19);

b. Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);

c. Any mutation or variation of a) or b) above;

d. Any fear or threat of a), b) or c) above.

 

 

Some Scenarios to consider:

Scenario 5. The Insured, submits a claim for an insured person with COVID-19, insured under a Group Personal Accident section or Stated Benefits section, for bodily injury by either Death; Permanent disability; Temporary total disability; Medical Expense. Is this covered?

· This is not covered as the Defined Events of both these sections require bodily injury to be caused by accidental, violent, external and visible means. The claim does not fall within the Defined Events of the section’s wording.

 

Scenario 6. A business is dependent on receiving components from China. Due to COVID-19, this supply does not happen and the business is unable to operate for a period of time until the normal supply chain is restored. The company in China is listed as a Specified Supplier, under the Suppliers’ extension of the Insured’s commercial policy. Is this covered?

· This is not covered.

If the Specified Suppliers extension is included in the Policy cover then the cover for the loss of supply will only be entertained if the loss of supply was caused by a peril of the Fire section. 

o The Specified Customers extension, if included, also requires the loss to be caused by a peril of the Fire section.

 

Scenario 7. A business located between two cities in South Africa, and the only access to their premises is by means of the national road. Quarantine regulations are imposed to restrict access by regulation pertaining to public health and safety by regional government ten kilometres from the insured premises. The insured does not have the Murder / Suicide / Illness / Disease / Pollution / Shark and Animal Attack Extension, however, they do have the Prevention of access extension. Is this covered? 

· This is not covered. Whilst when the insured is prevented or hindered from using the premises, this is only if the loss was caused by a peril of the Fire section


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SAFETY TIPS WHEN THE POWER DIPS



LOAD SHEDDING REMINDER: SAFETY TIPS FOR WHEN THE POWER DIPS COURTESY OF BLUE SECURITY .

The impact of load shedding on a security company’s operational resources is severe, and with the return of load shedding we’re urging our clients to help us beat the dark so everyone can walk out the other side safely!

When the power goes out, our control centre receives an influx of thousands of false alarm signals, which puts immense strain on both controllers as well as reaction officers, to still action these signals timeously.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Panic signals are prioritised to identify real emergencies amid the false alarm clutter. PLEASE press your remote panic button, when in a real emergency.

Please be patient with us as we wade our way through thousands of signals while still doing everything in our power to ensure our clients’ safety.

Of course, load shedding doesn’t only impact us, but you as well. Ensure that you are prepared during power dips with our 7 load shedding safety tips:

1. Communication lines stop working  Including ISDN lines and portable phones. So what should you do? Ensure you have both a telephone and radio communication set up, so that if one fails a signal will still be sent to the control room.

2. Keep tabs on your system’s battery – An 18 AMP battery should provide backup power for your alarm system for more than five hours, depending on the size and sophistication of your home security system.

3. Consider storing a spare battery at home – Batteries are not particularly expensive and it is possible to save money and change it yourself once you know how to do the job.

4. Regularly test your alarm system for faults – Load shedding can cause power surges when the lights come back on. Unfortunately, these surges have the potential to damage your alarm system and other home appliances.

5. Keys and gates – Make sure that you have the keys for your electronic garage doors handy, particularly if the system is not linked to a back-up battery. Remember to test your driveway gate battery regularly, especially if you have not replaced it for a few years.

6. Torches and cellphones – Recharge torch batteries regularly and ensure cellphones are fully charged ahead of a scheduled load shedding event. Keep candles and matches in easily access places in your home such as by the front door so if the power goes out you know exactly where they are.

7. Mobile App – If you find for whatever reason that your battery has failed and your alarm system dies, you will still be able to call for help in an emergency if you have the Blue Security Mobile App set up on your cellphone. Just press the panic button on the app and a security professional will contact you to establish the nature of the emergency.

If you need any assistance regarding testing your home alarm system, battery replacements or advice on how to access our mobile app, contact us on 031 717 5000.



FIRE blog Managing Commercial Property Risks - top things to look at


In the past year , Industry analysts have noted that fire related corporate and commercial property claims tend to increase because safety and maintenance standards are sometimes compromised in order to maintain or drive production needs .

As a result South Afrca looses millions of rands each year to Fires .

 

The main focus areas for Fire risk Prevention for commercial entities are :

 

1. Electrical Certificate of Compliance ( COC )  . For most of us this is a commodity which is unseen, as we take for granted the switching on and off of our appliances on a daily bases . In a typical building ( residential or commercial ) it is a legal requirement to confirm that the electrcical installation complies with the minimum required safety standards , a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act .This needs to be obtained from a suitably trained proffesional such as a certified Electrician. 

 

2. Automatic Fire Sprinklers ( if the occupancy and size of the building requires this in terms of  current Occupancy certificates issued ). Typical systems are found in warehouses, manufacturing industries as well as hotels and large office buildings .Where provided and properlymaintained , a fire sprinkler system can save lives as well as significant damage to property. The systems are designed to react promplty and automatically in the event of a fire , much faster than any human , irrespectove of time pf day or safety concerns. However the systems can only function as intended if they are properly designed and installed , all key components are well maintained and tested and serviced on tim eto ensure its functioning and reliability .Wheer fire sprinkler systems are not provided or areonly partially installed , a robust risk management programme must be implemented to ensure Fire prevention is the absolute focus.

 

3. Housekeeping in the workplace . General housekeeping is the responsibility of EVERYONE , be it in your office , factory or your home . The South African Occupational Health & Safety Act has a specific section for housekeeping to promote a safe , clean and healthy working enviroment that reduces the liklihood of accidents and unsafe practices in the work place. Please ensure you are familiar with the requirements realting to your occupancy of your building and should you be renting out to a tenant that your tenant is made aware and complies with their housekeeping requirements .

 

4.Fire Risk Prevention / Hot Works Permits . Hot works relates to work associated with constuction/demolishion/maintenance activities that involves the use of portable gas and welding equipment as well as soldering, brazing,grinding or any similar activity that produces a spark, flame and heat . Hot work is one of the main causes of fire losses in commericial and industrial operations and has been recognised as a significant inception fire hazard for many years by both fire protection organiosations and the Insuranec Industry . The large Jacobs Durban Fire being one example of  this that amounted to millions let alone the enviromental impact this fire had . The Hot works permit is required whenever hot works activities is accried out on site , except when it forms part of the daily operations on site such as in a manufacturing enviroment , in tis case the hot works permit is not required , howeevr protocols for proper safety controls, good housekeeping and firefighting equipment must be in place as per the regulatory requirement .


COIDA ACT INJURED ON DUTY

If you’re involved in an accident at work or develop an illness caused by your working conditions, you can claim from the Compensation Fund. Here’s what you need to know.

You can claim if:

·         You were injured or contracted a disease while working (permanent or casual), training or completing an apprenticeship.

·         You lost a family member who died on the job.

·  &nbs