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Sorry, angry drivers on South Africa’s roads, you are not the law



Incidents of road rage are on the rise and with the mental health of South Africans ranking among the worst in the world, this could spell carnage on the roads says Dialdirect Insurance.

With reports of road rage incidents in Durban, Ackerville, Fontainebleau and Roerfontein added to numerous other cases in recent months, South African motorists are at risk of following a trend recently identified in the US, where Healthline reports that incidents of people getting injured or wounded due to road rage have nearly doubled, and that pandemic stress may be partially to blame, the financial services firm said.

This is dangerous fuel to an already volatile fire: Sapien Labs’ 2021 Mental State of the World report found that, across 34 countries, South Africa is at the bottom of the mental health chart, with 8% more South Africans saying that they are “distressed or struggling” than in 2020, it said.

“This helplessness, frustration and anger often spill over onto our roads. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and even innocent bystanders can suffer substantial damage to property, be seriously hurt or even killed if the road rage isn’t defused in time,” said Anneli Retief, head of Dialdirect.

“It’s absolutely crucial to know when your ‘irritation’ or ‘impatience’ crosses a certain threshold, and to draw a very definite line when this impacts your life negatively or becomes an emotional and/or physical danger to others.”



The most common contributing factors to road rage, according to Karen van Zyl, certified anger and stress consultant from The Anger & Stress Management Centre include:

  • Stress and anxiety: A person who is already dealing with stressors, like a busy schedule, financial worries or emotional problems, feels like someone else is pushing them over the edge. They revert to their self-protection brain system with a fight or flight response – an adrenaline-driven response that often leads to irrational behaviour.
  • Goal blocking: The driver feels that another driver is standing in the way of what they want to do or where they want to go.
  • Personal expectations: The driver wants other drivers to live up to their “ideal world” expectations and behave like they believe they would, e.g. “I always give someone a gap to join my lane, but the other driver isn’t letting me in, and I feel outraged.”
  • Anonymity: Other drivers are usually unknown strangers. Drivers may also feel powerful and anonymous in the protective shell of their vehicle, so they behave more aggressively without thinking of the consequences of their behaviour.


Dialdirect and The Anger & Stress Management Centre provide the following tips to curb road rage:

  • Prepare: Prepare yourself mentally for your commute, expect that at some point you may feel frustrated or triggered. Plan your trip carefully, use your GPS to find the best route and rather leave a bit earlier if possible.
  • Soothing environment: Being comfortable, listening to some of your favourite music, proactively focusing on your breathing and even calming self-talk could help you to relax.
  • Watch your thoughts and challenge them: Remember that the other driver did not wake up and plan to get on the road to frustrate you. Also remember that they may be distracted, anxious or stressed too and that drivers all make mistakes at some point.
  • Abide by the rules: Speeding, not keeping your following distance, dangerous overtaking, cutting in, not stopping and other transgressions aren’t only dangerous in their own right, but often set the stage for conflict.
  • Watch that hooter: A quick hoot to prompt, remind or warn another driver will often do the trick, whereas a long blast may escalate the situation.
  • You are not the law: You cannot change another’s behaviour and you are not an authority who can punish bad driving. Trying to “teach someone a lesson” is more likely to get you in trouble as well, so try to remain calm and rational. If you feel that another driver is a threat to other road users, rather report them to authorities.
  • Apologise, or accept an apology, and move on: Unfortunately, we tend to blame other drivers first, even if we are at fault. If you made a mistake, apologise immediately, as this is the quickest way of deescalating a situation. Also acknowledge and accept another driver’s apology. A hand raised to say “I’m sorry” or hazard lights blinked once or twice to apologise should be enough.
  • Active destressing: Stress management through good sleep, frequent exercise, healthy eating, relaxation and lower alcohol consumption all contribute to reducing stress and irritability.
  • When confronted by a raging individual: Don’t make eye contact and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. If an aggressive person chases after you, head for the nearest garage, shopping mall or another place of safety and call for help.
  • If someone you know suffers from road rage: Say to them – ideally when they are calm – that you are concerned about them and encourage them to learn some techniques to handle tricky situations, it may make their time in the car more pleasant and safer.


“If you see the road as a good place to settle life’s scores, it could cost you anything from a couple of thousand rand to a prison sentence”, Retief said.

 

 

Photos by: Pixabay
Article source: Business tech

Save money and avoid nasty surprises: Five reasons to review your insurance policy



Standard Bank highlights factors that can trigger a change in your insurance requirements

With the advent of Covid-19, many of us have been through more life changes than usual. 

You may have changed jobs, started a new business, had your parents move in with you, or sold your car because you are now working from home.

Limited spending on travel and entertainment during lockdowns may have resulted in expenditure in other areas such as home renovations, new appliances or investments in art and luxury goods. 

Any of these events can trigger a change in your insurance requirements, which is why it’s important to evaluate your policies regularly.

 

Reviewing your insurance every year can save you money by reducing your premiums, consolidating policies, or filling gaps in areas that need additional coverage 

Reviewing your policies every year helps you to assess whether your insurance needs have changed, and whether you need to streamline your policies. This can save you money by reducing your premiums, consolidating policies, or filling gaps in areas that need additional coverage.

Start by looking back at the previous year and think about events that have transpired so you can align your insurance requirements. This will help mitigate the risk of being over or underinsured and will help you avoid any nasty surprises in the year ahead.

To ensure that nothing slips under the radar, and that you aren’t paying for something you don’t need, we highlight five factors that may affect your insurance needs and thus should be considered when evaluating your policies:


1. Life events require policy updates

The birth or adoption of a child, inheritance of heirlooms, changing jobs, moving homes, starting a business, or buying and selling assets are some of the factors that will shift insurance requirements. Depending on the circumstances, these events could increase or decrease your insurance needs.

Assets such as jewellery and electronics that have been recently acquired should be correctly specified when updating your insurance policy. Additionally, those who have moved homes should update their addresses with their insurers.


2. Wear and tear could affect your premiums 

Make sure your assets are insured at the right replacement value and not the original purchase price. Cars, furniture and electronics are all assets that usually lose value over time, but the replacement value could also increase due to fluctuating exchange rates and shortage of goods.

Doing regular valuations and policy reviews on these items will help to make sure you are correctly covered at the replacement cost, which may be higher or lower than the original purchase price.


3. Home improvements could leave you underinsured 

Any home improvements and renovations may enhance the value of your home. As such, policies need to be adjusted to reflect higher values.

Your policy should also correctly account for the contents of your home and any valuable items you may have acquired after your last policy update. If this is not done correctly, it could leave you underinsured and a payout from a claim may not cover or replace the full value of the assets.


4. Less risk means more savings 

All insurance policies are priced by calculating the risk factors involved. Ultimately, decreasing your risk will decrease your insurance premiums. For example, a security system may decrease some of your home’s risk factors and thus your insurance premiums.


5. Take lifestyle shifts into account 

The shift to hybrid and remote working has resulted in fewer people travelling between home and work every day. This means that monies saved from paying less on car and home insurance can be used in other areas such as increasing your monthly bond repayments or emergencies savings. 

 There are various options of cover available, all of which are subject to the terms and conditions of the insurer and based on the client’s individual profile. Through our innovative offerings, we can meet your coverage needs, while helping you save on premiums where possible. 



Photos by Pixabay
This article was paid for by Standard Bank.

Featured in Business Day

‘Biggest in history’: State insurer blames police for R27bn loss from July riots

Sasria has received more than R20 billion from the government to recover from the loss.


The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria) has seemingly laid the blame for its historical financial loss as a result of the 2021 July unrest at the door of the South African Police Service (Saps).

Two weeks ago, Sasria informed Parliament’s Select Committee on Finance that it is projected to suffer a loss of approximately R27.8 billion in the 2021/22 financial year, compared to a profit of R2 billion in the previous year.

This is despite receiving more than R20 billion as a capital injection from the National Treasury.


‘Biggest loss in history’

Briefing the Standing Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday morning, Sasria’s new CEO Mpumelelo Tyikwe explained that the non-life insurance company’s solvency capital ratio – currently at 68% – went down significantly because of the unrest and claims from businesses that were affected.

Tyikwe said this was Sasria’s greatest loss since the company was created in 1979.

“It is now commonly known that Sasria experienced the biggest loss in its history,” he said.

“With this biggest loss that we have had in our trading history, Sasria’s solvency dropped way below the 100% that is required by the Prudential Authority necessitating its sole shareholder, which is the state through Treasury, to inject a capital amount of R22 billion,” he added.


The CEO said Sasria would not need the capital injection from the government if Saps had responded earlier to the riots.

“Normally as insurance people when we come up with scenarios. In our [case] for Sasria we always believe that the police or security forces will respond within 48 hours of particular unrest.

“As members would know a three-man panel published their report and in the report, it does indicate that the police didn’t respond as swiftly as they normally do with this specific unrest.

“So if the unrest was stopped within three days of them starting, we could have avoided the claims that followed thereafter. If that was the case, Sasria would have been able to maintain its solvency and wouldn’t require a capital injection,” he said.

Responding to questions later in the briefing, Tyikwe said Sasria was “designed to handle events of up to R17 billion”.

“In the last 42 years, we have been able to respond to civil unrest and we haven’t come to Parliament to ask for assistance.

“What made this event unique was that the unrest played out over a period of time and as the time went longer that losses became bigger. That we did not anticipate and don’t think anyone for that matter anticipated it. If the event was R17 billion, Sasria would have been able to comfortably handle it.”


July Riots report

President Cyril Ramaphosa in February authorised the release of the 154-report into the July 2021 riots.

In the key findings the detailed of the report, a panel of experts concluded the police’s response was ineffective.

The experts said the police had insufficient capacity to curb the violence and the size of the crowds made it impossible to stop the looting that took place in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) as well as in Gauteng.

“The police failed to stop the rioting and looting in July 2021. The reasons for this failure are complex and sometimes not of their making. In some instances, they did not get any intelligence upon which to plan operations,” the report reads.

The 8 to 19 July riots resulted in more than 330 people losing their lives, and cost R25 billion in damages.


R37 billion in claims

Meanwhile, Tyikwe said the capital injection will help Sasria cover claims of about R37 billion arising from the violent riots.

“The funding will be used to pay the claims that have arisen, which the last time we look were close to R37 billion. The second thing the [funds] will be used for is to recapitalise Sasria so that we meet our solvency capital requirements,” he said.

The CEO made an assurance that the funds will not be used “for any other purpose”.

“We won’t be paying off our expenses and things like that,” he said.

Tykiwe said Sasria was projecting to have its solvency capital ratio above 100% by June 2022.

“I must add that should we experience a loss or an event that [will cost] about R3 billion between now and March 2023, our solvency will again drop to 91%,” he added.

He, however, said told the solvency projection was made assuming that Sasria would have settled 90% of the claims in their backlog.

“For June 2022, we assumed that 90% of the July 2021 claims will be paid,’ Tykiwe continued.

Sasria has paid out R22.7 million (61.97%) in claims so far, while R13.9 billion is still outstanding.

Tykiwe has indicated that Sasria expect to increase its premium by 38%.

 

Photographs by Kiessan Allen Photography (facebook)
Article by Molefe Seeletsa – digital journalist
Featured in The Citizen

Study suggests 'climate change' could spark the next pandemic



ANI
06 May 2022, 19:55 GMT+10

Augusta (Georgia) [US], May 6 (ANI): According to a new study by Georgetown University Medical Center, the rising temperature of Earth due to massive climate change will lead to the forcible relocation of wild animals towards the region with the large human population. This change can drastically increase the risk of a viral jump to humans that could lead to the rise of the next pandemic.



This link between climate change and viral transmission is described by an international research team led by scientists at Georgetown University and is published on April 28 in Nature.

In their study, the scientists conducted the first comprehensive assessment of how climate change will restructure the global mammalian virome. The work focuses on geographic range shifts -- the journeys that species will undertake as they follow their habitats into new areas. As they encounter other mammals for the first time, the study projects they will share thousands of viruses.

They say these shifts bring greater opportunities for viruses like Ebola or coronaviruses to emerge in new areas, making them harder to track, and into new types of animals, making it easier for viruses to jump across a "stepping stone" species into humans.



"The closest analogy is the risks we see in the wildlife trade," says the study's lead author Colin Carlson, PhD, an assistant research professor at the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center. "We worry about markets because bringing unhealthy animals together in unnatural combinations creates opportunities for this stepwise process of emergence -- like how SARS jumped from bats to civets, then civets to people. But markets aren't special anymore; in a changing climate, that kind of process will be the reality in nature just about everywhere." Of concern is that animal habitats will move disproportionately in the same places as human settlements, creating new hotspots of spillover risk. Much of this process may already be underway in today's 1.2 degrees warmer world, and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may not stop these events from unfolding.

An additional important finding is an impact rising temperatures will have on bats, which account for the majority of novel viral sharing. Their ability to fly will allow them to travel long distances, and share the most viruses. Because of their central role in viral emergence, the greatest impacts are projected in southeast Asia, a global hotspot of bat diversity.



"At every step," said Carlson, "our simulations have taken us by surprise. We've spent years double-checking those results, with different data and different assumptions, but the models always lead us to these conclusions. It's a stunning example of just how well we can predict the future if we try." As viruses start to jump between host species at unprecedented rates, the authors say that the impacts on conservation and human health could be stunning.

"This mechanism adds yet another layer to how climate change will threaten human and animal health," says the study's co-lead author Gregory Albery, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at the Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences.

"It's unclear exactly how these new viruses might affect the species involved, but many of them will likely translate to new conservation risks and fuel the emergence of novel outbreaks in humans." Altogether, the study suggests that climate change will become the biggest upstream risk factor for disease emergence -- exceeding higher-profile issues like deforestation, wildlife trade, and industrial agriculture. The authors say the solution is to pair wildlife disease surveillance with real-time studies of environmental change.



"When a Brazilian free-tailed bat makes it to Appalachia, we should be invested in knowing what viruses are tagging along," says Carlson. "Trying to spot these host jumps in real-time is the only way we'll be able to prevent this process from leading to more spillovers and more pandemics”. "We're closer to predicting and preventing the next pandemic than ever," says Carlson. "This is a big step towards prediction -- now we have to start working on the harder half of the problem." "The COVID-19 pandemic, and the previous spread of SARS, Ebola, and Zika, show how a virus jumping from animals to humans can have massive effects. To predict their jump to humans, we need to know about their spread among other animals," said Sam Scheiner, a program director with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which funded the research. "This research shows how animal movements and interactions due to a warming climate might increase the number of viruses jumping between species. "Additional study authors also included collaborators from the University of Connecticut (Cory Merow), Pacific Lutheran University (Evan Eskew), the University of Cape Town (Christopher Trisos), and the EcoHealth Alliance (Noam Ross, Kevin Olival).

The authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study.

The research described is supported in part by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Biology Integration Institutes (BII) grant (BII 2021909), to the Viral Emergence Research Initiative (Verena). Verena, co-founded by Carlson and Albery, curates the largest ecosystem of open data in viral ecology and builds tools to help predict which viruses could infect humans, which animals host them, and where they could someday emerge. NSF BII grants support diverse and collaborative teams of researchers investigating questions that span multiple disciplines within and beyond biology.

Addition funding was provided by the NSF grant DBI-1639145, the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program, the Institut de Valorisation des Donnees, the National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center, and the Georgetown Environment Initiative. (ANI)

 

Photos by: Pixabay
Article Source: Southafricannews.net

How Insurers build trust in a cynical world


The Urban Dictionary definition of insurance is ‘business that involves selling people promises to pay later, that are never fulfilled’. It’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek – but for many, there’s more than a pinch of truth in that statement.

That’s why there are literally hundreds of laws in force to protect you, as a personal insurance client or as a business owner (no matter the size of your enterprise), from being treated unfairly by the financial services sector. These rules mean you’re safe from unscrupulous behaviour, and protected if your insurer goes ‘belly up’. For example, the latest rule revisions mean that insurers have to tell you how benefits and ‘bonuses’ are calculated. (Hint: Your bonuses aren’t ‘free’. They’re built into your premium.)

Another big requirement is for insurers to be as fair and transparent as possible. This means using plain, every-day language, making sure that clients have all the info they need, and not hiding behind fine print when it comes to benefits and pay-outs. It also means making sure that products do what insurers claim they will, and making it easy for clients to change a policy, make a claim or submit a complaint.

Every insurer says that their client is at the centre of their business, and its all about making our clients’ lives as easy as possible, and protecting them when disaster strikes. We’ve written all our policy docs – personal, business, agri, community and engineering – in simple English, so our clients know exactly what they’re signing up for. We’re constantly working to make our claims process as quick and painless as possible, and we also make it easy for our clients to talk to us, whenever and however they choose. And, we’re always listening… On the phone, on email, on social media. After all, this is a relationship business – and we’re keepers.

 

Photos by pixabay

Article featured in The small business site
Provided by King Price

3 reasons why every business should consider Public Liability Insurance



Running a business comes with a seemingly never-ending checklist.

While your days are filled with budgeting, marketing, invoicing, tracking, and keeping your customers and employees smiling, it can be tempting to move Public Liability Insurance to the bottom of your priorities.

But Public Liability Insurance could be considered one of the most important types of business cover.



Here are 3 reasons why it could be essential for your business:

1. There’s no such thing as a private business

Public Liability Insurance protects your business against claims made by the general public for costs resulting from property damage, injuries and death which you are legally liable for. And the general public doesn’t just include clients or customers.

Claims can be made by just about anyone who interacts with your business, whether it’s on-site at your business, at a client’s premises, or even at a customer’s home.

This makes every business a public business, whether you specialise in hospitality, trade, health, retail, real estate, transportation, or entertainment.

Even if you run your business online, you’d still benefit from Public Liability Insurance seeing as your employees may interact with the public when picking up supplies and delivering them to your customers.

2. Interacting with the public comes with risks

You may have put excellent systems in place to run your business as responsibly as possible.

But no matter how well you’ve safeguarded your business against risks, you can’t control every interaction with the public.

Even if you put up warning signs when your business’ floor is wet, a client could slip and fall.

This could lead to medical costs or even a lawsuit.

Likewise, even your most conscientious employee could accidentally break your customer’s television while moving furniture for them, leading to pricy repair costs.

By getting Public Liability Insurance, you ensure that you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket for unpredictable incidents like these.

This could seriously protect your business’ bottom-line, especially in the wake of a costly lawsuit.

3. You could get  Public Liability Insurance from as little as R127 a month

Protecting your business doesn’t have to be expensive.

We offer quality, affordable Public Liability Insurance, tailored to your specific business needs.

Our standard package provides cover against damages that your business is legally liable to pay if someone suffers accidental death, bodily injury, illness, or accidental loss or damage to their property.

Depending on your business requirements, you can also add cover for wrongful arrest and defamation, liability caused by products sold or supplied, defective workmanship, legal defence costs, and damage or injury caused by the spread of veld fires or forest fires.

Get in touch today to get priceless peace of mind at an affordable premium.



Photo’s by Pixabay & Pexels
Article presented by Outsurance, feature in BusinessTech

Six local Insurers team up with Fire fighting helicopters

When it comes to wildfires, nothing beats the speed and efficiency of aerial resources. An initial attack strategy is crucial as a wildfire can spread at a rate of up to 23 kph, consuming everything in its path.

An initial attack strategy means suppressing a fire as quickly as possible, before it gets big. This is the safest and least expensive option.

Ricardo Coetzee, Head of Auto & General Insurance, says that this year there has been a national increase in fire related incidents. The Cape Winelands area has been ravaged by dozens of fires and according to a UN report, wildfires are going to get more frequent and more intense, with a global increase of extreme fires of up to 14% by 2030, 30% by the end of 2050 and 50% by the end of the century.

Six insurance companies – Auto & General Insurance, Lombard, Old Mutual, Santam, Hollard and Bryte Insurance have partnered to sponsor two Bell Huey fire-fighting helicopters equipped with bambi buckets for firefighting, as well as two 4x4 fuel bowsers.



“The proof of concept is assisting with an immediate maximum attack strategy within a 50km radius of Stellenbosch Airfield and is activated and managed through the Winelands Fire Protection Association (WFPA). Since launching in December 2021, the initiative has proved highly successful. We have successfully contained 15 fires and saved property to the value of approximately R50 million,” says Dale Nortje, WFPA manager.

Miles Japhet, Chairman of Lombard says: “The biggest advantage of this project is the limited chain of authorisation. The quicker we can get the helicopters in the air to ‘fly the fire’, the better the chance of preventing the fire from spiralling out of control.”

Japhet continues: “Once a fire gets to a certain size, it becomes extremely difficult to contain and expensive for the province involved, as well as the insurance companies and landowners. Our Quick Reaction Force (QRF) is fast, motivated.”

Mark Molenaar, Regional Head of Hollard Insure in the Western Cape says that over the past four months, the QRF been instrumental in containing veld fires, that would have otherwise caused enormous damage and they will no doubt stop many more fires during the ongoing dry season in the Cape over the coming weeks.”

Edwyn O’Neill, Bryte CEO, commented: “We operate in a risk environment characterised by constant evolution. One that requires us to create robust risk management solutions, that are fit-for-purpose in terms of addressing the needs of our customers, partners, and community. Innovative and efficient solutions such as this initiative form part of our quest to play an active role in building a sustainable future for all. For South African businesses and various stakeholders, it’s all about approaching risk with purpose.”

It’s imperative for homeowners to know what to do if their house catches alight, whether they live in a fire-prone area or not.



Aside from general fire safety that prevents a fire from starting in your home – including the inspection of wiring and appliances, safely working with gas and heaters, or simply responsible smoking practices – it’s important to take steps to prevent a fire from spreading by following these preventative tips:

• Make sure that you use fire retardant materials or treatments on roofs, walls, wooden decks, etc. as far as possible.
• Remove any flammable materials like dead branches, long grass, rubbish bins and boxes from around your house. Also remove flammable materials from the roof and gutters.
• Cut away any trees or other plants that grow too close to your house, as these could be conduits for fire. Be cautious about highly inflammable trees, like gum trees or palm trees. Both alien trees have led to many households being destroyed.
• Plan your garden and paving in such a way that they provide both horizontal and vertical fire breaks.
• Store flammable chemicals and fuels away from the house.
• Spark proof your house and outbuildings by closing up any gaps between panels like soffit and fascia boards that sparks could be blown into.
• Vents and windows are prime spots for sparks and embers to gather – close these if need be.
• Ensure that you have a working fire extinguisher, from a reputable source, and that you know how to use it.
• Consider investing in fireproof blankets that can withstand high temperatures.
• Familiarise everyone with the relevant emergency numbers.



In the event that you are caught in a runaway fire:

• Decide on a safe place to meet outside the house.
• Evacuate immediately when prompted – never try collect belongings before evacuating.
• Pre-pack a “go bag” with important documents like Passports, ID books etc.
• Don’t re-enter the house once outside.
• Don’t open doors of rooms you suspect are on fire or if the door’s handle is hot. Look for an alternative route instead.
• Never enter rooms that are already on fire.
• Crawl low to the ground when leaving a room filled with smoke to reduce smoke inhalation.
• If you are trapped, close the door to the room and put a blanket or towel at the bottom of the door to keep out the smoke.
• Wrap yourself in a blanket and call for help from the window if you cannot open a door for a way out.

Nortje notes that, “Possessions can be replaced but lives cannot – protect yourself and your family by planning an exit strategy and keeping fire extinguishers within reach of everyone in the home. This could mean the difference between life and death.”

John Melville, Chief Underwriting Officer at Santam concludes: “It is commendable that leading insurers have pulled together quickly to implement such an impactful initiative that saves lives and millions of rands in damage to property. Hopefully we can further replicate this collaborative model of managing common risks across the country going forward.”

 

 

Photo’s by Pixabay
By Auto & General Insurance company
Article featured in FANews

Santam phasing out BI cover for power cuts



Santam, South Africa’s leading non-life insurer, issued an “operational circular” on 15 March that could have a significant impact on commercial clients’ existing cover for business interruption resulting from extended cover for losses emanating from public utilities and/or public telecommunications.

It appears that the aftershock of claims emanating from Covid-19 resulted in a review in order to prevent a recurrence of “non-defined” perils.

Most short-term insurers were very quick to remove contingent business interruption (CBI) cover for losses resulting from a contagious, reportable disease after Covid became a reality in March 2020. In the case of Santam, all such cover ceased from 1 June 2020.



Background

Santam explains as follows:

“Following the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted most countries worldwide, international support for covers that do not follow ‘defined events’ is no longer available. Contagious and infectious disease cover, for example, did not require a material damage peril to operate (e.g., fire, lightning or explosion) and is therefore deemed ‘non-damage’ (or non-physical damage).

“‘Defined events’ are perils such as fire, lightning, explosion, special perils (e.g., storm) and malicious damage. These perils are usually found in the material damage sections, such as the fire, buildings combined and office contents sections. ‘Extended cover’, as seen in public utilities – extended cover and public telecommunication – extended cover, provides for perils much wider than ‘defined events’ mentioned above. They offer ‘failure’ or ‘partial failure’, which incorporates cover that has a very wide range of possibilities and levels of additional risk for insurers and reinsurers.

“Although this cover has been in existence for many years, there are increasing concerns that power supply and various associated utilities could fail, resulting in large-scale losses. With these concerns in mind, reinsurers have withdrawn their support for business interruption covers that provide for ‘non-damage’ (or non-physical damage) extensions, such as the ‘extended covers’ referred to in this circular.

“This systemic risk could have a catastrophic impact on the entire industry without reinsurer support, so providing this cover would be unsustainable.”

Unlike the abrupt removal of cover for losses as a result of the pandemic, the removal of these extensions will be phased out. For new business, it will no longer be available from 1 July 2022. Existing policies will be amended at renewal.



Products affected

These changes affect all products that have a business interruption section, including policies issued by Santam and broker- or administrator-issued policies.

Impact on premiums

In terms of quotations effective from 1 July 2022, the cover for these extensions will no longer be available, so no premiums can be raised. For renewals, where the extension was being charged for, this premium component will fall away, because the cover is cancelled at the renewal date. The perils-based (“insured perils”) version will replace the previous “extended cover” version where the “extended cover” version included the “insured perils” cover, and a new premium will be calculated, which will be less than the original premium that included the extended cover.

Impact on wording, clauses or endorsements

The impact on Santam’s various contractual wordings is dependent on how such wording is arranged or constructed. Most wordings are similar for these extensions, so removing them from the contract is fairly simple.

These extensions need to be removed, and any other references to the extensions within the policy wording need to be adjusted. Santam will work closely with brokers to manage these changes, where products are bespoke. Santam’s own wordings will be similarly amended.

All endorsements, additional wording components, extensions and clauses that exist will also be amended accordingly. Previous endorsements that refer to the extensions in question (e.g., clause 2218) will also be amended, to remove reference to the cover.

Wordings that only offer the “extended” coverage will require amendment to comply with the perils-based version, and Santam will assist brokers to achieve this product change, where applicable.

Brokers are requested to contact their relationship manager or the commercial contact centre if they have any queries about the circular.

Reinsurer withdrawal

There can be little doubt that, during the ongoing legal battle to determine whether the coronavirus or the government lockdown was the insured peril, hectic behind the scenes discussions were taking place between insurers and their various reinsurers. It therefore comes as no surprise that reinsurers have done their homework to prevent getting caught out again.

No doubt, other insurers will be forced to follow suit.

During the court battle around the term of CBI cover, much was made about the nebulous wording upon which legal experts could not agree. What about the man in the street then, who was supposed to interpret and understand it?

Perhaps this is a timely warning for all insurers to revisit their contracts as a whole to see that they conform to today’s demands, rather than the contracts drawn up in a coffee shop by the Thames in the 1650s.

 

Article By Paul Kruger
Featured in Moonstone
Photos by Pixabay

200 Accidents a day waiting to happen due to worn tyres


Badly maintained tyres and rims are a leading cause of car accidents in South Africa. Dialdirect urges motorists to know the real, often fatal risks, and get into the habit of regular inspections, tyre and rim maintenance, as well as making well-informed decisions when purchasing tyres.

In most of the RTMC’s seasonal, quarterly and annual reports, burst tyres are cited as the leading vehicle-related cause of accidents in South Africa, with up to 73% of vehicle failures attributed to tyres alone. According to the RTMC’s most recent annual report, a staggering number of 67 893 drivers were issued with notices for driving with worn tyres in a single year. That – counting only motorists who received notices - is nearly 200 accidents a day just waiting to happen.

It’s also highly concerning that many motorists opt for used tyres, after a survey by Sumitomo Rubber SA revealed that around 60% of second-hand tyres in South Africa are illegal.

“Every year, worn and damaged tyres – that in turn lead to overheating, increased risk of punctures, longer stopping distances or aquaplaning - cause carnage on our roads,” says Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect Insurance, “According to research by the AAA, a worn tyre reduces the handling ability of a passenger car by 33% - a recipe for disaster that could very well cost you and your loves ones your lives.”


Here are a few safety tips for making sure that your tyres and wheels are in tiptop shape:

TYRES:

·   Spec inspection: Make sure that your vehicles tyres meet the size, speed and load ratings requirements for your vehicle and their intended use.

·   Root in research: Do thorough research when buying a new set of tyres – making sure that you find a good all-rounder tyre that offers low rolling resistance and good fuel consumption, whilst still providing enough grip, aquaplaning resistance and stopping power in all weather conditions.

·   Read the dots: When purchasing new tyres, look out for the tyres’ 4-digit DOT code, printed on the wall of the tyre. A dot code of 3718, for example, means that the tyre was manufactured in the 37th week of 2018. A good guideline is that you shouldn’t purchase tyres more than 6 years past their date of and tyres that are more than 10 years past their date of manufacture should be replaced immediately.

·   Used and bruised: Refrain from buying second-hand tyres, especially when they have been illegally “regrooved”.

·   Fill-up check: When you fill up with fuel, check the inflation pressure in all your tyres with a reliable pressure gauge. Don’t simply rely on “eying it”, as tyres that are well below recommended pressures could still appear sufficiently inflated.

·   Cold is cool: Only check tyre pressure when the tyres are cold. If you deflate a hot tyre to the recommended pressure, it may become under-inflated, leading to a heat build-up and increase the risk of a blowout.

·   Pressure perfect: Inflate tyres to the recommended pressure in your owner's manual or the tyre inflation guide decal in the glove box or door pillar. Should you have aftermarket rims and/or tyres fitted to your vehicle, check correct pressures with the installer, as they probably differ from standard pressures.

·   Surface scan: If there are any sharp objects lodged in the tyre, cuts, bulges or bruises on the tyre’s surface or walls, it’s a serious reason for concern. A bulge on the tyre’s surface is caused by internal damage and puts you at high risk of a blowout. If a tyre’s side wall is damaged, replace it immediately.

·   Wary of wear: If a tyre is wearing more in the middle than on the shoulders, it's probably over-inflated. If it's wearing more on the shoulders, then it's likely to be under-inflated. Uneven wear may also indicate a worn steering or suspension component, an over or under inflated tyre or bad wheel alignment and/ or balancing.

·   Eye on trends: Look out for unusual trends. For instance, if a tyre loses pressure faster than the others, it could be a slow puncture which can lead to a blowout.

·   Tread carefully: Ensure that each tyre has adequate tread. The South African legal limit is 1mm of tread, but anything below 3mm limits the tyre’s ability to function effectively. Replace tyres if they’re worn down to the wear bars on the tread.

·   Cap it: Always check that all valves on your vehicle’s tyres have valve caps, as they prevent small objects from getting into the valve and causing a leak.

·   Tyre retirement: If a tyre has been in service for more than 5 years, it should be regularly checked for cracks and replaced no later than the 6-year mark.

·   Beware the spare: Remember to perform the same checks that you perform on the tyres on your vehicle, on the spare, and be prepared to replace a rarely used or unused spare if it’s exceeded its lifespan. Also make sure that you have the correct jack and other tools to remove a damaged wheel and tyre.


WHEELS:

·   Keep it tight: Ensure that all the wheels are securely fastened and that the correct specification and quality of nuts and bolts are used. Make sure to check every nut and bolt, as a single failure could lead to failure of the entire system. Beware of overtightening these parts, as this, too, could lead to thread failure and disaster.

·   Rim right: Make sure that the rims fit the specification for your car and that you have suitable tyres fitted for the specific size of rim. Ensure that rims aren’t cracked or bent. Even minor defects could lead to anything from insufficient sealing between the tyre and rim and a loss of tyre pressure, to catastrophic failure of the rim itself.

·   Look for a leak: The wheel itself must be checked inside and out for things like grease, oil or brake fluid leaking which could indicate a problem with the wheel bearing, brakes or CV joint.

·   Balance act: Make sure to have the wheel balancing and alignment checked. Misaligned and improperly balanced wheels could cause anything from an increase in fuel consumption, to uneven tyre wear and blowouts.

“In the event that a tyre does burst, it’s imperative to remain calm, keep both hands on the steering wheel, avoid making sudden steering movements or slamming on the brakes, keep the vehicle straight, gently decelerate, pull over to spot that’s out of the way of oncoming traffic and switch on your hazard lights,” Retief concludes, “It’s also wise to invest in insurance products like Tyre & Rim Guard insurance – a cost- effective solution which allows you to claim for accidental damage to your vehicle’s tyres and rims.”

 Speak to us should you require a quotation 031-5021922 | andrew@esbrokers.co.za


Source – Pixabay
By Automotive Business Review

 

Insurance 101: Explaining terms commonly used in insurance

Making better decisions about your risk and insurance starts with having a clear understanding of the common terms and definitions used in your insurance policy. In its absence, many individuals may only discover a specific exclusion or condition of cover at claims stage which may adversely affect the outcome of a claim. 



“Trying to navigate the terms and conditions of your insurance cover can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to compare insurance quotes and conditions of cover as these can vary markedly from one policy and insurer to another. One of the best investments you can make in safeguarding your hard-earned assets is to get the advice and guidance of a professional insurance broker who will be able to compare product benefits, technical specifications, terms of cover and pricing to find an insurance solution that is best suited to your needs and circumstances,” explains Mandy Barrett of Aon South Africa, a leading global professional services firm and insurance broker.

 

Aon lists a few common insurance terms and conditions to help you understand your cover better, and thus make better decisions about your risk planning:

 

  • Insure for the retail value of the vehicle - Ideally, you want to be in a situation where your insurance can replace ‘like for like’ and avoid being paid out less than the value of your vehicle. Essentially, retail value is the price at which a vehicle dealer will sell a vehicle to you. Market value is the average of the difference in price between retail value and its trade-in value, in other words what you could expect to receive from a dealer if you were to trade the vehicle in.  Always insure your vehicle at retail value.
  • New replacement value - If you buy a brand, new vehicle and it is written off within the first year, the vehicle would normally be covered for the replacement value of a new vehicle.
  • Credit Shortfall Insurance – A risk that is often overlooked is that of a credit shortfall on a financed vehicle.  This typically arises when a vehicle is written off in the first two years of signing a finance agreement to purchase the vehicle.  Accrued interest on the loan within the first few years may very well mean that your insured value of your vehicle could actually be less than your outstanding debt to the bank.  If you don’t have credit shortfall cover to settle this amount, you will be liable for the shortfall between what’s owed to the bank, and your insurance settlement which does not cover you for the interest.  
  • Replacement Cost – refers to the amount it would cost to replace or rebuild an item of similar quality using materials and goods that are currently available. Many make the mistake of insuring their home or valuable items for the value that it was bought for, while the cost of replacing the entire structure of your home for example could be far more than what you paid for the property ten years ago, leaving you financially compromised in a worst-case scenario. 
  • The Average Formula - If you are under-insured in the event of a loss, the insurer will assume that you have elected to carry a portion of the risk yourself. As a result, you may find yourself in a situation where you are paid partially for a loss at claims stage due to the average formula being applied. It means that if your property is under-insured by 40%, for example, then you may only be paid 60% of your claim, regardless of whether it is a partial or total loss.
  • Valuation – Refers to a financial assessment of the worth of an item, or the monetary value associated with an asset to insure it for. A good place to start is making a comprehensive inventory list of all the items in your home to gain a better understanding of the structure’s worth, as well as all the contents and fixtures in it. In the case of appreciating assets such as jewellery and artwork, it is highly recommended to update your valuation certificates every year and to insure it for its current replacement value. 
  • All Risks Cover – Household contents cover is usually applicable to items that stay within your home. As soon as an item is taken outside of your home such as jewellery, smartphones, laptops, sports equipment, designer sunglasses or luggage, these items are no longer covered. It’s one of the reasons why it is important to specify the items that may ‘travel’ with you under the ‘All Risks’ section of your household contents policy.
  • Excess – In most insurance policies a claim is subject to the payment of an ‘excess’ (sometimes also called a ‘deductible’), which refers to the first portion of the claim that you are responsible for. In the insurance world, it translates into you taking on a portion of the financial risk that affects your insurance premium whether it is a fixed amount or a percentage of the claim. Be very wary of taking the lowest premium as the bite is often in the high excess structure – in some instances this can be as much as 25% of the insured value or a fixed fee - whichever is the greater. If you consider a claim value of R100 000, the excess at 25% would be R25 000 – very few people have that kind of spare cash around to cover their excess payment. Make sure to discuss your excess options with your broker. 
  • Escalator Clause - An escalator clause is a provision within an insurance policy that allows for an automatic annual increase in the sum insured to cover any unexpected costs arising from future fluctuations, that can either be linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or can be stipulated as a set percentage.
  • Wear and tear – maintenance-related losses are one of the key reasons for a claim being rejected or the settlement being less than expected. Remember that insurance is there to cover sudden, unforeseen circumstances which result in loss and/or damage and does not cover damage as a result of negligence or wear and tear. Examples of wear and tear include rising damp around your house, water leaks left unattended that could lead to major structural issues on your home, smooth tyres on your vehicle which could cause an accident or blow out and so on.  
  • Safety measures – Your insurance cover may be subject to certain security measures that need to be in place, such as burglar bars on all opening doors and windows, a tracking device on your vehicle or arming your alarm system when not at home.

The guidance of an experienced broker adds tremendous value in guiding you towards a better understanding of the terms and conditions of your cover. Your broker will make sure that you are not compromised or prejudiced by unreasonable or onerous limitations on your cover, and that you are comparing apples with apples when it comes to premiums and excesses - the most important consideration being that if and when you need to claim, that there are no surprises waiting for you that could leave you compromised.



Photos by Pixabay
Article by Insurance Gateway
Written by Mandy Barrett of AON South Africa