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Professional Indemnity Insurance


The economic crisis in South Africa has seen the construction industry struggling, with several large construction companies filing for business rescue during the course of the year.

The construction industry functions in ebbs and flows, but with the current mix of high levels of government debt, a dejected economy, uncertainty, and low infrastructure-spending, new contracts are drying up. This has resulted in jobs lost, diminishing talent and highly skilled professionals leaving the country.

The repercussion being an adverse effect on quality as professionals struggle, under increased pressure, to reduce costs and work within the constraints of ever tightening budgets.  This has resulted in poor workmanship, unsafe structures, increased risk, disputes and claims for damages.

Lisa Swaine, a partner at Webber Wentzel, revealed that there has been a significant increase in Professional Indemnity claims in the last couple of years, particularly in the built environment.

Barriers to quality are noticed in procurement, design and construction. In the current and competitive tendering environment, professionals and contractors are signing onerous contracts with high emphasis on price and shortened project periods. Design is fraught with inadequate detail and specification, the deployment of often unsupervised, cheaper junior professionals on projects, and poor design co-ordination. The construction industry is plagued by skill shortages and a lack of skilled supervision and quality control. Together with the degradation in quality is reputational damage as companies are slated in the media. And of course, the knock-on effect of a damaged reputation is financial.

Swaine spoke of numerous professional indemnity claims involving professional consultants providing services on poorly co-ordinated and managed projects, with inadequate documentation, information, detail and specification, restricting work, altering design, limiting supervision and working with other professionals and contractors equally constrained by clients' shortened project times and restrictive budgets. As quality is fundamental to the design process and ultimate construction, it goes without saying that it is destined to deteriorate if professional services are unduly hindered, restricted or curtailed. Disaster strikes, projects fail, and professional consultants are amongst those in the firing line. Claims usually run into many millions and very often into the billions.

As projects are few and far between and professional fees earned are being reduced, professionals find themselves taking on as much work as possible to stay afloat and this is when errors or omissions are most prevalent.

With the looming economic crisis we often see professionals cancelling their insurance or reducing their cover (in order to save money), however, this is the time when professionals should be more cognizant of the risks that they face, the potential damage to reputation in the instance of a professional indemnity claim, as well as the time spent trying to resolve the matter.  Purchasing and maintaining your professional indemnity policy will provide professionals with the necessary peace of mind required – particularly when the crisis occurs!

The question is, can a professional afford to NOT purchase sufficient professional indemnity, particularly in what is currently a dire economic climate?


Article courtesy  of Carmargue Underwriters



The last 3 years there have been numerous insurance claims for damage to Buildings caused by rainfall & flooding. The following  demonstrate the various ways in which this damage may occur, and to suggest ways in which the risk of an incident, and the magnitude of any consequential damage, may be reduced.

The unusual rainfall patterns seen in recent years have caused flooding problems in areas historically considered to be low at risk, and both the frequency and size of losses have increased significantly.

Rainfall: Building Maintenance

The fabric of the building must be well maintained for protection against the elements. All buildings need frequent and careful examination. Those in elevated positions, exposed to prevailing winds, are particularly at risk from rain entry. The following regular checks are necessary and appropriate remedial action should be taken:

  • Check the roof and replace any loose or damaged tiles, slates, ridge tiles and any other roof claddings or flashings.
  • Check that flat roof coverings are in good condition, not showing evidence of cracks or splits and are firmly stuck down, particularly at joints. Remember that bitumen felt flat roof coverings must be checked every 3 years.
  • Check the condition of roof lights for leaks and cracks or breakages.
  • Check and repair as necessary all cement fillets and brickwork pointing, including chimneys, coping stones, lintels and ledges.
  • Check that roof gutters and down pipes are clean and unobstructed, kept free from leaves and vegetation. These should be cleaned at least once a year, possibly more often depending on local trees etc.
  • Check that if gutters overflow in storm conditions the water will be discharged outside the building. This is particularly relevant to valley gutters and those which run behind parapets, where overflow outlets should discharge through the parapet to the outside of the building. Overflow weirs should be considered if not already fitted.
  • Check all internal drainpipes
  • Are they protected from mechanical damage and securely fixed?
  • Are all inspection covers and rodding eyes easily accessible and free from internal obstruction?
  • Are the covers securely fixed to prevent leakage?
  • Check the condition of underground drains
  • Lift manhole covers and check that the drains are clean
  • Make sure that the water runs freely without backing up inside the manhole
  • If the pipes are dirty, or the water appears to run more slowly than would be expected, have the drainage system cleaned
  • Check that all gullies, gratings and drainage channels both inside and outside the building are clean and free from obstruction.
  • It is possible that, despite having done all these things, you might still encounter problems with rainwater drainage systems. Typical problems are:
  • Gutters that regularly overflow (even though they are clean and well maintained).
  • Constant damp patches on walls
  • Puddles that collect on flat roofs in wet weather.

These indications of inadequate drainage design will need specialist attention and you should seek professional advice.


Is your vehicle over 3 years old or has your Motor factory warranty expired?

If your vehicle suffered any form of mechanical damage (not covered by your comprehensive motor insurance policy), do you have enough cash put aside to afford the repairs?  

Stress no further, we are happy to announce the launch of our new Motor Engage warranty policy. For as little as R165pm you can insure against mechanical damage to the Engine and other components.

A policy can be issued on its own (stand alone) or it can be added to our existing clients Domestic or commercial Insurance policy.

Cover is determined by:

* Age of the vehicle

* Odometer readings at inception

* Vehicle type

* Mechanical condition

Here is a breakdown of cover  available, with the limits applicable.

Components                             Diamond    Double Platinum    Platinum             Gold            Bronze 

1. Engine                                      R50 000             R36 000          R18 000             R8 500          R6 500

2. Gearbox                                   R35 000              R25 000          R12 500            R6 000          R4 000

3. Differential                                R35 000              R25 000          R12 500            R6 000          R4 000

4. Differential Lock                       R20 000              R15 000           R  7 500            R5 000         R3 000

5. Transaxle                                  R20 000              R15 000           R  7 500            R5 000         R3 000

6. Transfer Box                             R20 000              R15 000           R  7 500            R5 000         R3 000

7. Electrical components             R20 000               R15 000          R 10 000           R7 000          R3 000

8. Supplementary components   R20 000               R15 000           R10 000            R7 000         R3 000

Premium per month           Diamond        Double Platinum    Platinum        Gold            Bronze

 (including VAT)                               R600                      R420                R295             R205            R165

Terms and conditions that apply:

* Vehicles between 10 and 15 years - Bronze

* Mileage between 180 000km and less than 300 000km - Bronze

* Vehicle must be of sound mechanical condition and have a roadworthy certificate.

* Not applicable to Taxi's, rental vehicles, exotics, security vehicles, rebuilds or modified vehicles as well as vehicles used in any form of motoring competition or sport.


* Further or additional loss from primary cause of failure

* Parts not specified in the "components section" of policy wording

* Repairs undertaken without prior authorization of the Administrator

* Damage resulting from fitting of experimental units, or modification

* Standard services or service parts whilst vehicle is being maintained

* repairs from disconnection or tampering with odometer

* gradual deterioration in operating performance

* repairs, replacement or alterations not accompanied by VAT invoice

* Mechanical/electrical failure recoverable under another policy

* Damage resulting from water, foreign substances, incorrect or contaminated fuel, defective workmanship or poor products

* Re-gassing of air-conditioner

* Oil leaks and/or damages as a result thereof

* Cause of breakdown evident prior to effective date of policy

* Hoses, pipes, auxiliary belts, fan blades, CV rubber boots and dust covers

We have such faith in our Products that we Insurance Brokers use them ourselves.

Leave your details on our website or phone us on 031-5021922 for assistance with this unique product offering.

Written by Andrew Ensor-Smith 18/02/2020

Don’t use public Wi-Fi for online banking in South Africa


South African banks have advised against using public Wi-Fi connections for online banking.

This follows a recent statement from ESET Southern Africa, who warned that South Africans should be wary when connecting to public hotspots.

There have been situations where the networks are not authenticated at all, or where you have to authenticate and give your personal information to unknown parties, which is putting yourself at risk.

 Cybercriminals often create malicious hotspots in public areas where they steal personal information which you send over the Internet through a man-in-the-middle attack.


These hotspots are not easily identifiable as malicious and often have a very similar network name (SSID) to the official public Wi-Fi hotspot in the area.

A number of South Africans may even use online banking when connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot, making them a prime target for this type of attack.

 South African banks were asked how they secure their networks and whether their customers should use public Wi-Fi for online banking.


FNB said it recommended that customers use its banking app rather than online banking, as it is zero-rated.

“FNB strongly recommends the use of our award-winning banking app for our customer’s day-to-day banking needs as well as for when travelling abroad,” the bank said.

“It is preferable that customers connect to their cellular network.”

“Within South Africa using the FNB banking app does not incur data costs for the customer – the customer just needs an active mobile connection.”

The bank told MyBroadband that its online portals are securely encrypted in line with industry standards, which means that all data sent between customers and the bank cannot be intercepted.

“At FNB we use industry-standard security protocols to ensure that all information between customers and FNB is encrypted,” FNB said.



Absa head of fraud strategy Ulrich Janse van Rensburg told MyBroadband that security measures are implemented to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks on unsecured networks.

“At Absa, we build our systems in line with the highest local and global security standards and apply very strict protocols on both our app and online services to ensure the safety of our customers,” Janse van Rensburg said.

“We apply security measures to protect our customers on any data platform – public Wi-Fi included. Our app and online services are safe to use.”

However, Absa recommends that customers avoid public Wi-Fi due to the potential exposure to malware or spyware.

“We do however discourage our customers from using public Wi-Fi or public devices for the purposes of banking,” Janse van Rensburg said.

“These public platforms (Wi-Fi or devices) may be used to install other malicious software (including malware) to the unsuspecting customer which could be used to source the customer ‘keys to the safe’ (card PIN, card CVV, card One Time PIN (OTP), online banking PIN or online banking password) and be used for malicious vectors such as phishing.”

“In summary, we discourage the practice and recommend that customers download our latest mobile banking app,” he said.

“It is the safest way to bank and customers qualify for a free Digital Warranty if they adopt the latest controls.”



Nedbank said that all communication between its servers and clients is encrypted, but recommended that users avoid public hotspots.

“All electronic communication that happens between our client’s device (whether phone or computer) and Nedbank’s systems happens via a custom encrypted channel so that nobody listening in on the WiFi communication can read that information,” the bank said.

“That being said, it should be remembered that no public Wi-Fi can ever be deemed totally safe, because the client’s device may be compromised in other ways.”

“We therefore recommend that our clients do not make use of public WiFi without a trusted VPN (Virtual Private Network) that encrypts all communication that passes over the WiFi channel,” the bank added.

Nedbank also recommended that clients use the latest antivirus software on relevant devices and also ensure their devices have been patched with the latest system updates.


Standard Bank

Standard Bank said that it uses HTTPS to secure its banking sessions, but added that customers should avoid untrusted networks.

“Any network owned by someone you don’t trust can pose a threat,” the bank said. “We use HTTPS/TLS for all internet banking activity to protect users banking sessions from tampering.”

“Customers should be cognizant that there may be other threats to their devices on the open network  (and in public spaces generally).”

“Customers should ensure that the public WiFi provider is trusted and reputable – what they should never do is bank from public or shared computers,” the bank added.

Article written By Jamie McKane