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Reducing blood alcohol limits to zero won't improve road safety, says AA



Proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act to reduce the legal blood alcohol limits for drivers to zero will criminalise innocent motorists, and is unlikely to have the results authorities think it will.

This is the view of the Automobile Association (AA) in response to the National Road Traffic Amendment Bill, published at the end of October.

Included in the Bill is an amendment of Section 65 which effectively changes the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers from 0.05 grams per 100ml to 0.00g/100ml, and the breath alcohol concentration from 0.24g/1000ml also to zero.

“These proposed changes are concerning on a number of levels and though the stated reason for the change is the promotion of road safety, within the current framework of traffic law enforcement, nothing will change, except that innocent drivers are likely to be criminalised,” notes the AA.

“For instance, someone who is using medication which contains alcohol will now be arrested, charged and possibly prosecuted for having a small dose of alcohol in their blood while their driving ability has not been impaired.”

The association says the proposed amendment is again making motorists soft targets for traffic law enforcers, and that the desired outcomes of improved road safety will not be met.

“How will traffic law enforcement change to accommodate this proposed amendment? And, perhaps more importantly, how will a single piece of legislation change drivers' attitudes when nothing else around traffic law enforcement changes at the same time?

“Without proper and implementable actions, we don’t believe the amendments relating to the alcohol levels will have a material impact on our abysmal road fatality statistics,” says the AA.

The average of 13,000 deaths on our roads annually is a national crisis and amending this one piece of legislation is not going to make a difference.

 

Automobile Association (AA)

The association says simply drafting legislation does not equate to meaningful road safety intervention and that other more important steps must be taken. These include:

  • a more intense, widespread and constant focus on national road safety education;
  • an increase in the number of traffic law enforcement officers; and
  • improved prosecution of current drunk driver cases.

Another important aspect of effective traffic policing is to ensure law enforcement is visible and active around known areas of drinking and driving, and that proper action is taken against offenders.

The association notes: “We need to be in a situation where people are afraid to drive if they have been drinking, and we stand by our messaging of 'drink or drive'. However, within this framework – and the interventions we have outlined – we believe a reduction of the BAC limit to 0.02g/100ml would be a more effective, just, and appropriate approach to drunk driving in the country.”

The AA says motorists who drink and drive must assume they will be arrested because there are many alternatives available to those who want to drink and still be mobile. But, it adds, legally reducing the BAC to zero is not the answer.

“We cannot have a situation where authorities are amending legislation in the hope that this will change our shocking crash statistics. The average of 13,000 deaths on our roads annually is a national crisis and amending this one piece of legislation is not going to make a difference unless those interventions we mention all the time are also implemented,” says the AA.

The association says it will be commenting on the proposed amendments and making submissions to parliament before the November 20 deadline.

 

Article courtesy of SAafrica24.com

Cyber security culture the best defence



People have the potential to be an organisation’s best defence against cyber threats and fraud. This is especially true as companies continue to embrace work-from-home models and hybrid office and remote working structures.

 

With perimeter security lines blurred, more people being left to their own devices, and most cyber threats leveraging the human factor, building a cyber secure culture should be at the heart of effective cyber risk management.

 

“Many cybercriminals target individuals through malware and phishing scams, putting employees on the frontline of the fight against cybercrime. It is evident in the scourge of cybercrime since March that work-from-home models have made companies, their people and their data vulnerable. However, suppose cyber security is a culture within your organisation. In that case, it does not matter whether your employees at the office, at home or a bit of both,” says Charl Ueckermann, who has recently been appointed as Group CEO at AVeS Cyber International.

 

Inculcating a cyber secure culture has its roots in training staff on the dos and the don’ts around their use of technology and data resources. Yet, many companies are not providing ongoing cyber security training, despite the increased risks associated with remote working.

 

A survey by Malwarebytes, Enduring from home: Covid-19’s impact on business security, showed that 44% of companies did not provide cyber security training focused on the potential threats of working from home and 55% of company leaders cited the need to train employees on how to securely work at home as the top challenge.

 

“The dilemma is that cyber security is a difficult concept to grasp. People struggle to believe in what they cannot smell, taste or feel. Similarly, the average user of technology cannot hear, see, smell, touch, and taste cyber threats. They feel removed and untouched by them. That is until they are impacted by a cyber incident, data breach, fraud or identity theft.

 

“That is why developing a cyber secure culture, where everyone at every level of the organisation buys-into and participates in the cyber security strategy, is more effective than merely having a tick-box approach to cyber security awareness training. When cyber security becomes a culture in an organisation, two things happen: employees understand their role in the cyber security strategy, and they know how management expects them to respond to incidents.

 

“Culture is developed from strongly held value systems that are strategically supported. When safety forms part of your business values, your business continuity, the integrity of your data and sustainability of your business becomes a culture. These values must be driven from the top and be reinforced by both structure and strategy to ultimately shape employee perceptions and behaviour.

 

“Management plays an instrumental role in shaping and sustaining a strong cyber secure culture. If a company’s leadership does not buy into the importance of a cyber secure culture, it is unlikely that employees will,” explains Ueckermann.

 

Citing a 2020 Gartner report The Urgency to Treat Cybersecurity as a Business Decision, says company leaders are realising globally that they need to change how they approach cyber security and risk management.

 

“For decades, IT and business have been separated, with few senior managers or execs understanding the impact that cyber security, or lack thereof, had on the business. This is changing, and company leaders realise that cyber security is not solely a technological issue. It is a business issue that can’t simply be addressed with a few add-on solutions. It must be integrated and aligned with the business objectives. People, processes and technology all work together to form a secure culture.”

 

Ueckermann concludes: “Inculcating a cyber secure culture can create a stronger defence against cyber threats than the most robust technologies or any single policy or procedure. Start building a robust cyber secure culture by embracing cyber security as a core business value, making it a key organisational priority, and reinforcing its importance through ongoing communication, clearly defining policies and procedures, and investing in training.”


For queries or quotes regaring Cyber Risk Insurance please contact our offices via the following methods:
Tel:                   0315021922
whatsapp:        0824508720
e-mail:              andrew@esbrokers.co.za
Website:           www.esbrokers.co.za

 


Article courtesy of IT on line,  by Charles Uechermann

How has Covid-19 changed your business risk profile?



After more than seven months of one of lockdowns, South African businesses have shown that they can adapt to dramatically changed circumstances.

As the country moves between different levels of lockdown, circumstances continue to change, and business continue to adjust.

An easily recognisable pivot, for instance, was that of clothing manufacturers who started producing cloth masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and the general public. However, in most scenarios where businesses pivot, their risk profile change, and their insurance requirements also change.

Here are a few scenarios and how they would change a business insurance risk profile:

A clothing store that switched to an online distribution model

Switching to an online distribution model carries new risk related to how you store your customers’ data, particularly considering the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

From 1 July 2020, South African companies have less than one year to ensure compliance with POPIA, which targets the containment of negligent usage or the misuse of personal data, as well as the protection of privacy rights.


A restaurant that started incorporating deliveries to replace sit-down meals

The restaurant would have to buy delivery vehicles such as motorbikes to deliver the meals. It would have to contact its broker or insurer to add the delivery vehicles to its insured assets and would also need to take out the appropriate vehicle insurance to cover the increased risk due to the change in profile of the business.


Physical addition of perspex dividers and security gates to reinforce physical distancing

The additions of perspex dividers and security gate could potentially improve the security profile of the business. It is extremely important to advise your broker or insurer of additions and alterations to the insured property, while the contractor is on site as well as making sure that the appropriate short-term insurance cover is in place during the alterations, in complying with Covid-19 regulations.


Furniture companies which saw increased sales during the lockdown

As more people started working from home, the sales of furniture such as chairs and office desks spiked. Furniture companies would have had to contact their broker or insurer to advise them of a change in order frequency as well as the increased stock kept in storage. These companies may also have had to increase their transit insurance since the furniture remains the liability of the company until it is delivered to the buyer.


Companies who pivoted to use their vehicles for deliveries

If companies were specifically now offering their vehicles as delivery vehicles on behalf of other companies and not just for own use, they would need to advise their broker or insurer of the change in use of vehicle as well as take out transit insurance for any goods that they transport.

The overall effect of the new work-from-home policies is that previously there were some assets that were typically kept at work such as printers or desktop computers.

If you have now given your employee permission to take and use those assets at home, you have to inform your broker or insurer so they can extend the cover on those assets to all risks cover or extend the policy to cover these assets while they are in the possession of your employees.

The world in which your business operates and the way in which it operates is going to change faster than ever before. Just as your business had to adapt to a ‘new normal’, you need to regularly step back, reassess your risk and make sure that you adapt your insurance so that you are correctly and adequately covered.

For assistance with identifying the risks facing your profile please contact us on any of the following methods:
* Telephone  0315021922
* Whatsapp   0824508720
* Email          
andrew@esbrokers.co.za
* Website       www.esbrokers.co.za

 

 

 

Article featured in Insurance on line, written by Malesela Maupa, Head of Product and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers


A Guide to Your South African Passport Application and Renewal

Please note that due to COVID-19, Home Affairs is inundated with queries. Passport applications are currently taking longer than usual to process, so we encourage you to apply for your passport more than six months in advance.


Passports cannot be renewed once they expire; you will need to apply for a new one. South African citizens can apply via the eHomeAffairs website. Please note, you will need internet banking to proceed with your online passport application. Applicants will have to go to a Home Affairs branch to capture their biometrics and collect their passport. Alternatively, you can record your biometrics and collect your passport at specific Absa, FNB, Standard Bank or Nedbank branches. Whether you’re applying for a passport for the first time or doing a passport renewal, follow these easy steps and you’ll be booking your ticket to your dream destination in no time!

How to apply for your South African passport online



1. Register your account

·       Simply go to the eHomeAffairs website and register.

·       Create a profile

·       Answer the security questions

·       Create a password

·       Capture the OTP (one-time pin) sent to your cellphone

·       Finally, attach a copy of your ID

2. Make payment

·       Enter your bank account details on the eHomeAffairs site.

·       You will then be required to log in to your internet banking to authorise the payment.

·       Log in to your internet banking account: go to the “My Bills” option under “Payments” to initiate the payment instruction.

·       Add the Department of Home Affairs as a beneficiary, and a payment instruction will appear under “My Bills”.

·       Finally, enter your reference number and approve the R400 payment to the Department of Home Affairs.

3. Record your biometrics

Option 1: Home Affairs Branch

·       Once the Department of Home Affairs has registered your payment you will be eligible to proceed with your biometrics data – two thumbprints, a photo and your signature.

·       You do not need to make an appointment at Home Affairs. Simply go to your local branch to have your biometrics done.

·       You will need to take your ID book with you to the Home Affairs branch.

Option 2: Home Affairs-Equipped Bank Branch

·       Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria residents can make an appointment for their biometrics at their local bank branch once their payment has been registered (see below).

·       You will be given a choice of time slots. Once you’ve selected a time slot, you will be sent a confirmation via SMS and email.

·       Take your ID book and confirmation email or SMS with you when going to your local bank branch.

4. Wait for an SMS or email

You will receive a notification that your passport is ready for collection at the Home Affairs or bank branch where your biometrics were captured.





When to apply for your passport:

Most countries require that travellers have at least six months validity on their passport beyond their date of departure. Therefore, you are advised to apply for or renew your South African passport at least six months in advance.

Passport fees:

First-time application for a passport: R400

Application for a new passport (with old passport): R400

Application for a new passport (if passport is lost): R800

South African Passport application requirements:

·       A copy of your ID

·       Passport fee

·       Your old passport (if you have one)

With eHomeAffairs services available, your South African passport application and passport renewal process should prove to be a simple and easy task to do before booking your flight to your dream destination.

Biometrics equipped bank branches:

Branch

City

ABSA Centurion Lifestyle

Centurion

Absa Tower North

Johannesburg

Absa Gandhi Square

Johannesburg

FNB President Street West

Johannesburg

FNB Merchant Place, Rivonia

Johannesburg

FNB Centurion Lifestyle

Centurion

FNB Lynwood (The Grove Mall)

Pretoria

Standard Bank Centurion

Centurion

Standard Bank Killarney, Rosebank

Johannesburg

Standard Bank Canal Walk

Cape Town

Nedbank Lakeside Mall

Benoni

Nedbank Sandown

Johannesburg

Nedbank Arcadia

Pretoria

 

 

Don’t forget to book your Travel Insurance. Our COVID Travel Insurance (max 31 day cover) is available through ES Brokers.
www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article courtesy of Travelstart by Mandy Alexander – dated 5 September 2018


Vehicle insurance woes in a time of licence backlogs



The backlog with issuing drivers’ licences has left many people concerned that their car insurance would not pay in case of damage if they do not have valid drivers’ licences.


It would appear that most of the country’s vehicle insurers are willing to give consumers the benefit of the doubt for now, if they happen to get involved in a fender bender while driving without a valid licence.

Hard lockdown measures that were in force since 26 March 2020 meant that any licences and permits requiring renewal could not be processed.


Fikile Mbalula, minister of transport, published guidelines on 20 May 2020 in terms of the Disaster Management Act which offered a validity extension to all licence and permit-holders who could not apply for renewals between 26 March and 31 May.


Licencing and driving licence test centres were only allowed to operate again from 1 June, with many operating at reduced capacity while working through the backlog of applications. A further extension has not been announced, while the number of expired licences and permits increase, meaning that more people will be using the country’s roads without valid licences.


In response, Natasha Kawulesar, head of client relations at Outsurance, says when its clients are in possession of a driver’s licence that they have been unable to renew timeously, their claims will not be impacted.


“We will settle claims where the only point of concern is a recently expired driver’s licence. Drivers and vehicle owners will therefore be recognised as legally licenced should they need to claim against a Discovery Insure insurance plan, provided they are in possession of a valid licence, albeit expired.”


Marius Neethling, personal line underwriting manager at Santam, says in line with government regulations regarding the validity period of driving licences, Santam has made a concession to regard all driving licences and permits that have expired between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020 as valid until 31 January 2021 for purposes of its insurance contracts.


“Once the authenticity of the expired licence has been established, the claim may be handled as if the licence card was still valid.”

“The short answer,” says King Price’s client experience partner Wynand van Vuuren, “is that an expired license because of Covid-19 will not affect your cover. The important issue is the principle of ‘causal nexus’, which means the reason for a claim rejection must be directly linked to the cause of the accident. Just make sure the vehicle is always roadworthy and there are no additional factors that can cause or contribute to an accident.”


Old Mutual’s insurance expert, Christelle Colman, says Old Mutual Insure is fully aware of the delays in the renewal of drivers’ licenses because of the administration backlog in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown period.


“As a result each policyholder’s personal circumstances will be considered at the time of an accident while firmly supporting the principles of Treating Customers Fairly, as well as the various conditions contained in the policy wording. We will therefore treat each claim on its own merits in a fair and equitable manner,” she says.


Rudolf Britz, chief actuary at Momentum Short-term Insurance, says Momentum’s stance is that an individual with an expired license card is still licensed to drive as the document has just expired.


“Therefore we would deem such an individual as adequately licensed and honour the claim as long as all other criteria set out in the policy agreement are met.”


For any queries please contact our offices on 031 5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za


Article featured in the Citizen under the personal finance section, written by Ina Opperman


McAfee detects 419 new cyber threats per minute as malware samples rise



San Francisco - Cybersecurity company McAfee on Thursday said it saw an average of 419 new threats per minute as overall new malware samples grew by 11.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year.

The global impact of Covid-19 prompted cybercriminals to adjust their cybercrime campaigns to lure victims with pandemic themes and exploit the realities of a workforce working from home, said the "McAfee Threats Report: November 2020."

Over the course of Q2, McAfee saw a 605 per cent increase in Covid-19-related attack detections compared to Q1.

A significant proliferation in malicious Donoff Microsoft Office documents attacks propelled new PowerShell malware increase 117 per cent, said the report.

"The second quarter of 2020 saw continued developments in innovative threat categories such as PowerShell malware and the quick adaptation by cybercriminals to target organisations through employees working from remote environments," said Raj Samani, McAfee fellow and chief scientist.

"What began as a trickle of phishing campaigns and the occasional malicious app quickly turned into a deluge of malicious URLs, attacks on cloud users and capable threat actors leveraging the world's thirst for more information on COVID-19 as an entry mechanism into systems across the globe."

McAfee assesses the state of the cyber threat landscape each quarter based on research, investigative analysis, and threat data gathered by the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence cloud from over a billion sensors across multiple threat vectors around the world.

The cybersecurity company observed nearly 7.5 million external attacks on cloud user accounts.

This is based on the aggregation and anonymisation of cloud usage data from more than 30 million McAfee MVISION cloud users worldwide during the second quarter of 2020.

After growing 26 per cent in Q1, new Coinmining malware increased 25 per cent over the previous quarter sustained by the popularity of new Coinmining applications, said the report.

McAfee said it counted 561 publicly disclosed security incidents in the second quarter of 2020, an increase of 22 per cent from Q1.

Disclosed incidents targeting North America decreased 30 per cent over the previous quarter.

These incidents decreased 47 per cent in the US, but increased 25 per cent in Canada and 29 per cent in the UK, said the report.

For assistance with Cyber crime insurance or funds protect, please contact us on wwww.esbrokers.co.za

 


 

Article featured in Insurance On Line By IANS 

 


5 Ways To Plan Your Finances In Your 20s



Navigating the murky waters of financial planning in your 20s is no easy task. With the economy perennially in a state of flux and debt on the rise, maintaining a healthy financial life has proven to be even more challenging. We spoke to some finance gurus and experts to glean from them the following that could throw ideas and provide some relief:

5 Tips:

   1.Save. This money is not for immediate use, it isn’t even for foreseeable use. This  money is for the long-term, and can be diversified through a number of different investments and unit trusts. These banking faculties ensure that the money you’re putting away is reaching its maximum potential and will serve you well, when the need for it arises. The amount being saved will depend on monthly income and expenses. Increasing this as you progress to each stage of life is recommended and will serve you well when the time comes to reap these rewards.

 

2.    Budget. Keep track of your monthly expenses and reduce frivolous spending. A detailed review of your expenses in a month can help determine the money you need to cover it. After all essential expenses such as rent or loan repayments, the cost for essential items such as food and toiletries should be calculated next. The last to follow is optional expenses such as eating out or luxury spend. In doing this, it ensures all the important factors are covered while leaving room for the occasional splurge.


3.    Emergency funds. Life can be unpredictable. With this come unforeseen costs. To prepare for this, experts recommend creating an emergency fund. This fund is an accumulation of money that is put away to access should the need arise. It can be used on an unexpected medical emergency or sudden job loss. The creation of this ensures that debt is not incurred and long-term savings are spared. It should be placed in a bank account that is quick and easy to access so the funds are available immediately should you need it.

4.    Assets. Acquiring assets such as vehicles or property is an important investment into the future. Using the finance options available also has its benefits. Creating a positive credit score is important for anyone especially later on in life when business loans may be needed or when opening accounts. While vehicles depreciate quicker, these are assets that can be kept for years at a time and can be used as collateral for a better model when the opportunity arises. Property is also an investment and does not depreciate.

5.    Retirement funds. Time waits for no man and age catches up with us all. This is why saving for retirement is something that should be started as early as possible. Everyone wants to age comfortably. To do this, it means taking the initiative while you’re young. Over and above the pension or preservation fund being accumulated through your job, setting up a retirement annuity is also highly recommended. This ensures that either a lump sum or monthly stipend is received ensuring that you age in style.



Being in your 20s can be exhilarating and terrifying all at once. The events of your 20s are a significant factor in how you approach the rest of your life. The one thing you want to make sure is that your finances are in order. Debt globally is the highest that it has ever been, and the economy is in recession. Preparing now makes sure that you weather the storm. With calmer seas, you’ll reap the rewards instead of being stranded with no lifeline. Let your finances be one of the things you do well in your 20s.

 

Article published in Forbes Africa by Simone Sribrath



FNB introduces online car licence renewal



The FNB app lets users renew car licences online.

South African First National Bank (FNB) customers will now be able to renew their car licences online, as well as address other car maintenance needs through the bank's new nav>> Car applet within the main FNB mobile app.

The new section within the app was launched today. It follows the launch of nav>> Home, which was unveiled last year to help users value their house and sell it. FNB says half a million customers have already used the Home applet.

 

nav>> Car has a few options within the applet which was created in collaboration with WesBank to reduce customer 'angst' surrounding car ownership.

"Car owners in South Africa would appreciate the support of services that make vehicle ownership easier and keep them safer on our roads. The nav>> Car solution makes navigating the roads that much simpler for our customers by addressing several pain points through access to a range of features and solutions via the FNB app," says nav>> chief imagineer Joland'e Duvenage.

For seamless car licence renewal, users need to first scan their disc using the app. Then for a fee of R199, the bank will proactively let users know when their disc is going to expire, fill out the application form, pay for the disc (and fines) in app and have the new disc delivered to the user's door.

Other features include in-app fine payments, specs on display of all the owner's cars, finance documents access (if the vehicle was financed through WesBank), and free instant car value estimates.

 

FNB nav>> Car also has a subscription option, called 'On-road PROTECT', which costs R95 a month and gives users up to five licence disc renewals with free delivery, have their fines negotiated on their behalf for discounts, 24/7 bail assistance at roadblocks, and Road Accident Fund claim and tyre repair claim assistance due to pothole damage. 

 

If you found value in this post, you would benefit from our other daily content posted on our website blog www.esbrokers.co.za/blog , as well as facebook, Instagram and Linkedin pages.

 

 

By Lauren Kate Rawlins, ITWeb digital and innovation contributor.

 


STOP USING YOUR WORK COMPUTER FOR PERSONAL MATTERS



The average time it takes for a company to identify and contain a cybersecurity breach is 280 days according to IBM.

With that in mind, we would like to pose a question. Would you be able to identify that your work notebook has been breached in less time?

For those who answered yes, we’re a little bit suspicious but we trust your judgement. For those who answered no, like ourselves, it would serve you well to consider the headline here once again.

Stop using your work notebook or PC for personal things.

This is not a scolding but rather us sharing information with our readers that has been sent to Hypertext by Mimecast.

The email security firm has released a report that takes a look at how employees are using company-issued devices and it is worrying. The report was compiled following interviews with 1 000 respondents in the UK, US, Australia, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Canada and United Arab Emirates. All respondents work in a company that have 100 or more employees and have a company-issued device for work.

The headline here is that as regards South Africa, 74 percent of respondents “extensively use their company-issued device for personal matters”. Of that figure, 60 percent said that the frequency with which they use their company device for personal matters increased since working from home.

Mimecast’s report reveals what activities folks admitted to using their work devices for. These include:

·       Personal email – 66 percent

·       Financial transactions – 52 percent

·       Online shopping – 51 percent

 

What boggles the mind here however is the following excerpt from Minecast’s press release.

“68 percent of South African respondents said there was a risk to checking personal email as the cause of a serious security mistake, and 70% thought surfing the web or online shopping could likely cause an incident,” Mimecast wrote.

We’re not angry, just mightily disappointed that despite knowing the risks, folks still ignore the rules.

“This research shows that while there is a lot of awareness training offered, most of training content and frequency is completely ineffective at winning the hearts and minds of employees to reduce today’s cyber security risks,” says vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast, Josh Douglas.

“Better training is crucial to avoid putting any organisation at risk. Employees need to be engaged, and trainings need to be short, visual, relevant and include humour to make the message resonate,” added Douglas.

Most concerning is that the more tech-savvy respondents who fall into the 16 – 24 age group were as unabashed, if not more, about using company gear for personal matters compared to older people.

A staggering 73 percent of 16 – 24 year old respondents admitted to opening emails even though they looked suspicious.

As we mentioned at the top of this piece, it takes months, and even years to detect a breach and by visiting ultimatecattoysandtotallynotmalwaredelivery.com on your work computer, you are putting your company at risk.

“With everyone’s home becoming their new office, classroom and place of residence, it’s not really a surprise that employees are using their company-issued devices for personal use. However, this is also a big opportunity for threat actors to target victims in new ways. We’ve seen attacks become more aggressive and the attack surface has expanded due to the new ‘WFH’ or hybrid work environments,” adds Douglas.

While it might seem innocent to check your mail and do a bit of online shopping while you’re at work or using your work computer, the risk of clicking a link you shouldn’t is immense.


Article featured in Hypertext by Brendyn Lotz


The wrong motor body repairer can put a dent in your pocket






An accident can leave your car (and pocket) wrecked or with only minor damage. Either way, you will more than likely need the services of a reputable motor body repairer to get your car back in shape.

Richard Green, national director of the South African Motor Body Repairers Association (SAMBRA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), says to avoid any unhappy surprises later on, it is important to ask the right questions upfront. 

Who is going to repair the damage will be the last thing on your mind if you’re involved in an accident. Priorities on the scene are things like checking for injuries, getting the other driver’s details, finding out if anyone witnessed the accident and speaking to your insurance company.

In truth, the scene of an accident is often chaotic. Before you know it your car is towed away – to who knows where really – without you having a clue what the actual damage is.” Tow truck companies will often refer a motorist to certain workshops for repairs. Green says this is not always due to the high quality of service provided but because tow truck companies receive commission for jobs referred. ”SA motorists involved in accidents should not be forced into making ill-considered decisions. The motorist has the right to choose who should assist in the recovery of the vehicle.

There can be many hidden costs in car repairs, even if you are insured, but you can soften the blow significantly by ensuring you get quality workmanship. 

One way of doing this is to only use an accredited motor body repairer.

A good motor body repairer will fix any external and internal damage to the body and structure of a car, like repairing a bumper, a door, a bonnet, a fender, aligning the structure or respraying. If there is any mechanical work to be done, most reputable repairers have a specialist mechanic on site that can tend to any accident related mechanical repairs. 

Any motor body repairer worth their salt will expect customers to ask questions and be able to put their minds at ease with comprehensive answers. 

Six important questions to ask your motor body repairer

1.  Which automotive associations does your business belong to, and is your business an accredited member of that association?

2.  Does the company have a good reputation and do you use authentic, high-quality parts and materials?  Do your research and check the social channels for satisfied or disgruntled customer comments.

3.  Will you supply me with a detailed description of repairs and what methods will be used to repair my car?

4.  How experienced is the team who will be working on my car?

5.  Do you offer a guarantee on workmanship, paint and parts?

6.  How long will it take to repair my car and will you keep me posted when delays occur? 

Ultimately, the owner wants their car repaired professionally and without it losing any value – as, unfortunately, any accident repair is deemed to cause depreciation. This is why issues of good workmanship, new and factory approved repair parts and fair pricing, as well as quick turnaround on repairs is what consumers should request and expect. By using an accredited repairer with SAMBRA, you know they can be held accountable for the quality of workmanship and that you have recourse from RMI or the Ombudsman if things go wrong

To find out if your chosen panel beater is SAMBRA approved please visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Written by Richard Green, South African motor body repairers Association (SAMBRA)