Latest News

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

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.
.
.

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.
.

.

.
Article courtesy of King Price taken from Cover Magazine.

SASRIA: What is South African Special Risks Insurance Association?



Most Property Owners are of the mind-set that their business, property or home being torched to rubble during a violent protest or terrorist attack is far-fetched.

The reality is that violent protests are on the increase across South Africa and may cause costly damages to an Individual’s or Business’ Property.

Most small businesses don’t have SASRIA Insurance as they see it as an additional cost. When there are strikes, they could lose their entire properties and business if they don’t have SASRIA Insurance cover.




What is SASRIA?

SASRIA is a State-owned Company which was established with the sole intention of providing cover against special risks such as civil commotion, public disorder, riots, strikes and terrorism.

They are the only short-term Insurer who provides “special risk” cover to all Individuals and Businesses who own assets in South Africa.

SASRIA is attached as a “coupon policy” to your main policy as a standard feature with your conventional Insurer in respect of your buildings, vehicles and other assets.




Exclusions under SASRIA:

 

Consequential loss or damage, or loss or damage caused or contributed to by:

1. Looting and theft, unless caused by any of the covered events mentioned above

2. Property being dispossessed or confiscated by any lawfully established authority

3. The stopping or deliberate slowing down of work

4. Any act of terrorism involving the threat of or actual use of any nuclear weapon or device and/or the threat of or actual use or release of any chemical or biological agent.

SASRIA enables Businesses to recover quickly and efficiently after experiencing a loss or damage due to special risk related events. 


EFFECTIVE INSURANCE PROTECTION AGAINST SARS TAX AUDITS AND RELATED DISPUTES




THE RISK OF A SARS TAX AUDIT IS REAL.
COVER AGAINST A SARS AUDIT HAS BECOME A TOP PRIORITY


* SARS is under pressure to meet targets which is leading to INCREASED audits.
* Having a competent accountant no longer Guarantees protection.
* It is very difficult for your accountant to be 100% up to speed with new Tax legislation at all times.
* Your Accountant can not defend you in a Court of Law.
* Many tax assessments are irrational.
* SARS doesn't always follow procedures & timelines.
* Taxpayers are at risk as they do not understand their rights.
* Cost to defend against a tax audit is debilitating



Who should be covered?
* Small to Medium-Sized Companies
* Trusts
* Owners of small to Medium-sized companies
* High-Net-Worth individuals (HNWI's)
So How does it work?
If you are selected for a SARS Tax audit or a related dispute, we will appoint  and pay for a TEAM of TAX PROFESSIONALS who will defend the taxpayer to ensure a fair audit outcome.

Out Team may consist of: Accountants, Auditors, Tax Attorneys, Tax Specialists and Tax Advisors. Even your Accountant will play a central part of the team and the fees will be paid for services during the claim.

Here are the benefits:
* Affordable monthly premiums
* Risk cover in the event of a tax audit for individuals and companies
* Access to SA's top Tax specialists
* Removes uncertainty of an unexpected SARS tax audit and related dispute.
* Covers the costs of your Accountants time, experience and expertise.
* Ensures fair treatment and audit outcomes
* The Indemnity limit is fixed , so you know what you have available



Once the policy is active - You are Protected no matter how far back SARS assesses.
SIGN UP FOR A TAX RISK POLICY TODAY.
Contact us on 031-5021922 or visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za

FOUR SHORT-TERM TIPS FOR KIDS, WITH LONG TERM RESULTS

Teaching kids some basic financial principles should ideally form part of their upbringing. Short-term insurance is key among them, since it provides an important safety net that helps to secure your long-term well-being.

It can be difficult to give up something when you do not see an immediate benefit, making short-term insurance (and most financial-must haves, for that matter) a difficult sell. But getting kids to understand it (particularly the patience it takes to stay covered), is a lesson worth learning. 


HERE ARE FOUR HELPFUL TIPS:


Delayed gratification is worth the reward

Paying for your short-term insurance diligently each month is hard to “enjoy”, but the relief when a claim arises and is covered, is such a reward for the effort of committing to your cover. It’s a good concept to grasp early; healthy routines result in reward, even if only down the line. It can be difficult to understand budgeting for insurance each month, instead of spending money on something tangible like the latest tech gadget. Keeping that gadget safe, however, is part of understanding how insurance works. Explain that insurance can replace items if they are properly insured but sticking to safety measures matters too. They’d need to be responsible with their insured item all the time; learning that consistency adds up to stay covered.


Keep safety in session always

Getting your kids to think practically about safety can go a long way. They should know how to lock up your home, they should know where certain items are kept (some examples might include where the torch is kept in case the power goes out, who to call in what type of emergency and where spare sets of keys are stored). Having a routine place for kids to store anything they carry along with them, like their keys, is a good practice to follow. The idea is to have your kids think responsibly with clear guidelines to refer back to. Keeping track and caring for their possessions is another important life lesson that is best learnt early. Kids need to know replacing items (a bottle/jacket/school jersey/shoes) costs money and needs to be funded from the family budget. They are more likely to take responsibility and less likely to lose items this way.


Lying will result in crying

Instilling good life principles, such as being honest, goes a long way (especially later in life). Your kids should be aware that lying can result in consequences.

While insurance cover won’t be as coveted as the latest gadget, the concept of losing privileges as a result of lying is all you need to get across. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to maintaining insurance cover; if you are caught to be misrepresenting the truth, you are likely to have your policy terminated, which will make other insurers less inclined to insure you in the future.



Good advice gets good results

Encourage your children to seek the assistance of an adviser when they are older, as they can help us consider the bigger picture. Even though it is your own responsibility to ask for the insurance you need, having some professional insight into how much you should have, or whether you have considered every angle of cover you might need, is the way to get the most out of having insurance in the first place.

It is a monthly expense that can be hard to part with if you aren’t seeing anything to show for it. But you’re actually paying for an invisible safety net, and come the day you need to claim, you’ll be so glad you stuck with it. The best outcome from short-term insurance, is to keep it in place consistently, as you never know when you might need it.

Article credits go to FA News
written
 Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure

BICYCLE INSURANCE



WHAT OUR COMPREHENSIVE BICYCLE INSURANCE COVERS:

If the bicycle is specified on the policy schedule for pre-agreed value we will not apply average and the client will have cover up to the sum insured.

What is covered ?:

·         Accidental damage to the bicycle and accessories

·         Pothole damage

·         Damage incurred during training rides

·         Damage incurred during participation in a cycling event

·         Damage or theft in transit

·         Theft and hijacking

Included under the All Risks section is the Cyclesure Trip Cancellation cover.

What is covered:

The client can claim for pre-paid expenses like race entry fees, accommodation and travelling expenses if he/she needs to cancel his/her cycling trip due to the following:

·         Unforeseen illness, injury, or death involving you, your travel companion or a close relative.

·         Being made redundant.

·         Accidental damage, burglary, flooding or fire affecting your home, either while you are away or within two days before your departure.

·         You being subjected to compulsory quarantine.

·         A city on your itinerary suffering a terrorist attack within two weeks before your departure, leading you to abandon your trip.

·         R 10 000 cover is automatically included in the basic cover, but the client can increase this cover at an additional premium.

Age Limit: under 80 years

For any any queries or assistance please leave your contact details on our website
www.esbrokers.co.za

Your biggest investment is so much more than that

Your house is probably the single biggest investment you’ll ever make. But big or small, luxurious or basic, there are certain things without which a house is a little more than a collection of walls, doors and windows with a roof overhead – a building, no different to a million other buildings out there. Something to buy and sell without emotion, a mere commodity. 

But your house is much more than just a shelter from the elements. It is your safe place, both physically and emotionally. It is where your memories live. It is where you connect with your nearest and dearest, and with your inner self. It is where you go when you grow weary of the world, to refresh, recharge and regroup, so that you can emerge again, ready to take on the challenges that help you grow. What is it that makes it that place? It is the things you fill it with, from furniture to personal possessions, from memories to companionship. 

Because of that, your house is perhaps the most important place in your life. And because it means so much to you and those who share it with you, you need to protect it at all costs – from crime, from natural disasters, and from the gremlins that weaken your water pipes and chew through your electric cables. Because some of the things you fill your house with can be replaced, but some cannot. 

While no insurance company can replace the memories, companionship and love that are such important ingredients in making your house your home, furniture can be replaced, and damage can be repaired. The thing is that doing so often costs a lot, and you don’t want to add financial worries to the other woes when fate deals you a hard blow. 

While we often think about our vehicles when we think about insurance, your home is even more important to cover, because loss of or damage to your house will have a much more disruptive effect on you and your family. That’s why buildings and home content insurance is something you shouldn’t be without. But not just any insurance – when you are covering something this important, you need an insurer that is both reliable and experienced. 

With well over three decades of insurance experience, Auto & General fits the bill to a tee. You can rely on their Buildings and Home Contents policy to offer all the protection you need to sleep peacefully in the knowledge that your haven is covered, regardless of what fate may throw your way. Visit our page  for more information or contact us directly .

 

The TEAM at ES BROKERS

 

Thank you to Auto &General for this article  .

 

Keeping business continuity during tough economic times

When a business owner is faced with the loss of revenue, retrenchments or even bankruptcy, it can be hard to keep an entrepreneurial mindset alive. However, it’s often a time of crisis that forces entrepreneurs to focus, evolve and find new innovative opportunities to weather the storm. 

As an intermediary, you are ideally placed to advise and guide your business clients through this unchartered territory. We’ve put together four tips to help bolster their confidence and come out of this storm stronger. 

1.     Employees – the greatest company asset 

It might sound clichéd but it’s true: a company’s employees are their most valuable asset. Firstly, if a business can afford it, it should offer as much financial and emotional support to its employees as possible during this difficult time. If the business is operating during the pandemic, it should put measures in place to protect employees as far as possible. This includes education to fully explain the hazards to their health and safety within the workplace, and precautionary measures to reduce any exposure. Being supportive will encourage employees to keep delivering high quality outputs during challenging times. 

2.                 Reimagine client journeys 

Now’s the ideal time for a business to map out its client journeys at every touch-point – from awareness to post-purchase stage – and work at making them more client-centric. If your clients take a closer look at the entire journey, they will easily identify where interactions can be automated and where the user experience can be improved. Encourage them to ask their clients and staff for input, conduct surveys, and test different solutions. Small changes right now will give quick learnings – without costing them the earth if they don’t work. 

3.                 Get ready for post-lockdown 

Remind clients to use this downtime wisely and spend time reflecting on what works and doesn’t work in their business operations and services. Reviewing these things will show the gaps that might cost them revenue and the opportunities in the market they can cater to. Now’s the time to upgrade to more efficient alternatives, such as updating outdated equipment or implementing key training for staff. 

4.                 Review business insurance 

Work with clients to review all their insurance policies to see if they are adequately insured and to prevent any further losses. Ask them to make a checklist of what is covered and what is not, and help them fully understand their policies without making assumptions. 

Taking these steps – good risk management practices, updated safety training for employees and clients, as well as a solid plan for the new normal – will be make or break for businesses to survive. Santam is doing everything in its power to bolster your clients’ businesses, including a R400-million COVID-19 relief fund to help clients, suppliers, and contribute to the Government’s Solidarity Fund. 

If you have any questions about Santam insurance cover, please get in touch with us. For more advice tailored to intermediaries, please like our page and blog page   for  more articles.

 

 

Article complements of SANTAM INSURANEC COMPANY

 

The TEAM AT ES BROKERS

 

Measures to avoid muggings

SEVEN SIMPLE MEASURES TO AVOID MUGGINGS UNDER LEVEL THREE REGULATIONS


Summary of Alert Levels.

Level three of lockdown kicks off on the 1st of June and there are certainly one or two items on the “things we’re allowed to do” list that has us jumping for joy. An easing in restrictions on outdoor exercise means that residents will be allowed to exercise any time during the day, provided that this is not done in groups. So how does one venture out safely under level three regulations? Well, we’ve compiled a list of seven simple safety measures that you can follow to reduce the risk of falling victim to muggers.

1. Remember to be completely aware of your surroundings. Whether you are running, jogging, or just taking a Sunday stroll, keep your head up and your eyes and ears open. It is not recommended that you listen to music whilst exercising as it impedes your ability to detect not only other people but traffic too.

2. If you are alert of your surroundings you should be able to detect whether or not you are being followed. If you feel like you are being followed by another pedestrian walk to a public place such as a mall or the nearest police station. Remember to always walk on the side of the street that faces traffic, however, if you feel like you are being followed by a vehicle, never try to outrun them, rather turn around and go in the other direction.

3. Get security on the go with our Blue Mobile Panic App. Having the panic button seconds within reach means we’re only a couple minutes behind at all times, should you ever feel unsafe.

4. Walk in an assertive, confident manner, making eye contact with the people around you. Learn to identify suspicious behaviour and steer clear of strangers who appear to be up to no good. Remember, we should be practicing social distancing, so don’t feel guilty for crossing the road when you see people coming your way!

5. Plan your route before you go out, ensure that you stick to well-lit areas, and avoid short cuts through deserted parks and other areas. Although we are now allowed to exercise during any time of day, try to go when the sun is still out and remember that as Winter approaches it will begin to get darker much earlier in the day.

6. Although you are not allowed to exercise in groups, this doesn’t mean you have to venture out entirely alone. Go for your daily run or walk with another member of your household, but ensure that you maintain the recommended social distance of 1.5m. If you must venture out alone, inform a loved one of the route you will be taking and when to expect you back.

7. Carry only what you would need in an emergency and keep any valuables out of sight. Walking around on your cellphone and carrying your wallet in your back pocket make you an easy target for muggers. If you are carrying a bag, wear it diagonally across your body rather than on one shoulder as this makes it easier for muggers to snatch the bag and run.

The initial stages of lockdown may have seen a decrease in crime across the board, but as we “level up” and regulations ease up we can expect the same stats to climb again and possibly skyrocket in a post-lockdown South Africa. Remember to always be vigilant, practice caution, and keep yourself and your loved ones informed on the latest measures to stay safe as we resurface from staying home.

Article compliments of Blue Securty