Safire Insurance Newsletter 2015


January 2016
Goodbye to 2015
Seldom has a year’s end been met with such relief, or so it seems. Last year was a downward rollercoaster ride of load-shedding, political mayhem, sporting disappointments (don’t mention the Rugby World Cup please), the crash of the Rand after the Nene goes on and on. Although Intellidex chairman Stuart Theobald says it’s not all gloom and doom as far as investor confidence is concerned: “To some extent the disruptions reflect some health in our democracy, because there is genuine political contestation. If everyone agreed calmly about the direction we are going, that would be a bigger worry” he says. Have a look at some of the reasons why we are relieved to say Happy New Year this January!
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Dakar success for SA
The Dakar Rally is one of the world’s most challenging motorsport events, encompassing motorbikes, quad bikes, trucks and cars. Entrants take on some of the most extreme terrain and weather across several countries in South America (the rally was moved from Africa eight years ago due to security concerns). South Africa can hold its head high this year, with three vehicles in the top 11 and a quad rider also on the podium. Giniel de Villiers and his German navigator made it to 3rd place, while Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie were in 5th place and Yazeed Rajhi and navigator Timo Gottschalk (seen here) came in 11th. All were driving Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux vehicles, designed and built at the Toyota Motorsport facility near Kyalami. Local rider Brian Baragwanath was placed third in the quad category.
To read more…
Safire-Berg 100
The Safire-Berg 100 MTB race is now in its 5th year. It has become a highlight of the local MTB calendar and is celebrated as one of the toughest events too. This year’s race takes place on Saturday 19 March, leaving from Nottingham Road and winding through the picturesque countryside, with long climbs and thankfully equally long descents, before riders reach the finish line in Himeville. Every year the direction of the race alternates between these two Midlands villages. Taking place mainly on district roads, average speeds are generally higher, allowing for a faster finishing time. Want to test your mettle with a long ride before taking on the Sani2C? Feeling up to the ultimate MTB challenge?
Read more and enter here…

Water price hike
South Africa is one of the world’s 30 driest countries, with an average rainfall about 40% less than the annual world average. Proposed revisions to our water pricing strategy are diverse and complex - essentially, water will become significantly more expensive. This could be disastrous for already overburdened consumers but the drought has shown that the country’s water supply issue has to be addressed – and soon. However, the country’s food security could be jeopardised if farmers, for example, are forced to pay for their usage in full. Currently, the irrigation sector alone receives a subsidy of almost R1.5 billion while the agricultural sector is subsidised by around R300 million annually. The new dispensation plans to remove these subsidies in phases.
To read more…
Drought versus ice age
The countrywide drought is the worst in 50 years, with 2015 the driest year in a century. The Western Cape is suffering from another disastrous fire season, food prices look set to soar and fire warnings are being emphasised as if it was the peak of winter, with the threat of runaway fires contrasting with damaging hail storms. While the drought is almost certainly a result of natural events such as El Nino combined with global warming caused by human fossil fuel emissions, perhaps there is a reason to be thankful for the hotter temperatures. Scientists speculate that global warming might have postponed the arrival of an ice age by 100 000 years.
To read more…
Catastrophe bonds
It seems as if every day there is news of a devastating natural disaster somewhere in the world being highlighted in the media: bush fires, mud slides, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods. Globally, reinsurers in some areas are reluctant to take on too much catastrophe risk and there is significant underinsurance of natural hazards. Almost 70 per cent of economic losses resulting from natural and man-made catastrophes are from those uninsured. Catastrophe bonds are an alternative and increasingly popular source of capital for those insurers looking to expand their coverage against catastrophes. In 2010 the size of global catastrophe bond issues was $ 2014 this figure had reached over $8bn.
To read more…
Sasria cover
State owned insurer Sasria states that it has received nearly 100 claims to the value of more than R22 million resulting solely from the #FeesMustFall campaign. Over half of the claims (57%) exceeded R20 000 in value, with 12% more than R350 000. "South Africa has a high level of exposure to special events such as protests and strikes," says Thokozile Ntshiqa, Executive Manager for Stakeholder Management at Sasria. This, she says, is why it is so important for individuals and businesses alike to ensure that they avoid gaps in their insurance cover and include special risk insurance on all property, vehicle and valuables insurance policies.
To read more…
Why claims are rejected #20

The rights of consumers are protected by the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance, who provides an independent, fair and cheap dispute-resolution service to those contesting decisions made by their insurance company. The latest reason why claims might be rejected is if a claim is found to be inflated/fraudulent. This is a major problem in the industry, according to the Ombudsman, who advises, “Don’t inflate your claims. Most policies carry a forfeiture clause, so if you are caught out, you may have to forfeit all benefits under the policy – in other words, the insurer is entitled to repudiate the entire claim.” It simply isn’t worth it.

New banking details
Reading road signs
Happy cows

Please note that Safire has new banking details with Nedbank. This information has been circulated to all clients who pay directly as well as our brokers who should have informed their Safire and Safire Crop clients. The change does not affect those who pay via debit order. Please contact Ingrid Landman should you not be sure of the relevant banking details.
To email Ingrid...

We pass them every time we travel on a main road or highway, but how many drivers actually understand the information that is shown on a road sign? When you know what it is that you are reading about, it can be very useful. Have a look at this example of a road sign and gain insight into what it all means.
View picture...

Milk production can be increased by treating cows kindly, a study by Newcastle University reveals. By naming a cow and treating her as an individual, farmers can increase their annual milk yield by almost 500 pints. The study suggests that the actual change is in how humans treat the cows rather than how the cows feel about being named.

To read more…
Alternative energy source

With Eskom costs spiraling and delivery of sustainable electricity supply continually in doubt after last year’s load-shedding, alternative energy sources are hot news. A Spanish company, Vortex Bladeless, has developed a bladeless wind turbine that oscillates rather than rotates to generate power. The simple design has few parts and costs 50% less than standard wind turbines. Commercial production is scheduled for mid-2017. Have a look...
To view ...

Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
• R1 billion – the value of South Africa’s crop insurance industry. With severe droughts and crop failures, many insurers are cutting cover for certain crops.

• R10 billion - approximately the amount paid out in social grants each month. Some insurers, taking advantage of a legal loophole by selling funeral insurance for children, now face a South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) moratorium regarding funeral policy deductions on child support grants.

• R306 billion – what road accidents are estimated to cost South Africa annually. Some analysts believe this figure is grossly miscalculated.

• 16% - increase in electricity costs if Eskom’s bid for higher tariffs is successful. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, there has been an outcry after a tariff increase of 49% was proposed.

• 47% - percentage of insurance customers who want more online interaction with their insurers according to an Accenture survey.

• -2.30% in the third quarter of last year - decrease in the country’s household saving rate from -2.20% in the second quarter of 2015. The signing into law of changes to the tax treatment of retirement funds designed to protect a large portion of retirement savings post-retirement has sparked an uproar from COSATU.

• 5.3% - downward trend of Twitter shares after the loss of four key figures from senior management. At least one of those executives was fired.

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