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Car Buyers beware: Cutting insurance costs could backfire


Including insurance costs in car-buying calculations means peace of mind

 

Rational thought often vanishes when a car lover examines a gleaming vehicle. A part of his or her brain will say “you are getting in too deep, it costs too much”. Unfortunately, many will give in to the voice that looks at the monthly installment and says “you can handle it”.

Buyer’s remorse soon follows as the costs of insurance, maintenance and fuel are added to the monthly payment. The solution is usually to save money by compromising on insurance.

Cutting back on insurance brings instant relief to a hard-pressed wallet. As with most actions, it does have consequences, and some of the results can be catastrophic.



WHAT NOT TO DO

The most dangerous action of all is to have a knee-jerk reaction and cancel the policy. It’s best at this point to remember that cars bought on installment sale in South Africa have to be insured. 

If you are a high-stakes gambler who thinks that the risk is minimal because you are a good driver just be prepared to live with the unforeseen costs.

“They include paying all your expenses, and an insurance company suing you to recover the money spent on repairing a client’s car that you may have collided with.”

Of course, also to be considered is that your car could be damaged beyond repair. Without insurance, there will also still be installments to be paid. It’s a guaranteed balance sheet breaker.

What is most concerning in these times, is buyers who take compulsory insurance so that a car’s sale paperwork all looks fine and then cancels the policy a month or so later. As many finance houses run checks on insurance during the year, protection is purchased again, only to be cancelled a little later.  The results can be the same as not having insurance at all.

THE REALISTIC OPTIONS

The time to begin thinking about insurance payments is when you buy the car. As a consumer, you are not obliged to take a policy offered to you by a seller or finance house. Delaying the delivery of the dream wheels by a day or two allows you to shop around or ask a broker to do the homework for you.

Opting for a lower premium by agreeing to an increase in the excess payment,” is always an option. The problem is that the lower the premium, the higher the excess.

It’s one thing to have an excess bumped up from, say, R2 500 to R5 000 if you can afford it. Let it go too high and personal budgets and hard-won savings can go out the window very quickly,

The way is always open for a driver with only third-party cover to claim for repairs from another driver if that driver is comprehensively insured. The element of blame has to be proved, however, and can take some time while you sit without transport.

“Times are tough, but having a car insured is a ‘must-have’. Rather than expose yourself to unnecessary risk, approach your broker to see what can be done to reduce premiums, or shop around yourself. While doing so, remember that all policies are not created equal.

Cheap insurance isn’t necessarily good insurance. Read those T’s and C’s, or get your broker to advise you.
Always remember, you get what you pay for, if its cheap, there is a reason for that

For any assistance or advice please feel free to leave your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za


Published in The South African
written by Charles Skinner

POPI Act (Protection of personal information) unpacked - What you need to know



After years of start and stops – virtually all the operational provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA) finally came into force on 1 July 2020.

All businesses and public bodies will be affected. This development impacts every public and private body in South Africa. The infographic below provides an overview of the instances in which POPIA will apply to processing activities and the obligations which come with POPIA. There is a 12-month grace period - until 30 June 2021 by which to comply with the comprehensive requirements set out in POPIA and non-compliance can result in significant penalties - up to 10  years' imprisonment and/or ZAR10 million in administrative fines. 


POPI’s reach is wide – it regulates all organisations who process personal information, - information about employees, customers, suppliers and those who outsource key processing activities, share data offshore, or engage in direct marketing.

What is personal information (as defined in section 1 of the Act)
* private details: Race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, nationality, ethnicity, social origin, colour, sexual orientation, physical health, mental health, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

* History of a person: Employment, medical, financial, criminal

* numbers and addresses: E-mail address, telephone number, address, and other identifying number.

* Biometric information: Blood Type, fingerprints, or other such identifying information

* Outlook: Views, opinions or preferences.

* Correspondence: Explicitly private or confidential correspondence or further correspondence that reveal origin of original correspondence.

* Views: Views and opinions of a person about another person

* Names: The name of a person that, if it is revealed with personal information.

Legislation requiring collation and processing of personal information:
FAIS,FICA, NCA, CPA, ECTA, CIPC, STIA, LTIA, PFA, MSA etc.
King IV - ICT compliance.

Article courtesy of Webber Wentzel as published in Polity on line

CREDIT SHORTFALL INSURANCE (Top-Up)



Credit Shortfall insurance, also known as Top-Up, is a finance shortfall policy.
You can add it to your existing comprehensive policy as an optional extension or opt to select it as a stand alone policy.
You may claim under the policy, if the amount paid out under your comprehensive short-term insurance policy is less than the amount you still owe to your financier after the total loss of your vehicle.
(i.e. your vehicle is stolen and not recovered, or uneconomical to repair and is written off)

You can upgrade your auto Top-Up with deposit Protector if you wish.
With this upgrade, the Insurer will pay either the deposit paid (at the time of purchasing the vehicle) or 10% of the sum insured value of the vehicle at the time of the claim, whichever is the lessor.
Remember that you can only claim if your vehicle is stolen and not recovered, or is uneconomical to repair and it written off.
(i.e. Trading in your vehicle does not qualify in terms of the cover provided)

What makes up your Auto Top-Up policy of Insurance?
The schedule, terms and conditions and the policy wording, together with any correspondence sent to you, as well as any verbal agreements made by the Insurer (and recorded), from your policy of insurance.
please ensure that you are familiar with the contents of all the documents and that all the details noted on the schedule are correct in every respect.



Payment 
Your auto Top-Up policy gives you monthly cover and your premium is deducted in advance on the date stated on your schedule.
If in the month following the activation of your policy (and onwards) we do not receive your premium on the due deduction date, you will be allowed a 15- day period of grace in which to pay your premium. if we still do not receive your premium after these 15 days, you will not have cover for that month.

Your Obligations:
1) To have a valid, supporting and fully comprehensive motor insurance policy for the same vehicle covered by this policy
2) To ensure that your supporting and fully comprehensive motor insurance policy remains active and that its premium is paid
3) Your vehicle must be financed by a recognised finance house (not a private loan).
4) To ensure that the vehicle covered by the supporting, fully comprehensive motor policy is insured for its retail value
5) To adhere to the terms and conditions of your supporting , fully comprehensive motor insurance policy
6) Incorrect information, or non-disclosure or misrepresentation of information, may influence the the Insurer on any claims arising from your contract of insurance and may influence the decision to provide the benefits in terms of your policy, or accept to terminate your policy
7) To not admit any fault, nor make any offer of/or settlement, without the Insurers written agreement
8) To inform the Insurer if any of the policy details or declarations are incorrect or if any of these details or declarations change
9) Pay over any money due to your finance institution if any payment is made to you directly in connection with the claim against your supporting , fully comprehensive motor insurance policy
10) Inform your Insurer if your vehicle is sold, paid off with your financier or written off for any reason.

Visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za, should you need any assistance or advice regarding this article.

Funeral Plan



Our Funeral Plan policy gives the life assured (between the ages of 18 -65) monthly cover for Death as a result of accidental and natural causes.
Repatriation services are also included in this cover.

Description of benefits:
* Individual cover - this covers the main member only.
* Family cover - this covers the main member and spouse plus one to five defendants up to the age of 21 (or up to 25 if they are registered full-time students).
* Extension of cover for individual family members is also available at an additional premium.
* Death as a result of HIV/AIDS related illness is covered.
* Claims will be settled in less than two working days if all documentation is received.

Repatriation Services benefit:
* In the event of the Insured's death, the next of kin may decide on the place of burial and the funeral home
* The Mortal remains will then be sent to a branch of the chosen funeral home, closest to the cemetery.
* This service in only offered if both the death and burial occur within the borders of South Africa.

Waiting period:
The waiting period is a period during which no insurance is provided and monthly premiums are payable.
The following waiting periods apply:
* From the commencement date of the assured life on the policy, there is a six-month waiting period for that member for death as a result of natural causes. For death as a result of accident there is no waiting period.
* If we do not receive the monthly premium, the above waiting periods will recommence.

How to claim in the event of Death:
In the event of a claim, call the claim number provided in the schedule.
The following documents must be submitted to the claims department:
* The official claim form to be completed
* A Certified copy of the Abridged death certificate of the assured life
* Proof of identity of the assured life and the nominated beneficiary.
* The policy schedule.
* A fully completed Bl1663 form (notification of death form).
* An official policy report if the death of the assured life was due to unnatural causes.
* Proof of Banking details of the beneficiary and one months bank statement.
* If no beneficiaries exist, then a letter of executorship from the high court is required.
* Any other documentary proof that may be required by the Insurer.

For quotations and/or assistance with regards to Funeral Plans please visit our website and leave your details
https://www.esbrokers.co.za
 

The rand is now the world's most undervalued currency – here’s where it should be


 Big Mac. (McDonald's)

·       The Economist's Big Mac index shows that - theoretically - the rand should be trading at R5.43/dollar.

·       The currency is now undervalued by 67.4%, compared to Brazil (-32%), Argentina (-39%) and India (-56%).

·       Of late, the rand has been a bit stronger after SA recorded its first current account surplus in 17 years.

The Economist’s Big Mac Index has been updated, and shows that the rand is now a whopping 67% cheaper than it theoretically should be against the dollar – the worst undervaluation of all the currencies measured.

Since 1986, the publication has been using McDonald’s Big Mac prices to determine whether currencies are overvalued, or too cheap.

The Big Mac Index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity. In the long run, theoretically, exchange rates ought to adjust so that an identical product must cost the same across countries.

A Big Mac costs around R31 in South Africa and $5.71 in the United States. This means the “implied exchange rate” is R5.43/$.

“The difference between this and the actual exchange rate, R16.67, suggests the South African rand is 67.4% undervalued,” the Economist says.
The is the worst level in the World.





While the vast majority of currencies are also undervalued to the dollar – Brazil by 32%, Argentina (-39%), India (-56%) and Turkey (-64%) – none beat the rand. The rand was even weaker than the Russian rouble (-66.5%)

Only Sweden, Lebanon and Switzerland are considered overvalued against the dollar.

As recently as a decade ago, the rand was “only” undervalued by 39% against the dollar.

There are many pressures on the rand, including concerns about government's ballooning debt, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and load shedding on an already weak economy.  

Over the past three weeks, the rand has received a boost from strong gold prices – South Africa is among the world’s biggest gold miners. It was also bolstered by a surprise current account surplus, the first in 17 years.

In the first quarter of 2020, South Africa exported almost R70 billion more in goods and services than it imported. This is good news for rand demand, as it means that fewer local importers had to sell rand and buy overseas currencies to pay for their imported goods.

 

Article courtesy of Business Insider South Africa

A Tough 18 months lie ahead for SA Economy



Chief economist for Allianz Ludovic Subran said emerging economies like South Africa will have a difficult 18 months ahead because of the COVID-19 pandemic 

He said the economy of India, which still believed it could grow to be the next China, would also only recover in 2022.

Meanwhile, Chinese economist Shen Jiashuang said that China was recovering but he warned that consumer demand still remained lower than production.

The two were panellists on a world economic forum webinar on the global economic outlook .




Subran explained: “…And I think this is going to be a difficult 18 months for countries like Brazil, Israel, South Africa and these other borderline emerging advance economies, which have a service economy that is quite important.”

Article courtesy of EWN (Eyewitness News)

Home Generators - And how it affects your Insurance cover



With Load shedding and severe cold weather in full swing, the use of residential generators is once again in the spotlight.

We would like to make our clients aware of the risks and Laws associated to the installation of individual free-standing generators and how it can affect your insurance policy, if not installed correctly.

 

Most importantly any generator installation must comply with the
South African National Standard (SANS 10142-1:2003) for the wiring of the premises. This applies to both portable as well as permanent installations. It is therefore critical that the electrical connections are undertaken by a qualified electrician and an Electrical Compliance Certificate (“COC”) is issued.



This is a legal requirement and failure to comply with these requirements could possibly invalidate your insurance, should it be established that a fire or injury is caused as a result of the incorrect connection of the generator.

It is very important that you inform your broker and insurer that you have installed a generator. This will be noted on your policy and the following safety practices must then be complied with to ensure full cover for damage caused by generators:

1. The generator is installed in a well-ventilated position, and an electrical COC covering the connection has been issued.
2. A 4.5kg DCP fire extinguisher is installed near to the generator.

3. Any spare fuel is stored in steel containers and in a safe place. Not more than 50 litres of petrol or 200 litres of diesel (other than the fuel in the tank of the generator) is stored inside the building.

 

For any assistance or advice regarding the Do’s and Don’ts of safe installation of home Generators give us a call on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za and leave your details.

 


Article courtesy of CIA (Commercial & Industrial Acceptances (PTY) Ltd

What to do when you’ve had a pay cut

Don’t panic — we’re all in this pandemic together, you just need to plan.



Coping with a pay cut is as much about managing your emotions as it is about managing your money. You have to get over the anger, hopelessness or denial and get planning. Here’s what you need to do.




1. Rework your budget. 

A budget is a plan for your money, and if you don’t have one, you have no control over your finances. If you’ve never budgeted, now is the time to start. Your budget doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. 

Begin by listing all your expenses, starting with your fixed expenses, such as your home loan or rent; rates; car repayments; life and other short-term insurance premiums; school fees; and all debit orders for expenses such as a cellphone contracts and any credit agreements, including credit cards.

Now list all variable expenses, such as food, electricity and transport costs.

A budget balances what you spend against what you earn. If you’re spending more than you earn, you’re living on credit, which is a road to financial ruin. You have to cut your expenses so that you’re living within your means.

Times such as these call for boldness. You may need to downgrade your car or your house or move your kids from private to public schools.

Be discipled when discriminating between needs and wants. Needs are for survival and the rest are wants. Reduce your spend on non-essential items such as cellphone costs. 

With most of us still under the lockdown, we aren’t spending on eating out, travelling to and from work, or ferrying children to and from school and extramural activities. For many people, cutting these expenses has led to a substantial saving. 

The same applies to any other regular expenses that may have fallen away, such as a gym membership that has been frozen. Tally up all you’re saving, no matter how small the saving may be, because this can soften the blow of loss of income. 

Many people who have taken a pay cut have cut back on their school fees accordingly. So, if you’ve taken a 30% pay cut, consider paying 30% less on your school fees for now.



2. Take a payment holiday.

If your pay cut is temporary and any of your creditors are offering you a payment holiday, consider taking it. A payment holiday is typically an extension of the term of your credit agreement by three months. It can have the effect of freezing your account for a period, giving you a break from paying for three months, providing you with some relief. 

Just make sure you understand exactly what the long-term cost implications are.

Payment holidays are typically only offered to customers who are up to date on their payments, but some banks are offering them to those who were no more than two months in arrears.

If you weren’t too far in arrears, make a proposal to your bank, showing that you’re living frugally and are serious about paying as much as you can as soon as you can. If you show goodwill to your creditors, they are more likely to extend goodwill to you. 




3. Negotiate with your creditors and insurers. 

Never just stop making payments. A credit agreement is a contract and failing to pay has consequences from an impaired credit report to judgment being taken against you. A life policy is a contract, too.

Rather than cancelling insurance policies, review your cover and reduce it where possible, so that your premiums are reduced. 

“You still need life cover for the benefit of your dependents. Your risks are still there. So speak to your financial adviser to find out if your policy comes with premium waivers or if there are features that you can do without.



4. Negotiate with your family. 

Getting the buy-in of your family is crucial when you, as the breadwinner or a contributing member of the family, suffer a pay cut. It is most likely that everyone will have to make sacrifices so the new household budget works. 

Speaking candidly to the family about money is necessary so that everyone understands the impact of your pay cut, and so that everyone’s expectations are managed. This is especially important if you’re helping support members of your extended family.

“Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have.



5. Try not to lose perspective. 

As hopeless as things may seem, don’t forget that this will pass. It’s perfectly normal to feel discouraged, but don’t allow yourself to “camp” there. You’re not alone.

For now, we all have to get used to living with uncertainty, which means living one day at a time. Try to be upbeat. It’s necessary for your mental health and that of your family. 

“Our emotional well-being is being tested severely at this time and that everyone needs support they can draw on, whether through spiritual beliefs or family. 

Also, he says, don’t neglect your hobbies, especially if you could make money out of them. If you are an expert in your field of business then consider being a knowledge Broker by offering your skills in return for a consultation fee.
If you are adding value people will always pay money to learn more and where they can collapse time frames to achieve their goals.


For any assistance on your Short term Insurance, whether its an alternative quote of advice on ways to cut your premiums without exposing your risk, give us a call on 031-5021922 or leave your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za.
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Article courtesy of Business Live, written by Angelique Arde’

 

TIPS to tame the beast - That is Load Shedding under Lockdown


Keeping track of which lockdown level and load shedding stage we’re in is sure to have us all in a spin and we’re thinking maybe that 2020 diary wasn’t a waste of money after all! Before life in lockdown, load shedding was notorious for causing chaos in our daily lives. Combine that with lockdown regulations and the current crime wave that has hit South Africa and we’re in for a bumpy ride. Now’s the time to get organised – print out those schedules, stock up on batteries, and equip yourself with the following tips to tame the beast that is load shedding under lockdown.


FIRST THINGS FIRST: IS YOUR SECURITY SYSTEM IN ORDER?

The recent hike in home invasions is a cause for concern that is only further complicated by load shedding. With many working from home, it’s important to ensure your security system is equipped to handle the frequent power outages so that you are not left vulnerable during load shedding periods. Understanding the impact load shedding has on both your security system and your security provider will help you prepare and could save you a world of trouble during power outages.

1. Know how to contact your security provider in an emergency. 
Inundated by numerous “A/C Fail”, “low battery”, and “false alarm” signals, our control centre prioritises Panic Signals. So, make sure to use your 
Blue Panic Button in an emergency or press your fixed or remote panic button for at least 3 seconds.

2. Check your alarm system’s battery. 
Your battery’s performance and lifespan are impacted by consistent power outages. Watch out for trouble indicators on your alarm system that warn you of a low battery and replace your batteries when needed.

3. Ensure your outdoor security devices are set to withstand power outages. 
Your outdoor security devices draw up to three times more power than indoor devices. In order to even out the power distribution, it is recommended that an additional power supply be installed. This additional power supply should also have its own back-up battery, to ensure your alarm can withstand being powered up for longer periods of power outage.




GENERAL LOAD SHEDDING SAFETY REMINDERS:

4. Install reserve batteries for your fence, gate or garage door. 
Avoid being locked out of your property or left vulnerable to criminals with a gate stuck open. Remember to also test these batteries regularly, especially if you haven’t replaced them for a few years.

5. Switch off all appliances 10 minutes before load shedding kicks in. 
When the power returns, turn them on one by one. This should lessen any fire risk or damage caused to appliances due to power surges.

6. Install solar-powered security and garden lights. 
A home shrouded in darkness makes you a target to opportunistic criminals. Keep your property lit and secure with strategically placed solar-powered lighting.

7. Invest in battery or solar-powered lights to keep around the home.
Avoid any fire risks by steering clear of candles. However, if you do rely on candles for light then remember to be careful of the open flame. A fire can start and spread so quickly due to an overturned candle or one that is too close to a curtain or other nearby flammable material.

8. Invest in a phone power bank.
Keep it charged and carry it with you wherever you go, so you never have to see that dreaded low battery alert.

9. Back up your data. 
If you run the risk of losing important data during a power outage, make sure you protect your data with 
online cloud-based back-ups.

10. Freeze a bottle of water and keep it in your fridge. 
Although it’s less of a worry during Wintertime, your food still runs the risk of going off when your fridge or freezer is without power. Freezing a 2 litre bottle of water will help keep your food colder for longer.

11. Keep a thermos flask of hot water. 
Although this is more of a helpful Winter hack than it is a safety tip, make sure you keep this thermos flask in a safe place, out of the reach of children who could potentially burn themselves.


Information courtesy of Blue Security

7 WAYS TO SAVE ON SHORT-TERM INSURANCE



July is National savings month, and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time, as millions of South Africans’ finances have taken a massive hit from the effects of lockdown on the economy. Insurance premiums are often an easy target for people looking to cut costs – and here’s how to do it without leaving yourself exposed.

The whole point of savings month is to encourage and enable people to take control of their own financial future, and it’s exactly the same with insurance.
You have to know what your risks are, and then work with your insurer to get the best possible deal.


Here are OUR top tips to save on your short-term insurance premiums.

  1. Shop around. If you feel you’re paying too much for your short-term insurance, don’t settle for the first quote you get. You’ll be surprised by how much premiums can vary between insurers and Brokers, for exactly the same car, buildings and home contents cover.
  1. Combine your policies. Most insurers will make it worth your while to bring all your business to them, starting with additional savings for putting more than one car on the same policy. Try including your buildings insurance and your home contents cover as well. Your savings will increase even further, and your life will get a whole lot easier.
  1. Check your excess. Your excess is the first amount payable on any claim, and the excess you choose affects the premium you pay. Generally, the higher the excess you choose, the lower the premium you pay – but choose very carefully, because you need to be able to pay the excess amount if you claim.
    The other thing to consider is that if you set an excess of R10,000, and you sustain damages of R8,000, for example, you effectively have to foot the bill yourself.
  1. Reduce your risks. All insurers base your premium on your risk. So, if you’re suddenly driving a lot less as a result of lockdown restrictions, your risk – and your premium – should reduce as well. You can also lower your risk by improving your home security, for example, and parking in a garage rather than on the pavement.
  1. Driving less, you should pay less. The value of your car decreases every month – so surely, your car insurance premiums should, too?
    There are discounts available for Social use only and some Insurers offer a low mileage discount on certain vehicles.
    Explore these options and ask questions, you will be surprised as to what you would be able to negotiate, if you just ask.
  1. Review your buildings and home contents insurance. Make sure your buildings and home contents are covered properly, which means making sure they’re covered for their current replacement value. Being under-insured could prove to be a very expensive mistake. As an example, if you insure home contents worth R1 million for R500,000, you would only be paid 50% of any claim. remember its not just as a result of THEFT, as lightning, storm and power surge perils are sometimes unavoidable.
  1. Look after your credit score. You should look after your credit score as carefully as you do your car or home, because having a good credit rating positively affects your premium. Insurers prefer to do ITC checks before quoting, the better the score the more the discount.

If your finances have been affected by COVID-19, the most important thing is to talk to your insurer or Broker to see what you can afford: Don’t leave yourself uninsured or under-insured at a time when you need it the most.


For any assistance and/or advice please visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za or phone our office on 031-5021922.
We would be glad to Help.
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Article courtesy of King Price taken from Cover Magazine.