Safire Insurance Newsletter 2015


June 2016
Weak rand boosts tourism
The fall in the value of the rand, the relaxation of stringent visa regulations, and the elimination of the Ebola outbreak in western Africa have contributed to the strong resurgence in tourist numbers in the first quarter, said Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom in a briefing to Parliament’s tourism committee. Tourist arrivals in the first month of the year showed a spectacular 15% increase compared with the same period last year. China in particular had showed "incredible" growth in the last quarter of last year and in January. Travellers to South Africa experienced serious difficulties in obtaining and processing visas from the Department of Home Affairs after strict new measures were introduced.
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Tribute to Stuart McMurray
It is with sadness that we note the passing of Stuart McMurray, a long-standing Safire board member, after a short illness. A dedicated farmer, Stuart actively participated on many of the timber industry boards with the purpose of ensuring that all were looked after. Stuart was known as a man with a lively sense of humour who lived life to the fullest. He was a man of great character who will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
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Disputed car insurance claims
According to a recent report by the Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance, almost 50% of all complaints received in 2015 related to motor vehicle claims. There are five main reasons why motor claims could be refuted. Firstly, the insured is not aware of what is covered. Secondly, there is an element of “misinformation”: the onus is on the insured to be totally truthful. A third reason: perhaps a vehicle tracking/alarm system specified as a requirement for cover is removed/changed. Fourth: no maintenance plan. Standard motor vehicle insurance will not cover general maintenance issues such as worn brake pads, threadbare tyres, etc. Finally, driving when drunk or on performance-affecting drugs will result in automatic rejection of a claim.
Wintery winners!
The 2016 Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic took place at the scenic Baynesfield Estate south of Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 12 June, on a weekend when icy winter temperatures had most folk heading for the woolly clothing drawer. The intrepid riders took on the chilly air and tackled the rolling trails with options of 10/20/45 and 65km routes to suit riders of all ages and fitness levels. The winners were: Men: Derrin Smith (1st), Leeroy Emslie (2nd), Brandon Stewart (3rd) and Ladies: Frankie Du Toit (1st), Cindy Theunissen (2nd), Natalie Bergstrom (3rd). Safire Insurance CEO Pierre Bekker is seen here with the winning ladies, from left: Frankie Du Toit, Cindy Theunissen and Natalie Bergstrom and from left: Derrin Smith, Leeroy Emslie, Brandon Stewart.
Safire’s educational programme
Safire established its educational sponsorship programme in 2014, based on the concept of selecting one promising pupil a year from a disadvantaged background and providing them with an opportunity to attend a top primary school in KwaZulu-Natal. The pupils are chosen after a series of tests and interviews. Once enrolled at their new school, these pupils are mentored to develop their skills: academically, culturally, spiritually and on the sports field. Currently the Safire Insurance educational programme has three boys attending Cordwalles Preparatory School in Pietermaritzburg: Andisa Young (Grade 6), Kuhle Mthimkhulu (Grade 5) and Lubanzi Mlondo (Grade 4). “At Safire, we believe that education is the key to the future of our country, and by investing in the education of our youngsters, we can help to bring about a change in communities where children might not have as many opportunities as others,” says Safire CEO, Pierre Bekker. Seen here with Pierre Bekker are from left to right: Kuhle Mthimkhulu, Lubanzi Mlondo and Andisa Young.
Insurer backs down
Lion of Africa Life Assurance Company has ended a court bid aimed at protecting its right to make deductions from child welfare payments for funeral cover. “This is a great win, particularly for children on welfare who come from poor communities and poverty,” said Nomonde Nyembe, an advocate representing civil society group Black Sash Trust. The company’s withdrawal comes after South Africa’s government this month introduced new regulations, which prevent deductions from children’s grants. The state pays welfare to about 16.9 million people, who remain among South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens.
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45.8 million people enslaved globally
The latest report by the Global Slavery Index says that 28% more people across the world are trapped in modern slavery than previously estimated. The significant increase (approximately 10 million) is due to enhanced research methodology, resulting in the most accurate analysis of slavery to date. The terms ‘enslaved’ and ‘slavery’ refer to modern versions of slavery, not traditional slavery in which people were held in bondage as legal property, something which has been outlawed in every country across the world. Modern slavery exists in all 167 countries covered by the Global Slavery Index, with India remaining the country with the highest absolute number of people in slavery (18.3m).
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Water-wise wisdom
Experts on water scarcity and over a dozen Israeli companies joined South African partners, NGOs and high-ranking members of national and provincial governments to focus on solutions for water scarcity in South Africa at the first annual Israel South Africa Water Week which took place in Durban recently after successful sessions in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Professor Elion Adar, a world-leading hydrologist, discussed technologies that Israel has successfully developed, with many of these easily adapted for local rural and small farming applications, exponentially multiplying farm yields for very low expenditure.
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Protecting your business
Smaller businesses often focus on insuring portable, expensive all-risk items like cellphones and tablets or tools on the back of a bakkie, items that can affect their immediate cash flow. A more prudent approach is to focus on things that could interrupt operations and ultimately put the company out of business. Apparently less than 20% of small and medium-sized businesses have insurance cover for business interruptions. Premises are usually covered because this is required when they are financed via a property loan. However, there is often no cover for the potential risk of not being able to conduct business.
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SA has world’s highest number of asylum-seekers

With an economy already under strain and with rising unemployment, South Africa has the world’s highest number of asylum-seekers, with more than a million people waiting for their applications to be processed at the end of last year. Germany was next with 420 600 applications, followed by the USA with 286 200. Human rights groups say that at the current rate the country is taking to work through the list of refugee appeals, it would take more than 20 years to wipe out this backlog.
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Uber recently partnered with Nissan and BMW to bring UberGreen, a 100% electric ride, to Johannesburg in a bid to promote pollution issues and reduce CO2 emissions. The UberGreen pilot will be available in Cape Town from 13 June to 18 July. UberGreen received a positive response in Johannesburg with 15 000 passengers applying the UberGreenSA promocode and over 5300kms travelled sustainably. The Department of Transport projects that energy demand for transportation will grow by 2.5% annually between 1999 and 2020, challenging the transport industry to drastically reduce emissions.
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According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2015/16, the two most problematic factors for doing business in SA are restrictive labour regulations and inefficient government bureaucracy. In terms of its competitiveness, SA ranks 49 out of 140 countries listed. Out of the Sub-Saharan countries, SA is placed second after Mauritius which ranks 46th in the world. There are 235 countries globally, but only 140 have sufficient information for data to be collected and compiled. The Global Competitiveness report compares 12 ‘pillars’ of competitiveness using 120 measures.
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It’s sardine season

It doesn’t happen every year but its arrival is keenly anticipated. The sardine run or the ‘greatest shoal on earth’ takes place off the KZN coast, with millions of these small fish creating a feast for birds, sharks, whales, dolphins and larger fish. This video turns the feeding frenzy into poetry in motion... To view ...

Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
Economic Tidbits
• 2,600% - the budget increase the private sector says government will need in order to audit medical aid companies to bring them under the ambitious NHI fund.

• R22 600 and R20 600 – what buyers would need to earn monthly to afford the median house prices of R680 000 and R620 000 in the Western Cape and Gauteng respectively.

• 6,7% - the growth in the average disposal salary year-on-year compared to the inflation increase year-on-year at 7,3%.

• 60% - percentage of companies in the USA which have terrorism insurance. With the increase in mass shootings like the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre, there has been a surge in interest in these unique insurance products.

• 300 yuan – what people paid Chinese websites for “breakup insurance” surrounding Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston. China is no stranger to odd insurance products with both “Heartbreak insurance” and “Getting Drunk insurance” available.

• R95 – what a five-minute nap by Minister of International Relations & Cooperation Maite Nkoana Mashabane costs South Africa according to Africa Check’s review of parliamentary salaries.

• 47 – the number of fatalities on South African roads per day. A new app CrashDetech knows when you’ve been in a crash and alerts medical services, even if you are incapacitated and unable to use the phone yourself.

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