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What colour personality quadrant are you?



It is amazing that virtually no school in the world gives its students a Personality Test. Once you take this test you will have a much better understanding of who you are and what your natural tendencies are, and more importantly, you will understand the people who are not like you much more clearly, and uncover a much easier and more effective way to interact and communicate with those people. While no one can be totally defined by which of the four basic groups they fall into, once you learn how to read peoples colors (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow) you will have a competitive advantage in understanding what will be the most effective way to communicate with them.

Four quadrant personality tests are very common. The DISC test is the most popular version being used today. It is used by many Fortune 500 companies. The basic four personality groups goes back as far as 340 BC to Plato. He called the groups Choleric (Red) Sanguine (Blue) Phlegmatic (Yellow) and Melancholy (Green). We use the colors because it makes the process very simple, and as you will soon see, it lends itself more to the idea of reading others colors, rather than simply discovering your own.

After you take the test we strongly suggest you watch the video that is provided. In a very short couple of minutes, Marc will help you truly understand how to apply Personality Profiling to help you become a master communicator.

Take the test as HONESTLY as you possibly can. Most people have a tendency to answser the questions the way they wish they were, as opposed to the way they really are. By getting an honest score, you will be able to best use the information provided. We also recommend that you do not take a great deal of time with each question. While there is no time limit when the test is taken on line, there is one when you are at one of our live workshops. It should take you less than ten minutes to take the full test. You will score most accurately if you go with you initial reaction to each question instead of over analyzing each one. (if you find yourself doing that, you will probably test to be a Green)


Take your time to read the simple directions thoroughly and have fun discovering your true colors.

http://marcaccetta.com/personality-test/test/





We had the privilege of meeting Marc Accetta a few times at our Personal growth training seminars around the World.
Through Marc's living in full colour personality test, we started evolving much quicker as we understood our own personality traits as well as being able to read that of our customers.
Being able to go into meetings knowing your customers personality and buying decision is a real advantage.
I would like to take this time to personally thank Marc Acetta for transforming our life from black and white to living in Full Colour.

Drunk driving costs economy R18.2-Billion



Drunk driving accounted for 27.1% of fatal crashes in South Africa and is estimated to cost the economy R18.2-billion each year, new research revealed. The research was done by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council and Unisa. This as the government is pushing for a 0% alcohol level for motorists with the introduction of the Road Traffic Amendment Bill. The research found that alcohol-attributed crashes accounted for the smallest proportion of cases at 5.5% while speeding stood at 52%, followed by other driver risks at 42%. It also found that pedestrians were three times more likely to die in a crash where the driver was intoxicated. RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said drunk driving operations had to be prioritised during the night, weekends and throughout the year as evidence showed that 55% of fatal crashes occurred at night.


“About three out of five happen over the weekends and 70% happen during non-vacation periods,” said Zwane. He recently called on law enforcement authorities to step up their drunk driving operations every night and make it difficult for drunk drivers to use public roads. This comes as minister of transport Fikile Mbalula during an alert level 2 transport directions media briefing, spoke of a bill that introduced a 0% alcohol level for all motorists. “The Road Traffic Amendment Bill was introduced earlier in June this year in parliament and introduces 0% alcohol level for all motorists,” said Mbalula. He said section 65 of the principal act had been amended as follows: “No person shall be on a public road and drive a vehicle; occupy the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle as the engine runs, while there is any concentration of alcohol in any specimen of blood taken from any part of a person’s body.” The amendment follows the recent death of three Tshwane Metro Police officers were killed in a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver at the weekend. “We need to strengthen the law and ensure that innocent lives are saved,” said Mbalula.


To add to this article, remember that your Insurer follows the Laws set out by the department of Transport. If drivers are over the legal alcohol limit it is a policy violation and claims will not be paid.

For assistance of access to more information regarding this article you can visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

Article courtesy of Pretoria Rekord

Pandemic highlights need for cyber risk management in SMEs



 

 

If small and medium businesses had little appetite for cyber risk management before the Coronavirus pandemic, they may have developed one now. Mobilising remote workforces, provisioning the right set of tools, managing the flow of data, keeping it secure and controlling who has access to what has likely to have caused disruptions and headaches at best. At worst, lack of cyber risk management has caused companies to grind to a complete halt.

Douw Gerber, Business Development Manager at leading South Africa-based managed IT security services company, Securicom, says that lack of cyber risk management is a factor in the higher incidence of cyber related fraud amongst small businesses during the lockdown. Citing Verizon’s Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, he says that about a third (28%) of data breaches this year has involved small businesses.

 


“There are no controls in place to manage access to and the share of information. Backs ups don’t happen when they should. Cyber security tools aren’t updated as they should be. Employees are using unsecured devices to do their work. People are using third party apps to complete tasks. There is no segregation of duties. Appropriate actions aren’t taken when security incidents happen. The list goes on.”

Gerber recognises that the IT function in the average small medium sized business ranges from a one-man-band scenario to a small team that performs a range of tasks, one of which happens to be IT. Without concerted management, small businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to deciding how to go about investing in IT, what tools they need and how they should be provisioned, managed and governed. The result is bad IT spend, tools that don’t get used to their max, poor security and more risks. 

He stresses that cyber risk management should form part of the overall risk management strategies of every business.  

“The work-from-home scenario that has burgeoned in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased companies’ exposure to cyber related threats. Companies are not in control of their data or the devices that employees are using to access company resources. When employees use their own unsecured devices for work, they make for a perfect gateway or point of attack on company networks.

“Companies should know who and what devices are accessing their networks. Restrictions should be placed on what information can be accessed, and employees need to understand what they are and why they are there. It is all part of risk management.”

“We are in a rapidly changing world where technologies are evolving all of the time in increasingly complex operating environments. The Coronavirus pandemic and the plummeting economy are making doing business more challenging than ever. It is becoming increasingly important for small and medium sized companies to strategically position ICT to build resilience and competitive advantage.” 

 

For assistance of a quotation on cyber Insurance leave your details on our website  www.esbrokers.co.za

Article courtesy of Creamer Media’s Engineering News


Car Insurance and Road Safety



Background Information to Car & Vehicle Insurance

Motor vehicle insurance has been described as a necessary evil – even if you pay cash for a motor vehicle and you are the most cautious of motorists, you are at great financial risk if you drive an uninsured vehicle.

Having a good insurance policy puts your mind at ease as you drive and this in itself is one of the biggest vehicle insurance benefits – peace of mind that should you be in an accident or have your car stolen, you are covered!

Motor vehicle insurance has become an important business and people are getting more curious about how to safeguard their cars and other vehicles against vehicle accidents, damage and theft. 

In South Africa, vehicle insurance can be quite expensive with insurance policies having strict conditions as a result of the high-risks of criminal activity and unlicensed road usage. In the UK motor vehicle insurance is compulsory and the government is pushing through tough legislation to tackle UK drivers who don't insure their cars.

Consumer education continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the insurance industry, and most of the complaints to the Ombud for Short Term Insurance are from consumers who are not familiar with the financial services industry and insurance products.

The Arrive Alive website will provide some advice to our road users and vehicle owners about car insurance and road safety.





Basics of Vehicle & Car Insurance

Motor vehicle insurance is essentially a contract in which an insurance company assumes financial responsibility for any loss the insured may incur through damage or theft to his/her vehicle. The bottom line is that you must read your policy and the schedule and make sure that you clearly understand the terminology, terms and conditions, and any exclusion clauses.

Golden rules of car insurance are:

  • Know the promise you’re buying: When you buy the insurance you buy a promise. For years or even decades you may pay your insurer to say: “In certain circumstances that may never arrive, I will give you certain things.” You need to be sure of what these circumstances are and what you will gain from the cover.
  • Keep the promise you are making: When you buy your insurance you give your insurer much personal information such as your habits and the ways you will use the items you are insuring. If the information is wrong, sometimes even a little bit wrong, the insurer’s promise won’t hold up.
  • It is the insurer’s job to pay you what you are due and not more.

It is important to understand why you are paying a specific premium to insure your car. When your car is stolen, damaged or written off in an accident, the insurance provider will pay out an amount based on a variety of values that are determined beforehand.

These factors include:

  • The model and make of your vehicle that is insured, the age of the vehicle as well as the condition that it is in, and the replacement value of the vehicle in question. 
  • If your car is damaged, the normal procedure is the insurer will establish whether the quote to repair your car is reasonable and will ensure that all the damage is repaired. Generally, the insurer will write-off your vehicle if the cost of repairing your vehicle exceeds 70 per cent of its value. In this case, the insurer will pay out the vehicle's market value or retail value, depending on the terms and conditions of your contract. 
  • Market value, which is what most insurers payout, is the average of the retail and the trade value. Retail value is the price you pay to buy your vehicle, whether new or second-hand, from a dealer. The trade value is what a second-hand dealer will give you if you trade-in your car. 
  • If your insurer pays out market value, the amount will not be enough to replace your car with a new one.


The cost of car insurance premiums

The insurance company takes many factors into account that may affect the risk to the company of having to pay out a claim:

  • The more extensive the insurance cover, the more the policy will cost you - this is why a comprehensive cover is more expensive than third party insurance.
  • The type of vehicles such as 4x4, sporty car, family car or bakkie will influence the insurance premiums. Some vehicles simply cost more to repair than others while specific vehicles are more at risk of being stolen or hijacked. The safety offered by the vehicle will also play a role. Besides aspects such as airbags may push the premiums a bit higher because of the cost involved in replacing them.
  • The age of the vehicle will have a definite influence. This is because an older vehicle may cost less to replace, but it may be difficult to get parts for the vehicle and in general it will be more at risk of burning out or failing in one or other way. If you get a pre-owned vehicle insist on an AA test certificate to ensure that you can get lower rates.
  • Sporty vehicles will cost a bit more because of the power and speed associated with them. Drivers are more likely to be younger and less responsible than older family car drivers.
  • Factors affecting the cost of the policy will also include where you live and whether or not your car is kept in a locked garage at night
  • The premium may be reduced if the vehicle is fitted with tracking devices etc
  • Important human factors are the age of the driver, gender, driving experience, driving record, and when the person received a driver’s license. The longer you drive the more experience you gain. For this reason, people over 25 get a slight discount on their car insurance premiums. 
  • First-time drivers or drivers with no history on South African roads are penalized by paying higher premiums until they demonstrate that they are safe drivers. Drivers with a good safety record may benefit when they purchase a vehicle insurance policy by receiving lower premiums
  • The vehicle owner must confirm what the policy says about nominated drivers - future claims may be rejected if the insurance company restricted the drivers of that specific vehicle.
  • It generally costs more to insure your car separately (in a "stand-alone" policy) than it does to include it in your household contents insurance policy. 
  • You may qualify for a discounted premium - referred to in the industry as a no-claim bonus - on the comprehensive cover if you have a record of not making claims. The longer the period you have not claimed, the greater the discounted premium you can expect to pay.
  • As with all insurance, the person who takes out the insurance must pay an excess, which is the first amount payable of any claim. Even if you were not at fault in an accident, you have to pay the excess.
  • Many insurers allow you to negotiate the amount of the excess, and this also affects the cost of the premiums you pay. The higher the excess, the lower the premiums, and vice versa.



Why do I need Car/ Vehicle Insurance?

The South African vehicle hijackings and road crash statistics provide more than enough evidence to the importance of vehicle insurance. Over the last couple of years, the cost of repairs has increased dramatically and there has been a significant increase in the average cost of a claim. An increase in vehicle theft, accidents and rising repair costs force insurance companies to recalculate the risk and cost of insuring our vehicles.

With South Africa's high accident and car theft rate, you cannot afford to drive an uninsured vehicle. According to the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), about 65 per cent of South African motorists are not insured. This has far-reaching implications for all road users, whether or not they are insured.

If you are an uninsured driver, you alone are responsible for covering the costs of repairing your car or even buying a new one if it is seriously damaged. You will also bear the legal costs of trying to claim damages from another uninsured driver without the assistance of an insurer.

I need Car Insurance - what do I need to know?

The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance in his annual report emphasized the need to educate the public on insurance matters. The Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance in South Africa recovered a record amount of R83.9 million from insurance companies on behalf of complainants in 2007.

A staggering 67 per cent of the complaints received in 2007 related to motor vehicles. A large number of complaints arose from a lack of understanding of insurance or a failure to understand the significance of the information given to an insurer when applying for insurance.

There are many insurance companies out there and it can be quite tough deciding which to opt for.  Before getting vehicle insurance, you must get a detailed view of different insurance quotes from more than one insurance company. The car insurance quotes may be different for different companies, so it is your responsibility to carefully look into the insurance quotes and then decide which one is suitable for you and your vehicle.

  • Do your research and shop around.  Get at least three comparative quotes. 
  • Don’t make a decision based on the premium only - make sure you know about hidden costs such as additional excesses. 
  • Consider the insurer’s reputation for service, price and claim settlement turnaround times. 
  • Make sure the company you choose is a registered Financial Services Provider. You can verify its registration with the Financial Services Board which regulates all insurance companies. 
  • Take time to discuss the details of your insurance policy with the direct insurer or broker. 
  • Compare apples with apples.  This means, for example, check if your vehicle is covered for retail or market value and ensuring the excesses are similar.

Make sure you buy insurance from a reputable company- otherwise you may find that your cover is not worth the paper it is written on when you make a claim. Remember that you have a right to make an informed decision – demand all the information you need before signing a policy application!




Types of Car Insurance

The vehicle owner needs to be aware of the variety of vehicle cover options. Some of these descriptions are:

  • Comprehensive Cover: covers your vehicle for accidental damage, theft and hijack, as well as injury to other people or damage to their vehicle in an accident
  • Balance of Third Party, Fire and Theft Insurance- provides you with cover for damage to the other party's vehicle in the event of an accident, and for your vehicle in the event of loss by theft or fire.
  • Balance of the third party is the most limited form of cover. It does not cover you for damage to, or the loss of, your vehicle, but it covers the costs of damage to the other car in an accident you cause
  • Limited Cover: covers your vehicle for damage caused by fire, theft and hijack, as well as injury to other people or damage to their property, Accidental damage to your vehicle is not covered. 
  • Liability to Other People: covers you for liability to other people where an accident caused death or injury to them or damage to their property. 
  • Essential Cover: no-frills option for older, lower value vehicles where you choose the combination of and amount of coverage that you need.

Policies may also include a wide range of options and benefits. Without discussing this in-depth we would like to name just a few:

  • Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage etc, are some of the great vehicle insurance benefits available.
  • Medical payments coverage assists in paying medical expenses, even if the insured person is injured in somebody else's vehicle. Uninsured motorist coverage protects against expenses incurred as a result of an accident that is caused by another individual who is either uninsured or who has inadequate coverage. 
  • Other general vehicle insurance benefits are the cars being covered for their retail value, the fact that you will pay a fixed excess and that repairs are done is guaranteed for 12 full months. 
  • Another benefit is the provision for extending coverage to others driving your car with your permission. 
  • Twenty-four-hour emergency roadside assistance, as well as cash bonuses for not claiming, are more insurance benefits. This and many other less obvious vehicle insurance benefits are included in vehicle policies

My car/ motor vehicle is insured - what now?

It is important to see the purchase of insurance policy not as a once-off transaction! An important bit of advice is to make sure your insurance company monitors the insured value of your vehicle from year to year. Cars tend to lose value and the book value is what the insurance company will payout in case of a claim, nothing more. If you pay premiums based on the initial purchasing price, but the second-hand value is worthless, the discounted value will be paid out. There is, therefore, no reason why you should ensure your car for more than this value.

It is important to note that a comprehensive insurance premium is amongst others, made of an accident portion (major part) and a theft portion. Even though the car does depreciate it should be kept in mind that spare parts and labour generally get more expensive with the unfortunate effect that there might not be an automatic drop in premium year after year.

The best advice is to contact your insurer or broker and consult with them on whether your premium might be adjusted. 

Continue to improve your driving ability and drive with caution. Even though your car insurance is in place – you would rather like to avoid the vehicle and bodily damage!

Finding affordable Car Insurance in South Africa

Many vehicle owners are searching for ways and methods to find cheaper car insurance. They complain that they cannot afford to pay the expensive car insurance premiums. Too many drive without insurance on the roads of South Africa - a risk which is simply too large to take!  

For a competitive no obligation quote you can contact our office on 031-5021922 or leave your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za

 

Article courtesy of Arrive Alive


Loss of Profits due to Prevention of access to your trading premises


As Business Owners we are often faced with interferences with our business and some of these interruptions can result in a Loss of Profits, leaking thousands of Rands, if not insured correctly.

One extension specifically is often over looked and that is Prevention of access.

What would happen to the clients business premiums if ( within a 10 km radius) there is destruction of or damage to, which shall prevent or hinder the use of the premises or prevent access, whether the premises or property of the insured  be damaged or not?

Here are some examples of what could happen in this scenario:
*  what if a bridge that belongs to a local authority, within a radius of 10 kilometers washes away preventing access in or out to your business 
* On in this case the insured runs a shop in a shopping centre with only one access door. As a result of a fire near the entrance, and consequent damage to the structure, it has become too dangerous for use by the public. The centre therefore has to be closed for two weeks. 
* Or the insured runs a factory in an industrial area with only one access route. Access is controlled by security guards. An underground water pipe bursts right next to the access control point. It takes the local authority a week to repair the pipe and the access route.



Now you can go one step further and also select  Prevention of access – extended cover

Again the radius has to be within  a 10 km radius of the premises. This point refers only to the premises. This therefore means any premises where the insured's items or goods are temporarily found, and access thereto is prevented, for example the premises of suppliers or clients.

Ask your Broker to make sure this extension is included. Remember if it is not stated on the schedule to be included don’t assume it is. This extensions must be requested and an additional premium is charged.

For any assistance regarding the information above please feel free to phone our office on 031-5021922 or leave your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za.

Article written by Andrew Ensor-Smith (Director of ES Brokers)

Mauritius claims compensation from insurance company after oil leak



The MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, can be seen from the coast of Mauritius, Sunday Aug. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/ Sumeet Mudhoo-L’express Maurice)


Mauritius will claim financial compensation from the insurance company of a Japanese vessel for the extensive environmental damages caused by a recent oil spill. The country announced the decision Friday following the arrest of the ship’s captain and first mate, who were charged with endangering safe navigation.

The vessel crashed into a coral reef off the coast of the nation last month, spilling tons of oil into the water.

According to reports, the Mauritian Coast Guard had advised the ship against taking the route prior to the spill, but to no avail.

“There are environmental damages. This, for sure, the state is going to claim compensation. There has been an impact. Take the reef, for example, the physical damage to the reef, the psychological damage. The lagoon, the livelihood of people living in the area whose livelihood depends on the sea, like fishes, etc. So there is a compensation part of it. All this will be processed and claimed from the government.” – Khemraj Servansing, Mauritius Police Commissioner

This satellite photo provided Monday Aug. 17, 2020 by 2020 Planet Labs, Inc. shows the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, Saturday Aug.15 2020. ( 2020 Planet Labs, Inc via AP)


The country will claim compensation for losses in the tourism and fishing sectors, as well as for the ecological damages and environmental pollution.


ES Brokers would like to congratulate our client Drizit Environmental for being part in the clean up operation in Mauritius and helping with the Environmental pollution control.

If you would like to help save Mauritius from this Ecological Disaster you can donate money by clicking on the following link: 
https://www.facebook.com/donate/591206865097535/


Article courtesy of one Amercis News Network

Citizens repair potholed roads that South African municipality cannot manage



Taxi drivers, truck drivers and motorists complain that the R61 connecting Flagstaff and Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape is potholed and getting worse. With potholes on both lanes, motorists say it is like manoeuvring through a minefield.

Two unemployed young men saw an opportunity in this. They started filling the potholes and asking passing motorists for a donation.

“The municipality was not showing any indication of fixing the roads. We then decided to help the people of Lusikisiki and ourselves,” says Siphiwe Mlonji.

Mlonji and Lindani Mbotyeni, both 26, from Cabekwane location, first met in Durban two years ago while looking for work and they have been friends ever since.

Neither of them have any formal qualifications, Mlonji having dropped out of school in grade 9, and Mbotyeni in grade 10, because of a lack of money at home.

They taught themselves to paint, plaster and build.

They find damaged cement bags in local hardware stores, buying a 50kg bag for R75, and use them to fill potholes.

Mlonji says they barely survive on what they earn.

“We are reliant on the kindness of the strangers who drive past while we fill the potholes. We appreciate every cent they give us. No one at home is employed, so with this money we are able to feed our families,” says Mbotyeni.

They used to collect scrap metal for recycling, but that ended with the Covid-19 lockdown.

“If we get permanent jobs we will be able to do more for our families. I will even be able to sleep at night and not have to wonder what we are going to eat tomorrow,” says Mlonji.

Ingquza Hill Local Municipality Mayor Bambezakhe Goya applauded their efforts. “We appreciate the efforts of these young men to help fix an obvious problem. But we do not encourage such actions because they put their lives in danger when doing this. They don’t have the necessary signage to alert motorists that they are working on the road,” he said.

Goya said the municipality was struggling to repair the roads because of budget constraints and under-performing construction companies.


“We decided to take a phased approach,” he said. “In Lusikisiki we’re constructing paving because we saw that it is less expensive compared to tarring a road. That’s what our budget allows for right now.”

“In Flagstaff we hired a service provider who struggled. After expressing our concerns we subsequently fired the company. We hired another that worked but after a while they decided that they were not up to the task.”

Eastern Cape Department of Transport spokesperson Khuselwa Rantjie said the department was aware of the condition of the R61 and had set aside a budget to fix it.

“The project is currently being evaluated for the award of the contractor and the plan is to have it started not later by the month of September. In the interim, the departmental in-house teams are maintaining the road to improve its safety,” said Rantjie.

But Border Alliance Taxi Association rank manager Thembela Dumisa said, “We have suffered for years driving on these terrible roads, and for years we have been promised that the roads would be repaired. That has not happened. In the meantime our vehicles are being damaged by these potholes. What’s worse is that lives are being put in danger because driving on these roads is risky.”

GroundUp could not get details from the municipality on what budget had been set aside for the rehabilitation of the 92 kilometre stretch of road.

At ES Brokers we have no influence on our road conditions but we can make an impact on your car insurance. For a no obligation free quote please visit our website on www.esbrokers.co.za.


Article courtesy of BusinessTech, published by Groundup

 

Are employers responsible for work-from-home costs?



If you find yourself in a position where you have to work from home, you may quickly realise you’re spending more on data, coffee, and stationery than you were before.

If your employer covered these costs while you were working from the office, then you may wonder whether they ought to continue covering these costs at your home. We found out more.

 

Certain costs may be covered – depending on the company

According to Sandra Maritz, legislation business consultant at CRS Technologies, as per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), an employer is obliged to provide an employee with the tools needed to perform their duties, such as a computer, internet connection or data, and stationery, where applicable.

“An employer may expect an employee to provide proof of the data capacity on their devices, as well as proof of payment for data to qualify for a reimbursement. Where the internet connection or data isn’t solely used for business purposes, the cost should be calculated and shared between the employer and the employee,” says Maritz.

She explains that where the working conditions change and an employee is expected to work from home, the same conditions will apply. However, she says that an employer is not obliged to provide an employee with a subsidy for coffee, tea, cleaning materials, or a telephone subsidy.

Deon Smit, exco member at the South African Reward Association, believes that employers are not legally obliged to cover home expenses. He explains that employees are saving on, for example, fuel and vehicle wear and tear, as well as commuting time.

“Employers can assist in negotiating better data packages for employees as a possible way to assist with any additional financial burden they might be occurring which they didn't previously. However, coffee and electricity are more incidental costs and they’re influenced by too many factors to be considered by an employer for refunding,” says Smit.

“Employees can request assistance from their employers if they feel that their financial situation is negatively impacted due to expenses related directly to work but this will be up to each employer to consider the motivation as well as the viability,” he adds.



Where is the line between home and office costs?

 

Smit points out that every employer is in a different situation, and whether they decide to assist employees with work-from-home expenses will depend on what they can provide for the amount of value they get in return.

“Offices are open again in most cases and employees can access most office resources. Employers have also taken strain during this time and employees are not in a position to make unreasonable demands,” says Smit.

He believes that employers have already been very accommodating in assisting with data, being flexible with work schedules, and providing additional tools to be productive during the lockdown.

Maritz says that what a company is willing to cover will depend on the company itself.

“I think it is safe to say that a company may be willing to pay for the total cost of the data or internet connection cost – assuming this relates to an employee’s job responsibilities. An employer may also be willing to pay an allowance for coffee or tea, or cleaning materials. However, it will be difficult to determine the percentage used for the employee only,” says Maritz.

She believes it’s very unlikely that an employer will be willing to pay a percentage of the rent or house bond or electricity, especially in the current situation where employees are working from home which may or may not be a permanent arrangement.



What can you claim from SARS?

According to Maritz, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) makes provision for home office expenses as a tax deduction under the section “other expenses” of an individual’s annual tax return.

However, she stresses that this deduction is only allowed under certain specific conditions:

· An employer must allow or expect an employee to work from home. An employee must also spend more than 50% of their working hours working from home. In other words, the employee must have performed their duties for a minimum period of 6 months in a tax year working from home.

· Most importantly, to qualify for a tax deduction, the employee must have an area of their home exclusively used and set up for this purpose. For example, employees who work in their dining room, lounge, bedroom, or kitchen would not qualify.

“The employee must have a separate office or an area of their home which is used specifically for the employee’s work. The area must also be specifically equipped for the employee’s trade. In other words, it must be specially fitted with the relevant instruments, tools, and equipment required for the employee to perform his or her work,” says Maritz.

If these criteria are met, you can claim the following as a tax deduction:

· Rent

· Interest on bond

· Repairs to the premises

· Rates and taxes

· Cleaning

· Internet

· Wear and tear

· All other expenses relating to an individual’s house only

“To calculate the home office deduction, one needs to work out the total square meterage of the home office in relation to the total square meterage of the house or apartment, and then convert this to a percentage,” says Maritz.

“You then apply this percentage to the home office expenditure in order to calculate the portion which is deductible,” she explains.


Insuring your home office or your Household contents is as simple as leaving your details on our website www.esbrokers.co.za.



Article written by Isabelle Coetzee as it features in just money

OPINION | Why driving a lowered car is safer than you might think



Motorists with lowered vehicles are generally safer drivers.

• Lowered cars will attract the attention of law officials.

• There are pros and cons to lowering your vehicle's ride height.

If there's one thing that draws the attention of local law enforcement officers, it's lowered vehicles.

In recent years, there has been uproar among young motorists being pulled over or fined for having vehicle modifications or alterations done to their cars.

Stance or speed

Everything from dark tinted windows, aftermarket LED lights, bigger wheels, and specific performance upgrades can pose a problem to yourself, and attract the attention of traffic officials due to unlawful modifications.

There have been stories of motorists being pulled over by traffic officials and had their license discs taken because their cars were not deemed roadworthy due to the lowered stance.



There is a misaligned conception that all lowered cars are street racers, but in actual fact, it is the exact opposite. A car looks much better when it sits lower to the ground, and it is for this reason that speeding, and getting caught by a camera, can never be an issue.

Here's why: if anything, drivers with lowered vehicles are more worried about dodging potholes, navigating steep speed bumps, or fear scraping the front spoiler on uneven road surfaces. Speed mitigates this notion entirely.



Having friends in both the performance and stance culture, it is either one or the other and never both, unless you have bottomless pockets.

With those that are into speed, most money is spent on either making a car faster, or fixing something that broke. And, from personal experience, mechanical parts are never cheap.

Car modifications: What the law says in SA

The stance guys, on the other hand, pride themselves on how a car looks and obviously how low it is. Lowering a vehicle can be done in one of three ways - fitting a lowering kit, coil-overs, or air-ride suspension.

Air-ride suspension is the more desirable out of the bunch as drivers can adjust the ride height depending on the road surface with the touch of a button.

Cutting or heating a car's springs is not advisable as its best to fit a reliable setup the first time around. Remember, you are now altering the dynamics of how a car handles and behaves on the road.



The good and the bad

Just like with most things in life, there are pros and cons, and the lowering of a vehicle is not exempt from this. Insight from Carsdirect says that with a lowered suspension, there's less air going underneath the vehicle, and this can create a better outcome for wind drag on a car.

That's why some sportier models sit a bit lower to the ground. In general, having the vehicle so low to the ground can increase the grip of the tyres on the road.

With that said, there are a number of disadvantages as well. Because a car now sits lower to the ground, parts in close contact with the tar become a risk.

Components like the oil sump and exhaust system can take a hit if you misjudge a dipping road surface which can result in the car bouncing and hitting the ground hard when a vehicle is not originally designed with this in mind. Accelerated tyre wear can also occur because of a change in ride height, together with the fitment of bigger aftermarket wheels.

The art of lowering a vehicle will never go away because it forms such a big part of South Africa's car scene.

For insurance quotes on your low ride , high ride or any ride please feel free to contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za



Article and pictures courtesy of  wheels24 (motoring news first).
Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24

Consumer Watch: Is instant insurance less hassle or more trouble?



 It’s innovative, cheaper, data-driven and rewards good driving behaviour. There’s no paperwork, no broker and no call centre agents asking exasperating questions. One insurer offers cover pause, another ‘pay per k’, while another’s instant sign-up via super-bot promises to get you cover in two minutes, and payout within seconds.

But as insurers rush headlong into technology to keep ahead of their competitors, consumers have been warned that on-demand insurance apps can be risky, especially if the applications process has not been completed to the insurer’s exact specifications.

Ayanda Mazwi, senior assistant at the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, says her office has noted complaints about app-based insurance, where consumers have been told their policies were invalid because they failed to upload videos or images of their insured items correctly. And customers allege that their insurers failed to tell them that there was an issue with their cover, despite taking premiums every month.

She said while technology is driving innovation in the sector, customers need to understand what they are letting themselves in for - and the value they are getting.


“These apps place far too much responsibility on the insured, so if customers don’t upload their images exactly the way they are asked to do, or if their device isn’t compatible with the system, then they are told they are responsible for their own cover,” Mazwi said.

It’s important to understand what kind of support the insurer is offering, too, so if there are compatibility issues, the consumer must be alerted and offered an alternative solution, such as being able to take a vehicle for a physical assessment or to complete the application manually.

Mazwi said insurers are obliged to inform customers if there is a problem, but in two recent cases that her office was dealing with, that did not happen.

“In terms of treating customers fairly, insurers should provide customers with an alternative. They need to take responsibility to verify that everything is in order: the insurer also has an obligation to inform the customer.”

Clifford Little’s experience with One Plan, underwritten by Bryte Insurance, serves as a warning about selfies.

He signed up with One Plan through their call centre and was required to complete the application process by taking pictures of his car.




The One Plan website promises that getting insurance cover is as simple as taking a selfie. It also promises no vehicle inspection: “Simply snap a pic of your car, upload to the app and get it covered”.

Customers are told they can increase and decrease their cover, “choose how much you want to pay on the One Plan app”, where you can manage your profile and premium from the palm of your hand. There’s zero paperwork, so apparently “zero hassle”.

Little said on August 10, his brother was involved in a “hit and run” crash while driving his car. Little, who was notified within minutes of the incident, rushed to the scene, where he said the vehicle was undriveable.

“I opened up my email application on my phone looking for the email I received from the insurer with the policy number etc, to look for an emergency contact number I can call them.”

This is where things went south: Not only did the provided emergency number not connect (they were apparently closed due to Women’s Day), but he had to Google Bryte’s contact number to speak to a consultant.

“I explained to her my frustrating situation and gave her my policy number. She did her routine checks and authorised a tow truck to be dispatched to the scene.”



The tow truck arrived, took the vehicle to a storage yard 5km away for an assessment, and the following morning, Little logged the incident with the police to get a case number.

When he called the One Plan claims department, he was told his claim would be rejected because the “images weren’t uploaded”.

Little said he had assumed since the images were “pending verification”, his insurance was in place, and a premium was deducted.

The following day though, the manager informed him that the policy was, in fact, inactive because they never received the images.

Deciding the damage could be easily and cheaply repaired, his brother decided to collect the car from the yard, only to be given a bill of R12 000.

“I completely lost it,” Little said. “The repair costs on the vehicle, R6 000, is not even close to that amount they are charging for towing. How do you dispatch a towing company knowing the customer in question is not covered?”

Don’t expect an emergency call centre agent to verify your insurance cover: Most of these call centres are outsourced, so they do not necessarily have access to customer details.

Bryte though said the policy was only incepted on July 6, 2020, on condition that they receive the first payment and that all the images were uploaded - and validated - by the team.

A spokesperson said while the premium was paid, the images weren’t.

“Our partner, One Plan, did follow up with the customer for the images on six occasions from July 3, 2020, to August 7, 2020, however, had not received these at the time of the incident. The policyholder was made aware that the policy validation was pending, and this meant that they weren’t covered.”

Ordinarily, any claims related to the vehicle would be invalid.

However, upon reviewing the case, they determined that “due to an unfortunate oversight, the service was provided by a Bryte approved agent, (and) as such - without admitting liability - Bryte, hereby, confirms that it will cover the costs - on a full and final basis - related to towing, storage and the urgent release of the vehicle.”


For advice and assistance with your car insurance please contact our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za.

 



Article courtesy of Consumer watch written by Georgina Crouth

Disclaimer: The information provided in this Blog is as it appears in iol.co.za and is not intended to call out or offend the parties concerned. The intended purpose is for educating the public