How to avoid underinsuring you household contents.

Home contents insurance is designed to cover the cost of replacing or repairing damaged household items. What should you consider when signing up for a home insurance policy?

July 18, 2019 – Pretoria Moot Rekord  

On a scale of one-to-ten, how comfortable are you with your current home insurance policy? Think about that for a second…

Home may be where the heart is, but it is also where you keep your belongings and some of your prized possessions. It is for this reason that you should choose the right home insurance.

You probably don’t want to even think about it, but can you imagine a night out without your favourite jewels? Or a night in without a TV to binge on your favourite series?

What does home contents insurance cover?

Household contents insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing damaged household items such as furniture, appliances and jewellery. It is always advisable to insure your possessions for their total replacement value – the cost of replacing lost or damaged items for new ones.

What does being under insured mean?

If you are only insured for an amount that is less than the replacement value, then you are underinsured. This means that in the event of a claim you will only receive a portion of the cost of replacing the lost or damaged items. For example, if the actual value of your household contents is R500,000 and you have cover for R250,000 (50% of the value), then your insurance company will only cover up to 50% of your loss in the event of a valid claim.

Useful tips to avoid being underinsured.

  • Specify items at their full replacement value and not their current value. When making a claim, your insurer may ask you to prove ownership and value of the items that you claim for. It is, therefore, advisable to keep receipts to ensure that the correct value is quoted and can be replaced accordingly. For inherited items such as jewellery, watches and antiques – acquire the right value by getting an appraisal from a reputable source.
  • Create an accurate household contents inventory.Ensure you have the correct value of all your items. The best way to do this is to create an inventory of all of your household contents with the replacement value of the item. The total replacement value of this entire list is the insurable value. Send an email to charmaine@idrs.co.za and we’ll gladly send an inventory form.
  • Remember to inform your insurer if your address changes. A change of address may affect your premium. Also remember to let your insurer know if you intend to build or renovate your property or if you upgrade or downgrade your security.

Be careful not to undervalue or underinsure your contents. It can be tempting to do this in order to try to keep your premium down, but it can result in your insurance company paying less than the actual value of your goods when you have to claim.

Check your cover for other terms and conditions that may affect your claim, or speak to your insurance provider if you’re unsure. For sentimental reasons, there are some things that cannot be replaced – but having the right contents cover will lessen the pain and cost of replacing everything else.

Insurance can be tricky, and finding a reputable broker and insurance company to cover your valuables, is imperative. Choose a reputable Broker that will give you good advise and value for money and go the extra mile when you’re in need. Apply for an insurance quote today and see how to save.  Contact I&DRS 011 484 9401 or charmaine@idrs.co.za

Can a Home Owners’ Association impose speeding limits & fines

Article courtesy : Write Rose-Innes News & Resources – 13 May 2019

“I live in a gated estate which is run as a Home Owners’ Association. The association has recently put up 40 km/h speed warnings and has informed the homeowners that speeding fines will be imposed for transgressions of the speed limit. I find this quite ridiculous particularly as the general speed limit is 60 km/h. Can they do this?”
Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs) are generally quite similiar to sectional title schemes, with residents in a community often joining together to help maintain infrastructure and the safety and security of those living within the community.

HOAs also formulate their own rules and regulations which apply to the homeowners living in the HOA. When living in a HOA the rules and regulations apply to homeowners and can include aspects such as speed restrictions and penalties which may be more restrictive than that of a normal public road.

In the recent Supreme Court of Appeal case of Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate Management Association II (RF) NPC v Singh & others, the court had to consider whether roads within a private housing estate were ‘public roads’ as defined in the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 and whether conduct rules ordaining a speed limit of 40 km/h within the estate, were unlawful. The KwaZulu-Natal High Court (Pietermaritzburg) held that the roads in this particular HOA estate were ‘public roads’ and were subject to the National Road Traffic Act and that the HOA was usurping the role of the Transport MEC and local municipality by drawing up their own rules and imposing fines for contravening them.

On appeal however, the Supreme Court of Appeal, after considering the definition of ‘public road’ and applying it to the present case, stated that an estate is essentially a private township. In terms of the township approval the owner had to construct all the roads in the township to the satisfaction of the local authority. At the inception of the estate, the roads within the estate were private roads. That never changed and the roads did not thereafter acquire the character of public roads.

The court continued that when the respondents chose to purchase property within the estate and become members of the HOA, they agreed to be bound by its rules. The relationship between the HOA and the respondents is thus contractual in nature. The conduct rules, and the restrictions imposed by them, are private ones, entered into voluntarily when an owner elects to buy property within the estate. By agreement, the owners of property within the estate acknowledge that they and their invitees are only entitled to use the roads laid out within the estate subject to the conduct rules.

Fines could therefore be imposed on those who fail to adhere to the rules of these private roads in the HOA, thereby confirming that private gated estates are entitled to draw up their own rules, including setting speed limits on internal roads and imposing ‘fines’ for exceeding them.

Of course HOA can’t just do what they want and have to follow the correct procedures for establishing rules and regulations. But if correctly done, they can adopt rules which impose speed restrictions and penalties on homeowners for transgressions.

Contact I&DRS for your Home Owners Association , Forum and Bodycorporate Insurance including Directors & Officers Liability.
charmaine@idrs.co.za
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Casino Operator Wants Zurich Insurance to Pay for Legal Costs

Mandalay Bay , Las Vegas

Article : finews.com 26 June 2019

Two years after a gunman caused carnage among visitors of a music festival in Las Vegas, the hotel owner, faced with thousands of claims from victims, is demanding that Zurich Insurance pays for its legal bill.

In October 2017, an assassin started firing at the festival visitors from the 32ndfloor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. His indiscriminate act of violence caused the deaths of 58 people and injured 850 others.

The victims claim that MGM Resorts, the management of Mandalay Bay, didn’t do enough to prevent such an act of violence, because the shooter had managed to smuggle weapons and ammunition into his hotel room.

Disagreement Over Coverage

The company has received claims for compensation from 4’000 people, according to a report by «Las Vegas Review-Journal». MGM Resorts denies liability and is fighting the claims.

The company also assumed that it had insurance coverage for such legal cases, the newspaper said. It says that the U.S. unit of Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance ought to pay for its legal bill and that it would only be responsible for paying an eventual compensation.

Zurich Insurance disagrees with this assessment, leaving MGM Resorts to foot the bill which will reach millions of U.S. dollars, according to the report. The Swiss firm declined to comment when approached by finews.com.

Get you Geyser in Gear for Winter.

We all have at least one of these in common, but even so, how many of us really know the current state of our geyser at home, or even at work? An unexpected geyser burst could take your finances down with it, unless you are prepared.

As winter quickly approaches, there couldn’t be a worse time to risk having no hot water, let alone ignore the potential outpouring of funds that could be needed to fix a bad geyser situation. As hidden as your geyser may be in your roof, or tucked away in a cupboard, certain terms and conditions needn’t be far from sight to stay on the right side of your short-term insurance. But without adequate cover, you could be at serious risk.

Get clear on your cover

Your short-term insurance policy is there to help, but only if you manage it correctly. Don’t just assume that simply having cover is enough. It’s a must to work within the rules around maintaining your geyser to keep things warm and adequately insured throughout winter – and always.

Don’t bank on bursts

Some temperature problems and geyser bursts are the only issues likely to be covered by your insurer, but if your geyser is still under warranty, the geyser manufacturer will become involved.  There can be delays, so working with an insurer who has a 24-hour assist service can be the best bet you’ll make. If a claim is repudiated, the cost of replacing a geyser yourself could be dire.

Don’t rely on your bond insurance

You might think if you’re paying off your property, everything – including your geyser- will be automatically covered by the built-in insurance that comes with having a bonded asset. This may be true for some, but it might only factor in how much you still owe on the property and can result in even more steps needed by you to progress an insurance claim.

This is among the reasons why working with an insurance adviser can really help, as they will follow up as needed on your behalf. Advisers can also play an important role in directing clients to insurer-approved service providers. This is particularly useful as it can be difficult to get a recommendation for a trusted tradesman.

How to spot issues before they happen

While a geyser bursting isn’t necessarily as violent or destructive as it sounds and you can often continue using it after a burst, it is better to avoid this and replace yours ASAP, especially to stay consistently covered by insurance.

If you notice that more than one pipe is dripping from your geyser outlet (as the overflow pipe is likely to drip normally), you need to notify your adviser or insurer immediately. This could be a sign that a burst has happened, but only a qualified plumber – as registered on the Plumbing Industry Registration Board – will be able to assist you, particularly to stay covered by insurance.

Professional plumbing is the only option

There are a number of SANS codes that apply, and a Certificate of Compliance is required on the installation of a geyser. Essentials like these are only known by a qualified plumber, who will issue the certificate to you, having acted in accordance with the law. If you’re in an older property, your geyser’s drip tray might not be up to scratch, so get a qualified plumber out to check that too.   Also note issues in water temperature, colour or pressure when using hot water outlets around your property to stay ahead of any maintenance issues early.

Go beyond the geyser

Should water leaks become a reality, they can lead to awful results beyond expectations. Imagine if a ceiling above a cupboard becomes damaged, for example. Risks like these make it a necessity to include the full picture in your policy. Account for what it would cost to replace the structure itself to everything inside your property. Yes, everything.

That replacement cost – in today’s value – needs to be considered. Your building sum insured should also consider costs of demolition, alternative housing and delays in rebuilding. Being prepared is so important and an adviser can help guide you through the entire process.

Keep the heat on

Get ahead of unnecessary regret and deal with any issues before they happen. This removes risks of unpleasant and unexpected problems – big or small. Start by checking your geyser outlet this weekend and touching base with your adviser. You never know what is coming next but being prepared today, will mean one less worry tomorrow. Ignorance is most certainly not bliss when it comes to your geyser.

[ Article by Bertus Visser, CE of Distribution at PSG Insure]

How to protect you business from theft – Internal Staff and External Perpetrator

 www.fanews.co.za  16 May 2019 Dean Delport, Senior Property Underwriter at Santam 

In February this year, a Standard Bank employee stole a million from the bank through a card clone scam, and MTN asked a former employee to pay back the R53-million (plus interest) she stole over a seven year period. Santam claim statistics show that fidelity insurance – internal theft of assets like money by an employee – is on the up, while external theft by criminals seems to have been relatively static over the last five years.

Due to diligent partnerships between insurers and businesses to proactively improve security, losses by theft have been well managed, but still range anywhere between R70- and R100-million in any given year. Fidelity insurance is on an upward surge, with claims varying from R3.5-million to R15-million.

With external and internal theft threatening companies, owners need to be extra vigilant and ensure their insurance is adequate and up-to-date. These two kinds of theft are not exactly the same in nature and require slightly different insurance approaches that aim to protect the business in similar ways.

Theft insurance

Theft insurance deals with theft, not by employees of the business, but by external parties. Due to the high levels of crime in South Africa, the majority of businesses have taken positive steps in protecting their assets by introducing risk reducing measures. These measures may include:

  •    Security alarm systems, with 24-hour monitoring and response;
    • Camera systems for surveillance;
    • Security guards on the premises;
    • Security gates, fences and window grills;
    • A combination of all the above mentioned;

Insurers often assist businesses in identifying risk areas and proposing minimum risk reduction requirements, which are aimed at reducing the risk of loss by theft or attempted theft. While these measures do not always guarantee that a theft will not occur, they usually mitigate the severity of such losses.

The type of business and the commodities contained at the premises often dictate the likelihood of theft or attempted theft. Attractive goods that are easier to sell are often targeted and so these goods need to be well protected. Examples include items like computers, laptops, cell phones, jewellery and cameras. In more organised crime, involving syndicates, the items could range from motor vehicles, machinery, equipment and any other items specifically required by such syndicates. It’s highly advisable for businesses to conduct frequent audits to make sure all items are accounted for – especially connected devices which hackers could potentially target to obtain sensitive business information. This is a big consideration as cybercrime increases.

Theft insurance also provides very limited cover for the personal property of employees – clothing or items they bring to work every day. Theft of intellectual property is not a feature of theft insurance and is a specialist field of insurance offered by, for example Lloyds.

Crime remains a constant threat to any business and criminals keep abreast of security improvements, which means that risk management concepts need regular revision to ensure they remain relevant.

Fidelity insurance

Unlike theft insurance, Fidelity insurance is concerned with theft of business assets by employees of the business. Such assets can be in the form of money, financial transactions or stock of the business.

The internal controls of the business are important, since the risk of loss by theft can be more complicated to identify, so it can take longer to realise theft has occurred. Employees of the business must be properly checked in terms of:

  • Past criminal records;
    • Employment references from previous companies;
    • ITC verification;
    • Qualifications being legitimate and relevant;

Internal controls must ensure that authorisation levels are in place, so that an employee does not have sole authority on large transactions. Audits may assist the business to establish problem areas or aspects of processes that have inherent weaknesses – and proactively improve these. Employees who plan to steal from the business will spot the weaknesses and exploit these, so businesses need to be vigilant.

Over the last five years, the levels of crime by employees has fluctuated, but the trend reflects an upward movement. Going forwards, businesses need to be more cautious than ever before and to utilise all means of protection at their disposal – including adequate insurance cover and security advice from insurers.

Contact : I&DRS for a Fidelity aka Commercial Crime Quotation for your business :charmaine@idrs.co.za

I&DRS is an approved Santam Broker

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

What impact does your credit score have on your insurance?

When you purchase insurance, insurers use a credit-based insurance score to determine your risk category.

 What is a credit-based insurance score?

Credit-based insurance scores are attained from a customer’s financial credit history.

A good credit score is an indication of how well a consumer manages his/her finances and whether someone is more likely to file an insurance claim, says Marius Neethling, personal lines underwriting manager at Santam.

Credit-based insurance scores are not intended to measure creditworthiness, but rather to predict risk, he says.

Insurance scores are generally applied in personal insurance product lines, such as homeowners and vehicle insurance.

How does it affect your insurance premiums?

Credit-based insurance scores are used for underwriting decisions and to partially determine charges for premiums.

Credit-based insurance scoring models are built to predict the likely “loss relativity” of a customer.

Loss relativity measures whether the cost of the customer’s insurance claims – relative to their premiums – will be higher or lower than average.

Policyholders need to know what factors influence their credit-based insurance score to make sure it is most favourable when it comes to determining insurance premiums, says Christelle Colman, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure.

Favourable factors include a long-established credit history, no late payments or past-due accounts, and open accounts in good standing.

On the other hand, unfavourable factors include past-due payments, accounts in collection, a high amount of debt, a short credit history, and a high number of credit inquiries.

Take vehicle insurance for example, if you have a high credit-based insurance score, an excellent driving history, and zero claims on record, you will typically qualify for the best possible insurance rates, says Colman.

However, if you have an excellent insurance score but a less-than-stellar driving history, you might be considered riskier to insure and as a result pay a higher insurance premium.

How different is it from the traditional credit score?

A traditional (financial) credit score is designed to assess how much of a risk a customer is as a borrower, whereas credit-based insurance score is built to predict the ‘’loss relativity’’ of a customer.

Credit-based insurance and a normal credit score use the same inputs but involve different mathematical equations, says Neethling.

The same information that appears on your credit report will appear on your credit-based insurance score, but the information is weighed or scored differently.

This article has been prepared for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice. The publication, journalist, and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way. Readers are advised to seek legal, financial, or medical advice where appropriate

Is your business insured against riots?

Given the increasing incidences of protest actions ahead of the national elections in May, SMEs should ensure they are adequately insured against riots, strikes or protest actions.

The South African Special Risk Insurance Association (Sasria), a short-term insurer that provides special risk cover to consumers and businesses, reported that losses resulting from service delivery protests amounted close to R1 billion between April 2018 and January this year.

Malesela Maupa, Head of Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says this provides a compelling reason for SMEs operating in South Africa to ensure that they are covered against civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and various acts of terrorism through Sasria.

He unpacks key questions SMEs often ask about Sasria cover:

  • Is Sasria cover compulsory – SASRIA cover is not compulsory, SMEs can opt out of Sasria. However, it is highly recommended for all businesses given the increasing rate of civil unrest in the country. Sasria cover is often automatically included as part of a business short-term insurance policy. However, some insurers offer it as optional cover.
  • How much do premium costs – premiums are very affordable and cover is easily accessible to consumers or by every business no matter the level of turnover. The premiums are charged at marginal standard rates across the various classes of cover irrespective of geographical area, industry or sector.
  • What is the maximum cover amount – all businesses are covered for R500 million in the annual aggregate during any period of insurance cover. An additional cover for R1 billion is available upon request at an additional premium, for large corporates.
  • What is covered in the policy and are there any exclusions – only incidents or risks that are related to riots, strikes, public unrest or protest actions are covered by Sasria. There are certain exclusions for risks resulting from acts of terrorism that involve, nuclear weapons, chemical or biological agents.
  • How do you claim from Sasria – the claim has to be reported to your insurer or broker and then escalated to Sasria. Following that process, the business would then communicate directly with Sasria in terms of appointing assessors and settlement of the claim.
  • Do I need to pay an excess – no excess is payable on all valid Sasria material damage claims except for plant risks where the insured will be responsible for the first R1 000 for each and every plant claim.

“Material damage and looting related risks resulting from service delivery protests could significantly set back a business that is not adequately insured. SMEs are, therefore, advised to thoroughly review their insurance policies to ensure that their policies include Sasria cover,” concludes Maupa.

Contact us at I&DRS to arrange your SASRIA insurance.

charmaine@idrs.co.za

Driving Safety Tips this Easter

Discovery Insure 11/04/2019

Are you and your family planning to drive to a holiday get-together this year? Whether you’re heading to

Coast to soak up the last summer sun or a favorite vacation spot to celebrate holidays with family or friends,

Discovery Insure want to help you get there safely! To help you achieve this we have put together some tips to help you.

For a Discovery Insure quote , contact I&DRS  at our offices 011 484 9401

South Africa launches new drunk driving system ahead of Easter – here’s what you need to know

8 April 2019

 

The minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, launched the 2019 Easter road safety campaign on Monday (8 April) at an event in KwaZulu-Natal.

As part of the launch, Nzimande demonstrated the new Evidential Breathalyser Alcohol Test (EBAT) system which will begin being implemented on the country’s roads.

First launched by the Western Cape in 2016, the system aims to combat drunk driving by providing immediate, accurate information on a driver’s intoxication level.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Department of Transport spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said that the new system is a keystone of the Easter campaign with mobile EBAT offices being rolled out from now until the end of October.

Mnisi said that the department already had four centres in place – including one in KZN and the Western Cape, and two in Gauteng – with plans to open one in every province going forward.

How it works

Because the results of an EBAT test are instant the case can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

According to the Western Cape Government, this is a vast improvement over the older blood tests system which could lead to motorists being detained overnight or until the end of the weekend and can spend months facing legal uncertainty as they waited for the results.

Missing and incorrect results were also relatively common under the previous system.

Because the results of an EBAT test are instant the case can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently. Below is a brief outline of how it works:

  • The EBAT system uses a machine that can read the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath;
  • When tested, two breath samples must be taken. If the lower of the two EBAT test results is not less than 0,24 mg of alcohol per 1,000 ml of breath, the driver will be charged;
  • The instrument will be fitted with a temperature sensor in the hose to regulate the exhaling breath of the subject.;
  • It is called “evidentiary” as the reading can be produced as evidence to prosecute people accused of drinking and driving. The results are immediate;
  • This machine, the people who operate it, and the location it operates in, must all pass a very specific and demanding set of tests in order to be used to prosecute suspects.

 

Stricter rules coming 

As part of his Easter road campaign, Nzimande made it clear that his department would be coming down hard on drunk driving in South Africa, with plans to make it a ‘serious offence’.

Mnisi said that this would include a push to have drunk driving rescheduled from a schedule 3 to a schedule 5 offence.

This would place drunk driving in the same ‘category’ of crimes as rape and murder.

“If you have killed someone while drunk driving you will be charged criminally and not just civilly,” Mnisi said.

“This means that you will face jail time of no less than 15 years.

Speaking to BusinessTech in March, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said that it would also push for arrested drivers to spend at least seven days behind bars before they can be considered for bail.

Worn tyres may lead to a rejected claim

Article : IOL 28/3/19

Tyres are vital to the safety of the driver, passengers as well as other road users. Therefore being tyre-savvy is important; that means understanding how to choose the right tyres, how to care for them properly and when to replace them.

There is a particular temptation to continue using worn tyres just a little bit longer. After all, a few extra kilometres won’t really matter, will they? That’s short-term thinking. When it comes to tyres, it’s far better to take the long view and consider all the factors.

One should also bear in mind that worn tyres would likely invalidate any insurance claim—insurers (quite understandably) stipulate that insured vehicles should be roadworthy.

Even more important is the safety question. Remember that worn tyres are unsafe and could actually cause a serious accident as these tyres puncture more easily or could burst while you are driving. Insufficient tread also means that braking and road-holding performance are greatly impaired, thus increasing the chance of accidents. This is true for all road conditions, but the danger is particularly heightened in wet conditions as worn tyres will not displace water and will thus tend to aquaplane.

The first step to becoming tyre-wise is to check tyres regularly. Make it a habit to check your tyre pressure weekly, and at the same time inspect for wear and tear. Find out how to read the tread wear indicator. If the tread is too shallow or any other signs exist that the tyres are not in tip-top condition, they should be replaced after consultation with a reputable tyre dealer.

Never forget that tyres provide the small, vital surface where the rubber, quite literally, meets the road. Your tyres are your passport to safe driving and high performance—it makes every kind of sense to care for your tyres, and to replace them when they are no longer fit for purpose.

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