Safire Insurance Newsletter 2015


April 2016
Fire season 2016
Simon Thomas, Operations Manager for the KwaZulu-Natal Fire Protection Association (Firestop), warns, “The 2016 fire season promises to be one of extremes, mainly due to the ongoing drought caused by one of the strongest El Nino events in many years being experienced over large areas of KZN. Conditions in Zululand and northern areas of KZN are probably the worst, and there has been concern raised as to whether there is going to be enough water available to fight fires. KZN FPA, together with our affiliated KZN FPAs, of which there are now 23 covering approximately 65% of the province, have been actively engaging with members to be extremely cautious as we build up to the start of the winter period and have encouraged everyone to start fire season preparations sooner rather than later. Most of the aerial resources in the province will be online from 1st June. However, this could change depending on conditions.” Please note the KZNFPA hotline number: 0861 KZNFPA (596 372).
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Dealing with the water crisis
According to the Water Efficiency Report released by Action Aid South Africa, big business should be taking the lead in helping to deal with the country’s water crisis. Because of the threat that water scarcity problems pose to SA’s social and economic stability, it urges industry to become involved, at least as much as government, in addressing the issue. It suggests that water innovation ideas could be encouraged, much as the renewable energy industry has burgeoned. Part of our problem lies with excessive consumption: South Africans use 235 litres of water per day, while an average world citizen uses 173 litres of water daily. If municipalities could reduce the per capita consumption to the world average, the demand-supply gap would be reduced by almost half, according to the report.
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Safire Insurance King of the Seas
Safire is excited to be title sponsor for this year’s King of the Seas Classic. This popular fishing competition sees over 170 competitors in various categories (kayak, jet ski and ski boat) striving to win a share of prizes worth over R400 000. Hosted by the Pumula Beach Hotel on the KZN South Coast on the weekend of 20-22 May, this family event includes kids and moms in various fun activities. Anton Rohrs, Safire Marketing Manager, says, “Safire regularly sponsors outdoor events that are high action, highly entertaining, and have a family focus. As key sponsors of the Safire Insurance King of the Seas Classic 2016, we are able to connect with typical Safire clientele: people who enjoy an action-packed lifestyle responsibly”. Look out for news about the Safire Insurance King of the Seas on East Coast Radio, Wild Africa TV and other media.
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Navigation for self-driving vehicles
Mapping technology is one of the main technical hurdles facing autonomous cars, according to Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault SA. Unlike traditional maps, which rely on a pre-installed database, maps for autonomous driving require real-time updates including details of traffic conditions and precise road information such as closures and new signs. Zenrin, Japan’s biggest map-maker, intends using its knowledge of Japan’s topography to create a system that translates data gathered from vehicles mounted with cameras and other equipment in real time. Such efforts are being stepped up as automakers work on making self-driving cars a reality. Japanese automakers including Nissan and Toyota aim to introduce driverless cars after 2020. As many as 12 million autonomous cars are forecast to be sold globally in 2035, accounting for about 10% of total car sales, according to IHS Automotive.
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Baynesfield approaches!
It might entail an early start in the chilly winter weather but the Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic increases in popularity year by year. Hundreds of riders, both professionals and families looking for a fun outing in the country, will line up on Sunday 12 June at the Baynesfield Estate near Pietermaritzburg. Race organisers have implemented various route improvements to add to the quality of the rides, which again include 10/20/45 and 65 kilometre routes through the scenic countryside. “We are enthusiastic sponsors of this event that has become a highlight of the MTB calendar,” says Safire Financial Director Sean Stanton, who will be riding on the day. “It’s a way of developing and investing in our MTB riders of tomorrow and encouraging families to enjoy an outdoor sport together. We are also proud to have pioneered the awarding of equal prize money for male and female riders who are first across the line.” For details, contact Sean at Safire on or 033 264-8500.
Government cyber-security rethink
Hacking of local government websites, including those of the Department of Water Affairs and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), has prompted the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) to move them to secure web servers. The organisation plans to establish two additional data recovery sites as part of its strategic objectives for the 2016/17 annual targets. Sita’s infrastructure capital expenditure for data centre modernisation is R5.4m and it will spend an additional R181.3m on data centres in the current year. However, education of staff is critical to ensure that computer systems retain integrity. The Department of Home Affairs is rolling out its smart ID in conjunction with major banks and apparently Sita will play a role in trying to limit ID theft. In its presentation to the parliamentary portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services, Sita said that IT is an effective weapon against fraud.
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Automated German accident reporting
This month, German insurers launched an automated accident reporting service. Motor insurers can equip policyholders with a device that uses speed sensors to detect a crash. It communicates with a mobile app on the driver’s smartphone, which reports the accident and the car’s position to a call centre via what is called the Trusted German Insurance Cloud (TGIC). The system then triggers a phone call so that the driver can share their condition with emergency responders. If the driver is unconscious or doesn’t answer, emergency personnel will drive to the location of the vehicle. Drivers will also be able to use the system to call for assistance during a breakdown. The new service is part of the lead up to eCall – an initiative by the European Commission to send emergency assistance to drivers involved in an accident anywhere in the EU. The driver simply plugs a small device into a socket on the car like any other USB-charger (in fact it serves as one). Read more…
A dog’s life
Pizza on the go
Flag etiquette

A study in the UK conducted amongst 1500 adult pet-owners found that dog owners are generally happier, more sociable and earn higher salaries than cat owners. Apparently dog owners are more likely to have paid off their mortgages and are inclined to describe their jobs as “stressful”, while cat owners profess to prefer a simpler way of life and enjoy their own company. More cat owners live with their parents than dog owners, and they are less likely to be married.

Fast-food fans in New Zealand soon face the prospect of having robot-delivered pizzas. International food giant Domino’s is set to trial four-wheeled battery-powered units that contain heated compartments that can hold up to 10 pizzas. The robotic units, which are about one metre in height, use onboard sensors to avoid obstacles and can work within a 20km radius of an outlet before needing to recharge. Customers are given a code to enter on a keypad to unlock their pizza’s compartment.

There are rules about how the South African flag may be displayed and used. It should always be treated respectfully and can never be used lightly as, for example, a tablecloth, or be dragged on the ground or used “disrespectfully” for commercial purposes and advertisements. It should never be used in a ceremony to reveal a plaque or statue. When a flag is no longer fit for public use, it should be burned rather than disposed of in any other way.

Land of quakes

Japan experienced a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on the night of 14 April, resulting in tens of thousands having to be evacuated. About 1000 people were injured but fatalities were surprisingly low, at about ten people. Miraculous rescue stories include an eight-month-old baby who was carried unharmed from a collapsed house after a 6-hour rescue mission. According to Earthquake Track, Japan has experienced 800 quakes in the past year and more than 82 in the past month.. To view ...

Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
• $600 million - credit from multilateral lenders that the Ecuadorian government activated in the wake of a devastating earthquake that killed over 400 people. It might not be enough. When an earthquake struck Chile in 2010, it caused an estimated $30 billion in damage, and the economy of Ecuador is less equipped than Chile to deal with a similar economic impact.

• R300 302 848.58 - cost of damage caused by the 2015/16 #FeesMustFall protests.

• 35 million - estimated volume of data sent to vehicle recovery company Tracker’s computers every day. Aside from sharing information with Satnav companies like TomTom and Garmin, it is predicted that telematics will soon share a lot more information as we drive with urban planners, marketers, advertisers, insurance companies and financial institutions.

• 100-600% - amount of increases for insurance cover in volatile markets as more and more companies have to consider terrorism insurance.

• $1,12 billion - maximum amount of claims resulting from the recent Belgium terror attacks to be covered by the Terrorism Reinsurance & Insurance Pool, an eight-year-old insurance fund created by the Belgian state and insurance companies.

• 56% - percentage of people surveyed in a British insurance report who want to see their insurance companies using technology beyond digital communication channels, with options including connected cars, health monitors and the gamification of lowering their premiums.

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