Safire Insurance Newsletter 2014


January 2015
Christmas spending
Christmas trading for SA's retailers proved fair to middling according to statistics. Portfolio manager at Momentum Wayne McCurrie says the festive season updates of retailers in SA were ‘reasonable’. Even top-notch store Woolworths took a knock this festive season, with food and clothing sales growing at a slower pace on a like-for-like stores basis in the 26 weeks to 28 December compared with a year ago. However, its performance was boosted by Woollies’ R23.3bn takeover of Australian retailers David Jones and Country Road, and with upper-income spending in better shape, analysts expect the group to be resilient as its supermarket strategy continues to see it taking market share from Pick n Pay.
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Global trends 2015
According to Euromonitor International's 'Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2015' report, consumers are increasingly maximising their time and money with products and services that serve multiple needs. For example, a Swedish taxi company is now offering in-car therapists for stressed and busy clients! "Post-recessionary consumers are prepared to pay for products that simplify their hectic on-the-go lives," says report author and Company Consumer Trends Consultant, Daphne Kasriel-Alexander. Apparently, this year will see a rise in collaborative consumption and a culture of sharing products and services. "The sharing economy is growing and disrupting the way in which individuals think of space and ownership. Consumers are increasingly preoccupied with access to goods rather than owning them outright." ......
To read more…
Worst fires in years
The Western Cape is suffering from the worst fire season in seven years, with human negligence often the cause of the blazes that have increased from 3456 in 2013-2014 to 7949 so far during this fire season (December to April). Firefighters are bracing themselves for the weeks to come as February is traditionally a windier and therefore more risky month for fires. Working on Fire (WoF), an integrated fire management initiative, comments that 99% of all fires are caused by human negligence, and the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre agrees, saying that fires are most often caused by electrical faults or carelessness, with cigarettes, matches, candles, heating appliances and open braais main causes if not carefully monitored....
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Safire helps out
When Safire became aware that the Salvation Army’s Joseph Baynes Children’s Home in Pietermaritzburg was appealing for donations for school bags for scholars, we were glad to help, not only providing the bags but also including a small treat inside to sweeten the children’s first day at school. In addition, Safire was told about a newly enrolled scholar who desperately needed school uniforms for her new school. We kitted out this young lady (who has experienced serious trauma in her life) with a new uniform and hope that this will be a good start to a new and positive future for her.

Safire and MyRiver
Safire and MyRiver have once again partnered in helping to monitor the Umsunduzi River for the Dusi Canoe Marathon which takes place on 19 February this year. The website offers race participants useful insights via photographic diagrams, video footage and other data about the course of this and other rivers and leading canoe events. Hints and tips on the website may inspire paddlers – as well as offering info about how to survive this daunting race and others! Safire is sponsoring two of the major rapids along the Duzi River (by sponsoring their website pages) and two of Safire’s management team will be taking part in the challenge: CEO Pierre Bekker and Marketing Manager Anton Rohrs. Have a look at the MyRiver website here...

Midmar Mile 2015

The aQuelle Midmar Mile 2015 takes place on 7 and 8 February. One determined competitor will be Sebastian Crawford, who was born with cerebral palsy. Crawford will again be spearheading The Extra Mile initiative’s fundraising drive at the world’s largest open water swimming event. Last year he won event one, for swimmers with disabilities, and he is targeting at least a top three finish this year, aiming to encourage people to donate to The Extra Mile, a charity assisting people with disabilities in KZN. Over the last two years fundraising has resulted in 23 wheelchairs and a two-year position for a physiotherapy assistant serving those with disabilities in Marianhill near Durban. The Extra Mile’s focus this year is access to education for children with disabilities, to help them to be able to go to school.

Why claims are rejected #9

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 in our series of why claims might be rejected is when a vehicle inspection is not carried out. Some insurers insist on inspecting the insured vehicle at inception of the policy so that there can be no disputes about pre-existing damage to the vehicle. If you neglect to comply, you will be in breach of your contract and may have your claim rejected. This requirement is not relevant when insuring with Safire.

Be skin safe
A better year

After long hot days in the summer sun, many South Africans might have put themselves at risk of skin cancer through excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) rays – the main cause of skin cancer, which is the most common cancer affecting South Africans. Melanoma, the most dangerous form of this cancer, affects one in every 221 men and one in 328 women, according to the latest National Cancer Registry.

Effective early warning systems and faster responses to natural disasters meant that fewer people were killed in natural disasters last year, with the top three perils for the year listed as flood, tropical cyclone and severe weather. Fewer catastrophic events saw a drop in global economic losses for insurers to around $39 billion last year, the lowest in five years and 38% lower than the ten year average of $63 billion.

Titan is the world’s fastest supercomputer. Located at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, it’s the size of a basketball court. It can make 27 quadrillion calculations per second - incredibly complex simulations of real-world things, such as analysing weather patterns or predicting new chemical combinations in drugs. The U.S. has been a leader in supercomputing for decades but maintaining its title is pricy: Summit, Oak Ridge’s next computer, could cost up to $280 million.

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Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
• 94% of banking in South Africa is represented by the six largest banks which some pundits believe are too big to fail. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) however wants the banks to introduce deposit insurance as a safety net for customers should their bank fail.

• $98,853 – what Air Asia victims’ families will each receive from the airline’s insurers after the recent plane crash in Indonesia.

• $25 million – what one company will pay out in drought insurance across the stricken Sahel region that includes parts of Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

• 204.7 billion Yuan – the profit recorded by China’s insurance industry last year, more than double the amount of the previous year.

• 1 million steps – what it takes employees of BP America to save $1000 each year in insurance by allowing the company to track their fitness and movement through FitBit trackers.

• 33 000 feet – the height at which Flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine was flying. A new warning system proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will share information on conflict zones with airlines.

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