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

Cybercrime has been earmarked to become one of the biggest insurance risks globally.




Due to a recent hack of the credit bureau data ‘’Experian’’, where 24 Million people’s information is now exposed. 

We have seen a drastic increase in claims during Covid 19 lockdown period.  Fraudsters have more time on hand to try and scam you in many different ways.



We believe that this product "FUNDS PROTECT" is no longer a ‘’Nice to have’’ but a ‘’Need to have’’

What it covers:

 

Funds Protect covers your BUSINESS against a  

1             A Loss of Funds

2             From an account in the name of the Business

3             As a result of a Funds Transfer

4             Whether authorised or unauthorised

5             Due to the fraudulent conduct of a third party

6             Which is irrecoverable from the bank or third party

 

Funds Protect covers YOU against a  

1             A Loss of Funds

2             From an account in YOUR name

3             As a result of a Funds Transfer

4             Whether authorised or unauthorised

5             Due to the fraudulent conduct of a third party

6             Which is irrecoverable from the bank or third party

 

  

Scenarios covered (Not an exhaustive list)

 

·  E-mail interception

·  Transactions due to stolen identity

·  EFT/Deposit scams

·  Hacking/Phishing/Vishing attacks

·  Demands for ransomware attacks, denial of service attacks

·  Sim Swap Fraud

·  EFT Fraud

·  Online Banking fraud

·  Accommodation booking scams

·  Bogus Property Rentals

·  Fraudulent Invoices

·  Eft Duping Event

·  Unauthorised transfer of funds event

·  Cyber Extortion Event

·  Classified Scams (Personal only)

 

Unique features: 

  • No excess payable
  • Affordable
  • No waiting period
  • 90 days to claim from date of transfer

 

Did you know?

 Did you know that +- 800 Million was lost due to fraud from South African bank accounts alone according to recent statistics obtained from the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).

 

  • Did you know that 82% of cases not reimbursed by the financial institution lands up on the ombudsman table in favour of the financial institution and not the client.  

 

What would you do if your hard-earned cash disappeared from your bank account?


Should you be interested please contact us through our website www.esbrokers.co.za


                                                                                                                                          

 


Insurance: Finding value is easier than you think



While short-term insurance may be a grudge purchase for some, there could be hidden value in your personal or commercial policy. At a time when every rand counts, it is important to be aware of the more common Value Added Products (VAPs), that you may already have included in your cover, or that you could easily add, cost-effectively. Anything that helps make life easier, or less expensive, adds value to the journey. Here are some VAPs to keep in mind.

Vehicle VAPs

While many of us are quick to opt for a higher excess in exchange for lower monthly premiums, you should be sure about the exact costs you will be liable for, if you need to claim. Keep in mind that some insurers calculate the excess as a percentage of the claim amount. If the claim value is R300 000 as an example, an excess of 5% of the claim would mean R15 000 will need to be paid upfront.

You can put VAPs in place that reimburse your basic, theft and hijacking excess in the event of a claim, provided the vehicle is comprehensively covered. Any additional excesses will still apply, and the cover will follow the frequency you’ve selected for your policy to be in force (e.g. monthly or per annum).

VAPs for tyres could provide cover for loss or damage from hard breaks, bursts and for repair or replacement of a tyre, including valves and balancing, depending on your cover. With windscreen replacement costs increasing and therefore the excess applicable to a claim, there is a VAP that allows you to buy back your windscreen excess too. This type of cover typically offers maximum liability and two claims per vehicle, per year.


Just in case

We take the convenience of having a car for granted, but an accident can mean your car is kept at the repair shop for weeks. While you might consider asking friends for lifts, using ride apps like Uber or even using public transport, making alternative arrangements can become cumbersome, especially if you have a family to transport. Even if you have two cars in your family, having car hire can be beneficial, as the second car might not be available when you need it.

If you have an imported car, parts can take a while to arrive, so standard car hire may need an extension, depending on what car you drive.


Going the extra mile for safety

Our roads aren’t always hazard free, and bumps and scratches can be common irritations that need not cost as much as you think to repair. Maintenance VAPs are available for restoring paintwork damage due to general wear and tear. Emergency assistance such as for roadside incidents like a breakdown might also be included in your policy, along with ‘safely-home’ options that you can book in advance through your insurer, to avoid driving after drinking. You could have up to six trips included in your policy.

Household assistance and maintenance may also be included, which would be useful if you need a locksmith, or your geyser bursts, or you have other home emergencies.


Cover against crime and injury can be included too

Trauma cover within terms and conditions, medical benefits and legal assistance can be included in your policy as well, which may extend to covering any fraudulent issues against your personal identity. This could prove useful in the current climate where cybercrime risks and financial fraud are rife.

You can also opt for a premium waiver VAP, which provides cover for death, permanent disability, and retrenchment.

You might also consider how you would feel if your domestic employee became injured on the job (imagine a fall down the stairs, as an example). Specific domestic employee cover can be added too.


Are you properly covered?

Insurance can help us solve shortfalls, but sometimes opting for lower premiums means we forgo benefits that could mean much more in the long run. You should always be clear what risks you are opting into when agreeing to fund part of the costs yourself. Knowing about or adding on solutions to your policy, can make for a better experience. Knowledge is power, and preparation is never a waste. Be sure to add VAPs to the discussion list with your adviser to ensure your policy gives you the protection you need.


For any assistance with Value added Products and how they can benefit you, contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 


Article source – IOL
Written by Bertus Visser is the Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure


South Africa’s GDP could grow by 45.2% in third quarter – Reserve Bank



South Africa’s economy could expand by an annualized 45.2% in the third quarter, according to central bank forecasts.

The monetary policy committee used that estimate for the quarterly change in gross domestic product at its meeting Thursday, when it left the benchmark interest rate unchanged, the Pretoria-based Reserve Bank said in an emailed response to questions.

It will be the biggest quarterly increase in at least 30 years and follows a record annualized quarter-on-quarter contraction of 51% in the three months through June. The median estimate of 26 economists in a Bloomberg survey is for an expansion of 35.3% in the third quarter.



GDP Growth

A nationwide lockdown that’s been in place for six months pushed Africa’s most-industrialized economy into its longest recession in 28 years. The restrictions were gradually eased from May 1, allowing the phased reopening of some businesses and sectors, and will move to the lowest alert level 1 next week, with international borders re-opening on Oct. 1.

While there is “a lot of uncertainty about the recovery” and progression of the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank’s latest forecasts “incorporated the right assumption” about the move to lockdown alert level 1, it said.


The inflation-targeting bank halted its easing cycle even as it announced lower full-year GDP and price-growth forecasts. The impact of the 300 basis points of rate cuts in 2020 has yet to filter through to the economy, Governor Lesetja Kganyago said. That’s because it happened in quick succession and the transmission was slow because of lockdown restrictions that halted most economic activity.

The central bank sees the economy contracting by 8.2% this year. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey is for an 8.5% decline.

 


Article by Bloomberg


Avoiding Insurance Fraud



Digital detection spells jail time for insurance scammers

The Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that in 2019 up to 20% of the R35 billion paid out on short term insurance claims could have been fraudulent. If correct this means that in 2019 alone the South African short-term insurance industry lost almost R7 billion to fraud.

The unprecedented financial pressure that consumers are under in 2020, “has certainly increased the frequency and quantum of the fraudulent insurance claims that we’ve picked up to date,” says Christelle Colman, insurance Expert at Old Mutual Insure. In response, the short-term industry is currently on, “high alert for fraud as Covid-19 financial pressures bite,” she adds.

Insurance fraud harms others
Increased financial pressure aside, Colman reports that, many South Africans don’t actually consider gilding the lily on their insurance claims to be a crime. “Many people consider insurance fraud a relatively benign practice that doesn’t harm anyone,” says Colman. Nothing could be further from the truth. Insurance works on the principle that the many contribute to making good the losses of the few. Money lost to the pot by insurance fraud, says Colman, “compromises the ability of insurers to indemnify – or make good – the claims of those who have loyally paid their premiums for years and genuinely suffered loss.”
Where fraud is widespread, insurers will also almost certainly increase premiums and excesses in an attempt to rectify loss-making portfolios.



False Claims
Insurance fraud can be subtle and insidious. It’s not always about a false or fictious claim. Often people find themselves committing insurance fraud almost unwittingly. For example, people often lie about the detail of the claim, adding a few items that weren’t lost - or increasing the quantum of claims by exaggerating the value of articles lost. Another commonplace behavior is to increase the value of the claim to compensate for the excess. “While many consumers believe this is allowed, it is in fact blatant fraud,” explains Colman. This is why it is important to keep proof of ownership of items as well as the values that you paid for them. It is equally important to keep your insurer up to date and informed when values or other details of cover change.

Accidental Fraud
A common area where people inadvertently fall into committing insurance fraud is when something is stolen or lost, claimed for and paid out – and then the wedding ring is found or the stolen car retrieved a few months later. “Do not just hang on to the returned car or ring,” warns Colman. Since the policy holder had been indemnified – that is, paid out – the lost ring or car now belongs to the insurer. Policy holders who get indemnified goods back should immediately alert their insurer and hand over the goods or they will be committing fraud. The insurer will, in all likelihood, sell the goods to offset the settlement.

If the item is of sentimental value – like your original wedding ring – the insurer will, most likely, give you the opportunity to return the payout that you received for the original loss of the ring. This will, “allow you to keep your original ring while also preventing you from committing fraud,” says Colman.



Insurers see more than you think
The point is that insurers have systems and known behaviours - or ‘tells’ - that pick-up inconsistencies, indicating when insurance fraud is likely in play. Right from the start, for example, says Colman, “the initial call is recorded.” Not only is the level of nervousness of the caller often a tell, but when the detail of what they say on the first call doesn’t stack up with what is finally submitted in the claim, “we know to dig a little deeper,” she adds.

In a digital age informed by data, insurers are also able to cross-check all the information that they have on individuals with, for example, their social media profiles – and even their mobile phone and WhatsApp messages when access to these is permitted as part of an official investigation. This builds a very precise picture of where people were, what they were doing, who they were talking with and what they were saying. “If this throws up inconsistencies with the details of their claim and other statements, then we’re on to something,” says Colman.

It doesn’t’ even need to be that sophisticated. Motor vehicle accident or loss claims between 11 pm and 4 am, for example, are always scrutinized as this is when, “people are socializing, might be drinking and are driving in the dark,” explains Colman.




Insurance Fraud Syndicates
While individual fraud is fairly easy to detect, in recent years insurers have had to deal with professional insurance fraud syndicates. Syndicates target insurers with well-coordinated and executed fraud strategies. For example, media reports have recently highlighted a crime syndicate targeting luxury car owners. Typically, the syndicate calls vehicle owners, pretending to be the vehicles’ manufacturers.

The well-rehearsed caller then arranges to send a tow truck to pick up the vehicle to repair a manufacturing fault that they had ‘just discovered in all their vehicles’. Owners who hand over their vehicles in good faith never see them again. Most of these cases involve, “someone inside one of these companies able to provide the detail that makes claims look real so as to make criminal or fraudulent behaviour look genuine,” says Colman.

Insurance Crime Bureau
In addition to insurer’s internal forensic and investigative systems, the Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB) is a voluntary organisation that insurers provide with data. The ICB is a powerhouse of information on individuals, organisations and practices associated with or involved in fraud. The ICB also provides a platform for the public to safely and anonymously report fraudulent activities or suspected insurance crimes via a toll-free insurance fraud line. While the main focus of the ICB is organised fraud and crime, the bureau also investigates individual repeat offenders and fraudsters targeting insurance companies.

Their aim is not to replace the internal fraud investigation units of the insurance companies, but to understand syndicated and general fraud committed across the industry affecting multiple companies. Either way, consumers should understand that, “insurers collaborate with each other through organisations such as the ICB to combat fraud in the industry on a holistic basis,” she adds.

Fraud is a crime
Whether sophisticated multi-million Rand crimes or smaller individual frauds involving people padding their claim or inadvertently increasing the value of claims, the point is there are systems in place to spot fraud. Fraud is also a crime. In addition to not being paid out, “insurers frequently institute criminal claims again policy holders. These regularly end in substantial fines or even jail terms,” warns Colman.
If policy holders believe they have a legitimate claim and their insurer is not being fair they should approach the insurance Ombudsman. This is an easy online process providing relatively speedy resolution. “The Ombud actively intervenes on behalf of customers in cases where customers have not been treated fairly by their insurer, “advises Colman.

Honesty the best policy
The best policy to avoid insurance fraud remains total – and continual – disclosure. Share as much information and detail as possible and inform insurers as conditions, contents, values or any other details change. Insurance, like all relationships, is built on trust. Trust is founded on clear and consistent communication and constant disclosure. “Honesty is also the best way to avoid insurance fraud,” concludes Colman.

 

Article written by Christelle Colman, Insurance Expert at Old Mutual Insure
Featured in FANews

 


Top 10 Most Expensive Construction Projects Ever in the World

The present development and progress in the world is the evolutionary result of human brain power and earthly sources. It won’t be inappropriate to say that only human brain power wouldn’t have been sufficient without earthly sources. Now a days money has come forward as the briefest and compact form of earthly sources. Expensive projects are being launched day by day to sail out in the sea of development. Money makes the mare go or we can say that money changes the world, sometimes literally. The human race of present era can build and move massive things, with an incredible speed. The present human has dug through mountains, made new islands, diverted rivers, and many other impossible things that were once considered impossible even in near past. This journey of development is not going to stop at any rate.

Man has worked out on many projects for the development. Different projects have been launched in different parts of the world. Here we are going to present the list of the ten most expensive construction projects that have ever been completed in the history of mankind. Maximum of these projects were not among the most expensive projects at their initial time, but at the time of their completion they had consumed so much resources that now they are among the most expensive projects.


10. The Channel Tunnel – $22.4 Billion

image source: independent.co.uk


In the list of the most expensive construction projects of the world, The Channel Tunnel comes on 10th number. This project is also named as the “Chunnel,” by French side of the project as this Channel Tunnel spans beneath the stretch of water between the Southern coast of England and the Northern coast of France. The 31 km long channel was started with a view to enhance commerce and trade between England and France. It cost fifteen French and British companies $22.4 billion to get it completed. And, the channel is operated by the financing group Eurotunnel. Though the initial estimated cost was less than the cost the project consumed. Some main reasons were Escalating demands for safety, security, and environmental measures.

Tunnel boring machines began excavating for the projects in 1988. And, in 1994, the tunnel became functional. It was tragic enough that ten workers died in the construction phase. The Channel Tunnel comprises of three parts: two rail tunnels that are 25 feet in diameter each, and one service tunnel 16 feet in diameter. Each span 31 miles underground.

There is a long tragic history of mishaps and misfortunes regarding this channel. There have been many fire incidents in the Channel Tunnel. These incidents caused not only severe injuries but took many lives as well.


9. The Big Dig – $23.1 Billion



image source: bostonglobe.com



Another US project stands 9th in the list of the most expensive construction projects of the world. This project with a name of BIG DIG has an estimated cost of$23.1 Billion.

According to the project, there is a plan of rerouting some major highways in the Boston area. The main artery of the road network in the area, Route I-93, was redirected to go directly beneath the middle of the city. It is regretful to note that many obstacles got in the way of the project, including some sunken ships which had to be anthropologically examined before they could be moved. The Big Dig ended over ten years behind schedule. And it cost millions of dollars more than it was expected to.

It is also not a good thing to know about the project that it was plagued with financial and administrative problems, including some major design flaws which the state had to pay nearly $400 million in restitution for. Tragically, one death occurred during construction, when a concrete slab fell onto a car from the ceiling of the Fort Point Channel Tunnel.


8. Kansai International Airport – $29 Billions


img source: arup.com

Japanese Kansai International Airport is 8th in the list of the most expensive construction projects of the world. The airport cost an estimated $29 billion to construct. The airport is constructed on an artificial island, which was constructed to resist the semi-frequent earthquakes and tidal waves of the region. The second reason for building it in the water was to avoid noise illnesses.

The idea behind its construction was that Kobe and Osaka were losing trade to Tokyo. In this condition plans for the airport were introduced in the 1960’s. Metal support columns and other structural pieces have had to be added to it over the years, in order to prevent it from sinking. A second terminal was added in 2012, and connected to Terminal 1 via a free shuttle. It is located off Japan, in the middle of Osaka Bay.


7. California High Speed Rail – $33 Billion


image source: washingtontimes.com


The seventh most expensive construction project of the world is California High Speed Rail. Its estimated cost is 33 Billion US Dollars. This project was started in 2015 and scheduled to be done with Phase 1 by 2029. The California High-Speed Rail project is already way over its original budget. The basic purpose of this project (one of the most expensive in the world, under Obama’s vision) was to connect some of the major US cities by high-speed rail.

According to the schedule, the initial segment will connect Merced to Bakersfield. Ultimately, it will link San Francisco and Los Angeles. The rails in this project will be able to achieve a speed up to 220 miles per hour interlinking different states of America.

6. Songdo International Business District – $40 Billions



 image source - picdn.net


Among the most expensive projects of the world Songdo International Business District stands 6th in the list. South Korea has launched this project near Incheon International Airport. Its estimated cost price is $40 billion. The project is being built on land reclaimed from the ocean off of Seoul, South Korea. It will be a “smart city” like no other, complete with automatic recycling plants ubiquitous WiFi, and many other technological innovations. Korea is the first country to present this model in the world.

Some models of landmarks from other cities will be built there, including one of Central Park. According to blue prints it will have a small island full of various birds, rabbits, and deer that roam around. Songdo IBD is being built to attract businesses and tourists. China is also in follow up of this project but still with vague blue prints.

 

5. Dubailand – $76 Billions



image source lookup.ae


Dubailand is the 5th project in the list of the most expensive projects of the world. Design aspects of Dubailand is based on Arabian Folklore, specifically the tale ALAF LAILA Wa LAILA (One Thousand and One Nights). The project with an estimated cost of $76 Billion was started enthusiastically but its construction was halted in 2008, because of a financial crisis in Dubai. It resumed in 2013. When it will get finished, it will be one of the largest and most expensive entertainment facilities in the world. A Disney theme park, IMAX theater, and many other attractions are in its plans.

The impetus behind the project was that some thought Dubai needed a major attraction that was geared towards families, to compete with other cities in the region for tourism. Dubai wanted to make its repute other than trade domain as well.


4. King Abdullah Economic City – $86 Billions


image source dubaichronicle.com

King Abdullah economic City project is one of the most expensive projects of the world. It stands 4th in the list. Still it is not finished. When finished, the King Abdullah Economic City will be have an estimated cost of $86 billion. Located a little over an hour away from Makkah, the project city is certain to become a grand new tourist attraction for Saudi Arabia. The city will include entertainment centers, high class hotels, many luxury villas, some significant universities, and a massive airport.

The King Abdullah economic City is mostly being built by international real estate group Emaar Properties. The group is well known for building the world’s tallest building, the Burj al Khalifa, in Dubai. Another company Ericsson will be working on the information and communication technology.


3. Kashagan Fields – $116 Billions



image source financialtribune.com


The 3rd most expensive construction project of the world is kashagan fields. $116 billion has been spent on fixing it. It is a multinational project. The companies involved in it are: Total, Shell, Exxon Mobil, China National Petroleum Corp, INPEX KazMunaiGas, and AgipKCO, with Shell responsible for the production phase. It is an oil extracting project launched in the Caspian Sea. The Kashagan Fields represent the largest oil discovery made in the last 40 years. It is expected to produce more than 90,000 barrels of oil per day after 2018. Some unexpected troubles caused the project to get a little bit late like leaks in its pipes. The other main difficulty to delay it was that the fields are under high pressure, which makes drilling into them very hazardous at large. Apart from all these obstacles the project is now operational.

 

2. The International Space Station – $150 Billions


image source: asc-csa.gc.ca


The multinational project; The International Space Station is second in the list of the most expensive construction projects. The modular orbiting research station known as the International Space Station cost approximately $150 billion to complete. The countries contributing in its construction are; The US, Spain, Russia, Canada, France, Japan, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden.

Another wonder about the fate of the ISS is that it will be crashed into the ocean, in the year 2020. That will be after 26 years of service. The Space Shuttle and Russian rockets were the main apparatuses used for making the ISS. All the modules used in it were built on Earth, then they were assembled in space.


1. The US Interstate Highway System – $459 Billion


mg source: climate.gov



While we go to look for the most expensive construction project of the world. We find that it is The Us Interstate Highway System. This project costed America $459 billion. It is the most expensive project of the world in the known human history. The President Dwight D. Eisenhower initiated it with the idea that it would help mobilize infantry in an emergency. He proposed the project as being crucial for national defense. Its basic purpose was not transportation. The project was initiated in 1956. This most expensive project of the world involved creating new routes, and converting old routs to serve as “interstates or interlinkers among American states.” Nebraska was the first state to complete all of its internal parts for the Interstate Highway System in 1974. The project was given the final touch in 1992, the I-70 through Colorado.

This most expensive construction project has paid back to America many times than its cost price. The road web was very helpful while the hurricane Katrina was devastating everything.


For assistance with your next construction or insurance needs visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

 

 Information supplied, Courtesy of Ejaz Khan, mathematician and Blogger


What could go wrong at the braai?



This month is likely to be among the most popular for braai's around the country. The improving weather also makes a meal cooked the old-fashioned way (over the fire) even more appealing.

The picturesque scene of smiling faces amidst the smoky smells of lunch is a wonderful thought, but it could all go wrong in a second. Imagine, for example, a gust of wind blows in and before long, the lawn is on fire. Perhaps an enthusiastic game in the garden means a ball collides with a sliding glass door, shattering it. Someone takes a stumble and accidently knocks the Weber into the pool, or the gas braai explodes. Indoor braais can present all sorts of possibilities too, if safety isn’t prioritised. 

These examples are all hypothetical and dramatic, but it’s often the scenarios you can’t imagine happening, that could. Call it Murphy’s Law, or luck of the draw, but at least there are ways to manage it.  

Having family or friends over also encourages us to relax and not worry so much. To put your feet up is certainly well deserved given the year we’re having but being lax about safety is not worth the risk. Make it a braai to remember by adding some important checks to the list (beyond what is on your shopping list).




What you’ve got is ready to go

Checking your braai before using it is essential. A thorough clean is recommended, and you’ll want to be sure the replacement cost of the braai is considered, to be included in your insurance policy. Some expensive braais might need to be specified, otherwise the correct cost should be factored into your contents cover.

An up to date insurance policy in general, is important because a claim will also mean the rest of your contents and home are up for scrutiny. All your contents (from your bed to your braai) must be considered for the true replacement costs, which helps to avoid any issues at claims stage.

Your home’s structure should be covered under your building insurance. A fire gone awry could destroy your home, or a section of it. Repairs will only be properly covered if the property is properly insured too. 

Be safe and sensible

When you are braaiing, be careful not to let oven gloves or aprons, food packaging or alcohol near the fire, or risk an unhappy accident spoiling your appetite. Don’t let kids run around near the fire or breakables; avoiding accidents is always better. If you are heading outside and your garden is full of dead plants, clearing them away before you begin the braai makes way for better safety. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby too.

When the fire is nearly out, double check it really has died down before walking away. Hot coals can still cause a hot mess if not handled with care.

Personal Liability cover is also important to have in place, which could help in the event of any medical emergencies.

If your insurance policy needs an upgrade, it can usually be done quite quickly. Don’t delay getting your plans in order, so that any braai plans will play out for the best too.


For assistance with your building and/or contents insurance please leave your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za and we will call you.




Article courtesy of Bertus Visser, chief executive of Distribution at PSG Insure


From Zoom to Netflix, your life could be a hack waiting to happen


From Zoom to Netflix, cyberattacks are getting clever about getting your attention.

In 2020, the world went digital. The global pandemic pushed companies and individuals, not very gently, into the realms of remote working and online meetings and digital engagements. 

On one hand, this shove was inspirational. People stopped sitting in traffic, wore comfortable clothes and discovered previously unplumbed depths of productivity. On the other, the cybercriminals were equally inspired. Attacks became more inventive, subtle and clever in their approaches. 

According to Anna Collard, SVP Content Strategy and Evangelist of KnowBe4 Africa, they are insidious and dangerous and it’s becoming essential that people learn how to recognise the threats and protect themselves against them.

“Platforms like Zoom and Netflix have seen huge adoption which has meant a rise in attacks,” she explains. “Criminals use increasingly sophisticated methods to bypass systems that flag phishing attacks and try to trick you into revealing information that gives them access to your accounts, be they business or personal. And as soon as they have this information, they get into your systems and distribute malicious emails to your contacts and dive even deeper into systems and personal details.”

A surge of cyberattacks


Researchers at the firm INKY found that from March to August 2020, there was a rush of attacks trying to steal Office 365 credentials using spoofed login pages. Emails were sent from compromised accounts in legitimate companies and because they are from a trusted source, people fall for them and hand over their credentials. The result is that the next company is compromised, and the next, in a domino effect that ripples across industry and individual.

“They trick people by sending them to a fake Office 365 page to verify their login details and then they use that information to get into these accounts,” says Collard.
The average phishing campaign lasts for only around 24-hours but it can take security technologies up to nine hours to catch up. This means that they can send millions of emails and catch out hundreds of people in that window of opportunity.
Often, the cybercriminals will register new domains or squat on legitimate domains that they’ve managed to gain access to. With the Netflix phishing attack, the hackers used a standard and recognisable CAPTCHA system on the page so that users felt secure and that they were entering their information onto a legitimate page. The CAPTCHA system is used by multiple websites to ensure that bots are kept out and provide a sense of security, but the hackers leveraged this to lead people to a fake site that then took their details and used them for nefarious purposes.

“The result? Even those who may be more aware of security risks fell for the CAPTCHA page and the scam,” says Collard. “It was extremely clever and preyed on the fact that people assume that the presence of certain things on a website mean it is secure and legitimate. The problem is that many people still don’t know how to identify a legit domain from a fake one and now this needs to become an essential part of security awareness and training campaigns.”

Cyber crime is evolving


And training is the name of the game when it comes to security. The hackers are constantly evolving and changing their tactics and people are being caught unaware by scams that can damage them both financially and reputationally. The impact is far reaching, into personal and business lives, so the best offence is a great training defence.

“It has become essential that people are educated around the risks, are au fait with the clever tactics being used, know about the latest scams, so they can identify some of the most common threats,” concludes Collard. “This is the only way to minimise the risk of being duped and maximise personal and professional protection.”

For protection against Cyber attacks and loss of data you can take out a Cyber insurance Policy.
For information please leave your details on our website.



Article featured in Biz Community - written by Anna Collard


Know more about Child Passenger Safety



Despite constant progress in terms of vehicle safety, road traffic accidents still represent the number one causes of fatalities amongst children under the age of 10.

Regardless of it being law that every child under the age of 3 be securely strapped into a car seat, a shocking 93% of motorists, taxi and bus services flaunt this law, which is not effectively enforced by local and national police. The majority of injuries, through car accidents, are due to a complete lack of any kind of child safety restraint. 

An adult holding a child in their arms provides absolutely no protection in the event of an accident. In a crash at a speed of 50 km/h, body weight is increased by around 30 times. For example, a child weighing approximately 30 kg turns into a projectile weighing a ton. At the point of impact, no-one is capable of restraining them. The strength of the impact is equal to falling 3 stories.

“Child Passenger Safety week runs internationally from the 7th to the 11th of September, and we at Maxi-Cosi really want to get people talking about the importance of our children’s safety in motor vehicles in South Africa.,” says Debbie Billson, Operations Director for Maxi-Cosi. “We want to educate and inform South African road users of the dangers of travelling on our roads with children who are not securely strapped into a car seat, as well as ensuring the car seat they use has undergone the minimum crash testing required. Strapping our children into a well secured car seat needs to become something every single one of us do, no matter how short a car trip we are doing!”

While children under the age of 3 are legally required to be securely restrained in a car seat, standard seat belts in most cars are designed for adult passengers 150cm and taller, leaving children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old requiring additional support in the form of a booster seat. “Children under 150cm are not safe just being secured by a seat belt, they are physically not developed enough to be secure,” says Bilson.

“The lower belt doesn’t sit on their hips, as it is intended to do with adults, and rather ends up around their abdomen, which can result in fatal internal injuries in the case of a crash. The upper section of the belt rests dangerously across their neck, as opposed to being on their shoulder, and can easily break a child’s neck in the case of an accident! A simple booster seat can prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths.”

South African consumers are fortunate to have a large selection of well-tested, reasonably priced car seat options, there is no excuse not to be using one! “The average car seat costs a measly 1% of the value of most cars in SA,” exclaims Billson. “For the average lifespan of a car seat it works out to less than R2 per day to ensure your child is safe – there honestly is NO EXCUSE to not be securing your child into a car seat every time they get into a vehicle!”

Here are a list of safety tips to ensure you are using your car seat as effectively and safely as possible:

1.    Always use a car seat, even on short trips

It’s obvious, and it’s the law, but we still sometimes see children travelling without a car seat. Accidents can happen, even on the shortest trips. Many children are taken on trips of less than 3km without being strapped in, therefore, if unrestrained, an impact can prove fatal from speeds of 20km/h. In the event of an accident when a child is not restrained by a safety device, the risk of being ejected from the car is 6 or 7 time greater.

2.    Avoid second-hand car seats

You can never be sure a second-hand car seat is a safe car seat. You don’t know if it’s been damaged in an accident, or has pieces missing or has been misused in any way.

3.    Use the correct size car seat

It’s best to buy a car seat for your child based on their current height and weight. Investigate and consider all your options when purchasing a seat that claims to cover multiple age groups.  Your child must travel in a car seat that is the appropriate size for them. This will ensure adequate safety for your child if you are ever involved in the unfortunate instance of a collision 

4.    Install car seats correctly

-    Group 0 or Car seats for babies under 1 year or 80 cm in height must always be rear-facing.
-    If your car has ISOFIX Points, you can select any car seat with either an ISOFIX connection or opt for a seat that uses your car’s seat belt.  ISOFIX Systems provides increased safety by eliminating human error when the seat is installed in the car. 
-    If you don’t have ISOFIX you can use a seat belt installed car seat. Make sure you know how to guide the belt correctly and pull the car seat belt tight.
-    Pull the car seat’s safety harness tight. If you can just slip one finger between the harness and your child’s chest, it’s tight enough. 
-    Read the car seat manual or watch the installation video and follow the instructions carefully.
•    Both forms of installations options are safe as long as they are installed correctly, Isofix, however, does offer more safety but preventing incorrect installation over the seat belt option.  

5.    Take your child’s coat off

A thick coat can make the harness less effective. If your child is cold, use their coat as a blanket over the harness.

6.    Make sure the safety harness is at the right height and not twisted

The harness should always be adjusted to the correct height setting which is at shoulder height. Check there are no twists in the straps. Incorrect height placement of the harness often results in children unbuckling themselves, escaping from the seat, head flops and potentially the harness could slip off during a collision.

7.    Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible

It’s safest for babies and toddlers to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old. It doesn’t matter if their legs stick out, but if their heads are higher than the seat shell, they need the next size. The neck of a child matures with age, and not when it reaches a certain stature or mass. Up until 15 months, the baby’s neck is not yet developed enough to withstand the impulsive force of an average frontal collision because of its relatively heavy head.

The excessive pressure on the neck of the baby might lead to serious neck injuries. When travelling rearward facing, the forces of a frontal collision are better spread over a greater area of the body of the baby, which leads to less pressure on the head and neck.

8.    Beware of activated frontal airbags

The safest place for a rear-facing car seat is on the back seat. This avoids the danger of front airbags inflating against the seat. Deactivate the front airbag if you use your car seat on the front passenger seat and place this seat in the further most position.

9.    Keep loose items off the rear parcel shelf

In an accident, even small loose items can turn into dangerous projectiles. Tuck them away safely. 

 

 

 

Photo credits: Denis Largeron Photography
Article courtesy of Arrive Alive under Road safety highlights


Accidents happen. It pays to be prepared




With the move to level 2 lockdown, many restrictions have been relaxed to allow greater personal freedom and to open-up our crippled economy. More people might be returning to work and also with interprovincial travel permitted this will result in more cars on the roads and an increased likelihood of accidents.

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience that we all wish we could avoid, but unfortunately it is an unplanned event that has inconvenient or undesirable consequences.

For this reason, it is important that we equip ourselves with knowledge of how to prepare for such an unfortunate event.
Here’s some Do's and Don’ts that will help guide you in an event of an accident to make the claims process as easy and convenient as possible:

Do’s
• Stop immediately: Aside from the fact that leaving an accident scene is illegal, it is important to stop as civil consequences may arise from the accident such as claims for damage to property or personal injury. A complete and accurate account of the accident is therefore of critical importance. 
• Call emergency services: If someone is injured or killed it is important to get emergency services to your location as quick as possible. You can also make use of your Roadside assistance Emergency services provided by your Insurers. The police or traffic officer at the scene of the accident will take down a statement and compile a report, especially if someone is injured or deceased. 
• Get detailed information: Get as much information as you can of all other motor vehicles involved in the accident such as: 
 * driver’s names 
 * identity numbers 
 * addresses
 * telephone numbers 
 * description, sketch and/or pictures of the vehicles 
 * registration numbers and any relevant details from the license discs 
 * the date, time and address of the accident 
* the weather and road conditions 
* details of tow truck drivers
 * details of police and emergency medical personnel
• Keep notes: Keep extensive notes about all conversations and receipts for all expenses pertaining to the accident. Having a paper-trail will assist with your claims process. 
• Notify your insurer: It is important to understand, even before you are in an accident, what your insurance cover entails and to contact your insurer as soon as possible. Ensure that you have your insurers’ emergency services telephone number readily available on your cell phone or via an App.

Don’ts
• Don’t panic: Panicking will only cloud your judgement. We know it is a tough ask when you find yourself in such a situation but try and remain calm so that you can think clearly and contact emergency services and your insurer.
• Don’t move your vehicle: Members of the public are not allowed to move vehicles until the police arrive at the scene especially if people were injured or killed in an accident. Moving your vehicle could also impact you negatively if there are civil consequences. 
• Don’t negotiate: It is best to let your insurer communicate directly with the other party(ies) involved and/or their insurer. 
• Don’t allow your vehicle to be towed until you have insurer authorisation: Contact your insurer as quick as possible is to arrange for an authorised towing company to assist you. Most insurers include this service as part of the cover plan. If you do not have towing cover with your insurance, ensure that you have details of the towing company and the tow truck driver. 
• Don’t delay: Contacting your insurer as soon as possible is important. If you need to submit a claim, it is best not to wait and kick start your claims process while the incident is fresh in your mind.

It is of critical importance to read your policy document thoroughly, know your rights and responsibilities and most importantly what you are covered for should the unfortunate event of an accident occur. This will help you in understanding the insurer’s claim process and to avoid finding out at claim stage that you are not covered for what you thought you were covered for.

For any assistance please phone our office 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.

 

Article credits: FANews, written by Vickey Swanevelder, Executive Head: Claims & Client Experience at Momentum Short-term Insurance 

 


‘Broker’ vs independent financial advisor: the Key Differences



The differences between financial advisors and independent brokers are often misunderstood and misrepresented. In the wake of recent legislative changes to the status of financial advisors, it is important for all consumers of financial services to have a clear and accurate understanding of the implications of the different statuses.

Unfortunately the above-mentioned article provides a rather one-sided view of the value propositions and implications of the various advisor statuses. We believe prospective customers would benefit from a more balanced view of the value offered by non-independent advisors (i.e. advisors affiliated to a product supplier).





The term ‘broker’, which has largely fallen into disuse, referred to an independent sales person who sold financial products to members of the public.

Today, only licensed and qualified financial service providers may provide financial advice and intermediary services, including the sale of financial products. This means all licensed financial advisors, regardless of their independence, may provide financial advisory as well as product sale services.

Where a product is sold with no analysis, advice or recommendations, legislation requires that risks attached to such a sale need to be explained clearly. Most advisors today will not offer a product before the customer’s financial position has been analysed, with relevant financial needs and goals identified to enable the right recommendations and advice.

This advisory service is a professional service regulated by the FAIS Act to ensure that every advisor has the required skills, knowledge, licensing and professional accountability.

The cornerstone services of the advice process, whether conducted by an independent or non-independent advisor, is analysing the customer’s financial position relative to their needs and goals, drafting a holistic financial plan and providing strategies to meet these needs.

These days the difference between an independent and non-independent advisor therefore becomes relevant only when considering the products that can be recommended and sold.

While it is true that an independent advisor is able to provide a broader range of solutions across various insurers and platforms to meet the customer’s needs, they will need to perform a comprehensive comparative analysis. Identifying the differences in offerings is necessary to enable the customer to make an informed decision.

This, however, does not mean that a non-independent advisor will not also be able to provide a range of solutions that is also sufficient to address the customer’s needs. Nor does it mean that the customer will in any way be hampered from achieving his/her financial goals when dealing with a non-independent.

The value that a non-independent advisor offers is their strong focus on quality financial planning and advice processes and outcomes, combined with an in-depth understanding of their smaller focused suite of solutions/products. The advantage of a more limited selection of products is that it enables the non-independent advisor to structure and customise these products to best meet the needs of the customer.
The disadvantage being tied to one product supplier is that you have nothing to compare it to. If terms or increases are applied the Broker can not move the policy to another Insurer as they are tied to one product supplier, which in turn is not giving the client the benefit of comparisons or the opportunity to move their portfolio to a different risk carrier.

The changes in legislation have ensured that the regulated advice processes across the entire industry are focused on advice as opposed to product sales. The “after sales” servicing policy as well as the provision of continuous advice (also referred to as customer reviews) are mandatory for all.

While many independent and non-independents are remunerated by commission, many financial services providers also have advice fee structures in place, should a customer prefer this payment option.

In short, what every consumer needs to know is that there are indeed key differences between independent and non-independent advisors, but each has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

For any assistance from an Independent Advisor with numerous product offerings with various Insurers please feel free to visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.


Article featured in Moneyweb 11/9/2020 by Lizl Budhram, head of advice, Old Mutual Personal Finance.
(This article is aimed more at the Long Term Industry