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Common Property - Improvements not necessary but "nice to have" - Part 4

In Part 3 of this series we discussed when improvement  
decisions must be referred to the members of the body corporate

In this newsletter we are going to discuss improvements which are notnecessary but rather 'nice to have'.

voting-no-49HVDMS.jpg?v=1586421119169

To pass a 'nice to have' improvement requires a unanimous resolution of the members to approve. However, the rules do NOT define what reasonable is as this will differ from one scheme to the next. Every case must be considered individually and on its own merits.

Some unique factors that influence the merits of a case include:

  • Where the scheme is located?
  • The financial status of the body corporate
  • The reasonable expectations of the majority who live in the scheme and so on...
Lets look at some examples: 

If a scheme is in an extremely wealthy and upmarket area where most of the owners have paid upwards of R8m for their two bedrom units, installing a heating system in the communal swimming pool may be considered to be 'reasonably necessary'.

Similarly, in a scheme where units attain a much lower purchase price,  the vast majority of owners do not expect to pay for a heated swimming pool. Voting for the installation of a heating system would be by unanimous resolution because the improvement is deemed to be not reasonably necessary but rather a 'nice to have'.


Article courtesy of Marina Constas and Karen Bleijs Demystifying Sectional Title 

In Part 5 of this newsletter we will expand on the idea of improvements which are reasonable necessary.

Sent to us from CIA Building Insurance Specialists 

Level 4 Lockdown Operational Impacts

MUA INSURANCE UNDERSWRITERS UPDATE

 

CONCIERGE SERVICES AVAILABLE

MUA’s Concierge service is operational and available to assist clients in need of these services which include trips for medical related procedures. Clients will also be able to carry their 2020 annual trip allocation over to 2021 if they do not make use of their allocated trips during this year.

 

Our partner, Global Choices will contain to ensure that your clients are and will feel safe when making use of these services. Together we are monitoring the situation to ascertain what other support can be offered during these challenging times and look forward to the additional benefits Global Choices are offering all MUA clients. In addition to the concierge services being available, they will now be offering 8 one hour long sessions for all MUA clients to assist with individual wellness, parenting support, learner and parent education assistance throughout the lockdown period. These telephonic services are available by calling the MUA Emergency Assistance number on 0861 000 682 between Monday and Friday from 8h00 to 19h00 and will be facilitated by a qualified professional who will call the client back to provide the required support.

WELLNESS ASSIST


A process to become more aware to make choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life.  Individuals are given access to a qualified professional to help address any problems or needs associated with a member’s health, wellbeing, relationships and productivity. This solution helps address and manage the high rate of mental illness (depression, anxiety, divorce, suicide, PTSD, potential job losses, loss of income, etc.).

PARENTING SUPPORT


A service for parents where we help facilitate parental know-how and support on how to reduce anxiety and learning problems in their children. It’s a service provided through an electronic communications portal through which parents get to discuss their concerns regarding their children’s learning, development and wellbeing with a team of qualified occupational therapists in real time. This benefit offers the child & parents coping skills and tools. 

LEARNER AND PARENT EDUCATION ASSIST


A service aimed at helping parents with school going children.  The services is offered to learners and parents to help and give them access to qualified teachers and tutors if there is no one else at home to assist with school work, projects, tests and exams or questions regarding curriculum or extramural activities who will them create effective learning environments to support them beyond the formal delivery of education and skills.    

CAR HIRE FROM EUROPCAR AVAILABLE

Europcar fully embraced the spirit of the lockdown, with only three locations open to support critical services, understanding the dire need to protect the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people. They continue to pay acute attention to the customers need for safety, reliability and cost-effective mobility solutions for your clients when they need it most. With the implementation of Level-4 restrictions as from 1 May 2020, Europcar car rental, van rental and chauffeur services will now operate in support of companies, organisations and individuals who have had restrictions lifted, eased or in need of car hire as a result of a car accident.

Effective from Tuesday 5 May 2020, Europcar has reopen a number of branches and depots around the country that operate during regular trading hours as normal. They are able to facilitate transactions from any of the branches that remain closed under Level-4 restrictions in their network of over 100 locations. Standby staff at these locations will facilitate these rentals and returns and deliveries and collections are also possible.

All booking channels are open and are functioning as part of the registered claims process, MUA Concierge and MUA Road Assist.

Europcar still have an extensive fleet of economy, luxury, SUV, people carriers, 4x4 and commercial vehicles available for rent anywhere in South Africa.

Additional Safety Measures
Their first and foremost priority is, and always has been, the safety of their customers, staff and suppliers. They have enhanced their public health and safety procedures to continue to combat the virus and ensure everyone who interacts with Europcar is safe. Their business has made significant investment in several initiatives to ensure the risk of spreading the virus is minimized and broadly focused around three main areas. Branches, vehicle sanitizing and people.

Branch

  • Cleaning frequency has been increased and includes sanitizing of all hard surfaces.
  • Social distancing is in place between all Europcar staff.
  • Social distancing between customers is encouraged by means of floor decals, revised queuing.
  • Layout and regular communication.
  • Europcar staff wear facemasks to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
  • Europcar has invested in counter screens to limit the possibility of infection in high traffic
  • branches.
  • Mandatory temperature testing for employees is taking place before beginning work.
  • Anyone with a temperature is sent home.
  • Keys, pens, credit card machines, and any other item are sanitised between each transaction.

Vehicle Cleaning

Clean vehicles have always been important to them, and we know cleaning and disinfecting vehicles is even more critical during these times. Our cleaning procedures, using recommendations from health authorities and in line with international best practice, include:

  • All cars are sanitized by their drivers after delivery to the branch so that no other person enters a vehicle during the period between when it is sanitized and when a customer receives it.
  • All hard surfaces cleaned with approved sanitizer, specifically:
    • All outside door handles
    • Boot handles
    • Steering wheel
    • Gear lever
    • Handbrake
    • All safety belt buckles and handling areas
    • All vehicle controls (indicators, window controls, light switches, etc.)
    • All inside door handles
    • The rear-view mirror
    • All other hard surfaces that are commonly touched
  • After the driver has completed sanitizing the vehicle, a hanger placed on the steering wheel to evidence the process was completed. This is to enable internal quality control and to give customers peace of mind that the process was completed. These hangers have been ordered and this will be implemented as soon as these are received.
  • Deliveries follow the same process.
  • Their famous mints will be temporarily replaced with a hand sanitizer for the renter as soon as orders are delivered.

 

 

Minimise Risks when Re-Opening businesses

Minimise Risks when Re-Opening Businesses after Lockdown:


The coronavirus pandemic has impacted global businesses and their employees – closing many operations, albeit temporarily.

With businesses in many countries now preparing to reopen after a period of inactivity, it is important that they remain vigilant about the risk environment in order to identify unknown problems which might have occurred during closure, as well as to mitigate losses that might occur as a result of reopening.

 

Restoring operations at a facility that was once idle or vacant presents another set of loss prevention challenges, particularly to manufacturing plants with hazardous equipment or processes.

 

“For example, fuel-fired equipment may need to be restarted, which creates an additional risk of fires and explosions. There may be a reduction in workforce available to operate and maintain production equipment safely or to respond to emergencies. Also, lapses in maintenance of buildings, equipment and fire protection systems may create hazardous conditions.”

Businesses should pay particular attention to the condition of electrical equipment and installations, as around 20% to 30% of documented fire claims are related to these. Insurers have also seen a number of claims from fires resulting from technical defects or operational error after machinery has been restarted or cleaned in preparation for reopening of facilities, which has then caused further disruption to operations.


Restore site security:

Property loss prevention measures for restarting businesses after a temporary closure another essential action for businesses to consider before restarting operations is restoring site security.

A thorough self-inspection of the site, including all buildings and equipment, to detect and correct any unsafe or abnormal conditions, such as damage, maintenance issues, improper housekeeping or storage, signs of vandalism, should also be considered.

Businesses should also complete and reinstate any inspection, testing and maintenance procedures that may have lapsed since the shutdown.

As always when restarting idle machinery, operators should follow standard operating procedures and manufacturer guidelines for bringing shutdown equipment or processes back online.




Fire risk of disinfectants:

In addition, those facilities introducing alcohol-based (flammable) disinfectants, such as hand sanitizers, should implement proper fire safety precautions. This should include keeping them away from ignition sources, such as open flames, encouraging employees to rub their hands dry to allow vapors to safely dissipate, disposing of all waste rags in approved, normally closed containers, and storing flammables in designated cutoff rooms or approved cabinets.

Prior to restarting operations is the ideal time to review the effectiveness of your business continuity plan. Revise the plan as needed based on lessons learned during the temporary shutdown to keep your emergency planning up-to-date.

Article compliments of IT-Online (IT Industry News Daily).

 

 

PART 3 - BUILDINGS BODY CORPORATE REQUIREMENTS

More Complicated Improvements To Common Property - Part 3

 

In Part 2 of this series we had a look at Minor Alterations to common property with trustee consent.

In this newsletter
 we will look
at more complicated improvements.  For these, trustees do not have the authority to make a decision and the decision is referred to themembers of the body corporate - in other words the owners of the units.

contractor-preparing-for-work-XU8E94H.jpg?v=1586344855089

 

Member consent is required for improvements to the common property in the following two categories - those that are 'reasonably necessary' and those that are 'not reasonably necessary'.

The best way to distinguish the two kinds of improvements is to regard an improvement that is 'not reasonably necessary' as anice to have as opposed to a 'reasonably necessary' 
improvement, which could be described as useful.

Article courtesy of Marina Constas and Karen Bleijs
Demystifying Sectional Title 

In Part 4 of this newsletter we will expand on the idea of improvements not necessary and only 'nice to have'.

CYBER CRIME



Thanking Hollard Insure for keeping us in the know.

 

Cyber Crime… Knowledge is power and it’s always good to be a step ahead rather than part of the statistics.

 

Now more than ever, people from all walks of life are reliant on technology to get them through the day.

 

Cyber is one of the top risks we face; as criminals move away from risky, violent crime to the unknown, faceless world of cyber-crime, a wider range of possible victims are exposed.

 

Should the unforeseen occur and you do suffer a cyber incident, having a Cyber Insurance Policy can assist in limiting the damages suffered both by you, the individual, and your company.

Coverage extends from theft of funds to business interruption, cyber extortion, public relations and forensic investigation costs, and liability cover for your company.

Cyber insurance policies provide wide-ranging coverage for a multitude of cyber-related perils.

 

Cyber safety while working from home:

To contain the spread of the coronavirus, companies around the world have instituted what has become the largest “work from home” movement in history.

 

Remote working brings many benefits; studies by the Harvard Business Review and Stanford University have shown increased productivity and reduced staff turnover among remotely working staff.

Despite all these benefits, there are however some potential downsides, notably in relation to cyber risks.

 

In the wake of large-scale global events, cyber criminals are among the first to attempt to sow discord, spread disinformation, and seek financial gain.

 

Please be on the lookout for the following:

  • Phishing emails with malicious links or attachments
  • COVID-19 related investment scams 
  • Miracle products claiming to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19
  • Online retail fraud and counterfeit goods related to the virus, and donation or fundraising scams

 

Here are some simple pointers to help keep you and your company safe while working remotely.

 

Ensure that your Wi-Fi connection is secure

If you’re making use of your own home internet connections e.g. fibre lines, consult user guides and configure a secure password for your Wi-Fi network. Below is a brief guide on how to do this:

 

1.       You need to access your router to change the password. The quickest way to access your router is through a web browser, e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.

2.       Most routers come with a manual specifying the IP address of the device allowing you to connect to it. Most routers use IP address: 10.0.0.2, 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1, but your user manual should help guide you

3.       Browse to the correct IP address in your browser and enter the default router username and password (should you not have already changed this), these are typically:

1.       Username: admin

2.       Password: admin or password

 

3.       If these login details don’t work or you have forgotten what you changed your credentials to, resetting your router should reset the credentials to the above. Again, consult your user manual on how to reset your router; it generally requires holding in a reset button

4.       Once logged into your router, select ‘Change Wireless Password’ or select ‘Wireless settings’, Setup or Wireless depending on your router type. Type in your new Network Key (new wireless password), select apply or save, and then reconnect your devices using your new wireless password

5.       While you are on the interface for your router, it’s perhaps not a bad idea to change the default password from admin or password as may be relevant. Try and avoid making use of public Wi-Fi, particularly if you are not totally sure that you are connecting to a legitimate Wi-Fi connection. Another useful tip is to tell your device to forget those networks that you do not connect to on a regular basis

 

1.       Ensure that your endpoint protection (e.g. anti-virus) is installed and fully updated.

2.       Ensure that security patches and updates are applied as soon as possible after release.

3.       Enable encryption on your endpoint, as well as any storage devices being used.

4.       Make sure that you are using a secure connection to access your work environment (e.g. VPN), ideally with multi-factor authentication.

5.       Lock your screen if you are working in a shared space, and don’t leave your devices unattended.

 

 

During a recent Carte Blanche exposé, Your Money or Your Data – The Rise of Ransomware, it was reported that an attempted ransom attack cost Johannesburg’s City Power utility an estimated R50-million in downtime and associated experts’ time and fees. The encryption of City Power’s data brought the utility to a standstill.

 

 Please take a look at the Carte Blanche video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDFz357C-04

PART 2 - LIVING IN A COMPLEX, ESTATE , COMMUNITY PART OF A BODY CORPORATE OR SCHEME

Minor Alterations to Common Property - Part 2

Thank you to CIA UNDERWRITERS FOR THIS INFORMATION

 


In Part 1 of this series we had a look at what is common property, in this part we will be looking at Minor Alterations to common property - trustee consent.


Model Conduct Rule 4(1) reads: "The owner or occupier of a section must not, without the trustees' written consent, mark, paint, drive nails, screws or other objects into, orotherwise damage or deface a structure that forms part of thecommon property."

david-pisnoy-46juD4zY1XA-unsplash.jpg?v=1581327601934

 

The legislator goes on to say that an owner or occupier must be considered to have trustees' permission to install a locking or safety device to protect his section against intruders, or a screen to prevent the entry of animals or insects.

Further to this, the device or screen must be soundly built and the design, colour, style and materials must be approved by the trustees in writing.

Article courtesy of Marina Constas and Karen Bleijs
Demystifying Sectional Title 

In Part 3 of this newsletter we will be moving on to the more complicated improvements...

DO YOU LIVE IN AN ESTATE , COMPLEX , COMMUNITY PART OF A BODY CORPORATE OR SECTIONAL TITLE SCHEME - COMMON PROPERTY PART 1

Thank you to CIA UNDERWRITERS for their information

 

Continuing with our Advice from the Experts series, we will over the next few newsletters be looking at the Common Property of a sectional title scheme.

Common property in a sectional title scheme includes all areas other than those designated as sections on the sectional plan. 

In other words everything
outside the section
 such asdriveways, pavements, fences, gates, communal gardens and club houses all form part of the common property.

isaac-wolf-bYaqZ8WdoVA-unsplash.jpg?v=1581322410851

 

According to the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA), common property falls into 3 main areas:

  • The land in the scheme;
  • Those parts of the building or buildings that are not included in a section (a section is the area inside a unit between the walls including the ceiling, floor, doors and windows) and;
  • Any extra land that the body corporate decides to buy to increase the common property size (after the written consent of all its members have been obtained).

Common property is therefore owned by all members of the body corporate in undivided shares according to the participation quota of their respective sections.  In simple terms, the size of the sectiondetermines the size of the share that the unit owner holds in thecommon property.

Because it is an “undivided share” no one can request the land on which the scheme is built, or any other parts of the common property be divided or separated. This is simply not possible from a practical or legal point of view.

Article courtesy of Marina Constas and Karen BleijsDemystifying Sectional Title 

In Part 2 of this newsletter we will look at Minor alterations to Common Property - Trustee Consent.

DURBAN AND SURROUDNING AREAS ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN CRIME DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD

4 May 2020 – information supplied by BLUE SECURITY THANK YOU

PINETOWN BUSINESS FALLS VICTIM TO ARMED GANG’S LIQUOR LOOTING SPREE

Durban commercial owners are warned to increase or upgrade security measures onsite during Lockdown to prevent becoming a statistic of crime. This follows a number of industries and businesses being targeted by criminals this week throughout greater Durban.

“An armed gang went on a six-hour looting spree at a Pinetown business from 11pm on Tuesday night through to 5am on Wednesday clearing the premises of a vast amount of liquor after tying up the security guard,” said Blue Security community and media liaison officer, Andreas Mathios.

“The three suspects arrived in a vehicle and held up the security guard at gunpoint before tying him up and locking him in a car. “Evidence shows that they gained access to the premises by cutting the wire fence, breaking a window and cutting the roller-door locks. They also damaged the alarm system,” Mathios said. They then spent the next six hours loading the getaway vehicle with boxes of wine, whisky and vodka. “It was established after the incident that stolen items included two plasma TVs, two laptops and multiple boxes of wine, vodka and Scotch whisky. Investigations are continuing,” Mathios said.

In a separate incident a business owner arrived at his business premises in Umbilo on Wednesday morning and discovered that the office had been robbed. “It appears that suspects had broken into the building early on Wednesday morning. Access was gained to the reception area by breaking a window and cutting through the burglar bars,” Mathios said. “The main office and reception area was ransacked and a laptop and large amount of cash was removed. Umbilo SAPS attended the scene and the case is under investigation,” Mathios said.

A business owner in Isipingo Rail was also targeted on Wednesday morning. “A check of the premises revealed that access had been gained via an open window on an upper level of the building. The burglar bars were still intact,” Mathios said. “Investigations showed that a computer screen and digital camera had been removed from the premises. Isipingo SAPS attended the scene,” Mathios said.

“A business in Jacobs was also targeted before 5am on Thursday morning. A check of the building indicated that a front window on an upper level had been forced open. A screwdriver was found nearby. An initial check showed that only a toolbox had been removed,” Mathios said.

“Lockdown is not deterring criminals and in some instances quieter industrial or retail districts are a boon for illegal activities to occur undetected,” Mathios said. “It is therefore vital that businesses ensure their premises are sufficiently protected with well-maintained and efficient security systems,” Mathios said. “Ensure perimeters have electric fencing, are well-lit and are connected to a security provider’s control room. Arrange for regular patrols by a security provider. On-site guards should also be provided with remote panic buttons that can be activated at any sign of trouble,” Mathios said.

If you have found our page and blog to be helpful ,please share .

 

Be safe

THE ES BROKERS TEAM




WORKING FROM HOME BLOG - CYBER LIABILITY

To contain the spread of the coronavirus, companies around the world have instituted what has become the largest “work from home” movement in history. While the adoption of remote working has steadily increased over the past couple of years, an interesting likely by-product of the coronavirus is a significant increase in the adoption of remote working.

 

Remote working brings many benefits; studies by the Harvard Business Review and Stanford University have shown increased productivity and reduced staff turnover among remotely working staff. Additional benefits include companies being able to reduce office costs, from rent to power savings and reduced coffee costs. There are also a number of environmental benefits.

 

Despite all these benefits, there are however some potential downsides, notably in relation to cyber risks.

 

In the wake of large-scale global events, cyber criminals are among the first to attempt to sow discord, spread disinformation, and seek financial gain.

 

Please be on the lookout for the following:

  • Phishing emails with malicious links or attachments
  • COVID-19 related investment scams 
  • Miracle products claiming to prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19
  • Online retail fraud and counterfeit goods related to the virus, and donation or fundraising scams

 

Here are some simple pointers to help keep you and your company safe while working remotely.

 

Ensure that your Wi-Fi connection is secure

 

If you’re making use of your own home internet connections e.g. fibre lines, consult user guides and configure a secure password for your Wi-Fi network. Below is a brief guide on how to do this:

 

1.       You need to access your router to change the password. The quickest way to access your router is through a web browser, e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc.

2.       Most routers come with a manual specifying the IP address of the device allowing you to connect to it. Most routers use IP address: 10.0.0.2, 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1, but your user manual should help guide you

3.       Browse to the correct IP address in your browser and enter the default router username and password (should you not have already changed this), these are typically:

1.       Username: admin

2.       Password: admin or password

3.       If these login details don’t work or you have forgotten what you changed your credentials to, resetting your router should reset the credentials to the above. Again, consult your user manual on how to reset your router; it generally requires holding in a reset button

4.       Once logged into your router, select ‘Change Wireless Password’ or select ‘Wireless settings’, Setup or Wireless depending on your router type. Type in your new Network Key (new wireless password), select apply or save, and then reconnect your devices using your new wireless password

5.       While you are on the interface for your router, it’s perhaps not a bad idea to change the default password from admin or password as may be relevant. Try and avoid making use of public Wi-Fi, particularly if you are not totally sure that you are connecting to a legitimate Wi-Fi connection. Another useful tip is to tell your device to forget those networks that you do not connect to on a regular basis

 

1.       Ensure that your endpoint protection (e.g. anti-virus) is installed and fully updated.

2.       Ensure that security patches and updates are applied as soon as possible after release.

3.       Enable encryption on your endpoint, as well as any storage devices being used.

4.       Make sure that you are using a secure connection to access your work environment (e.g. VPN), ideally with multi-factor authentication.

5.       Lock your screen if you are working in a shared space, and don��t leave your devices unattended.

 

Attackers are very quick to leverage major news stories such as the coronavirus as a base for their attacks. If anything seems suspicious or too good to be true, please be sceptical – rather safe than sorry, as the saying goes.

 

Should the unforeseen occur and you do suffer a cyber incident, having a cyber insurance policy can assist in limiting the damages suffered both by you, the individual, and your company. Coverage extends from theft of funds to business interruption, cyber extortion, public relations and forensic investigation costs, and liability cover for your company. Cyber insurance policies provide wide-ranging coverage for a multitude of cyber-related perils.

 

As we fight against the spread of COVID-19 and impact it continues to have on businesses around the world, remote working need not be a further woe. In fact, it has the ability to be the exact opposite and could result in increased productivity, higher morale and lower operational costs into the future.

 

Thank you to Hollard Insurance Company for the information



DURBAN ROOF TOP CRIME ON THE INCREASE THE LAST WEEK

COMMERCIAL CRIME TREND ALERT: ROOFTOP INCIDENTS ON THE CLIMB

Blue Security has warned business owners that criminals have been targeting businesses and either seeking entry via or fleeing across the roof of various commercial buildings in recent reports.

Nine incidents where this modus operandi was used were reported over the past four days alone, in Umbilo, Kingsburgh, Prospecton, Pinetown and Botha’s Hill, but swift response and decisive action by our tactical force, reaction officers and SAPS members led to the arrest of multiple of these suspects. In one of our most recent arrests, two criminals connected to business break-ins were apprehended by our armed response officers and a member of our Durban North tactical unit.

We are urging business owners to ensure that alarm systems, external beams and alarm sensors in ceilings are in good working order.

In the most recent incidents, would-be cat burglars were foiled in their getaway attempt in a team effort with SAPS in Umbilo in the early hours of Wednesday morning.information from Blue Security, thank you