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Home insurance tips for the rainy season

By | Individuals | No Comments

Spring has sprung and with that we can soon expect the first big rains of the Gauteng rainy season sometime in September. The arrival of that first Jozi afternoon thunderstorm is often the signal that warmer days are here to stay and our scenery is about to get a little greener, however, it also means hailstorms and possible water damage to our properties.

Ensuring your home is ready for rainy season can save you in the long run. Follow these tips and be 100% certain of what your insurance policy does and does not cover to avoid any nasty surprises.

Here is a list of the top six things you can easily and quickly do to prepare your home for the rainy season:

1. Start at the top! Check your roof.
You should check your roof regularly to make sure there is no damage which could lead to leaks in your ceiling or it collapsing under heavy rain. Check for major cracks, loose tiles, or any holes in your roof. If you have a metal roof you should check for rust damage and make sure that there are no spots on your roof where water wells up and remains stagnant. Replace damaged tiles or repair rust or damages metal sheeting as soon as possible. Leaks in your roof could lead to damp in your ceilings and walls which could lead to structural damage.

2. Clear your gutters.
Again, these should be checked regularly and cleared of any debris. If they are not, they can collect water leading to them collapsing or damaging your roof, ceiling and outside walls of your home, which can lead to major structural damage in the long run. You also need to repair sagging or loose gutters and ensure that they are sealed.

3. Check for mould.
Mould is a sure sign of water damage or damp in your walls and ceiling. You can remove mould with mould remover from your local hardware store but be careful as these chemicals can be hazardous. You should also consider damp proofing your walls and purchasing a humidifier for your home. Again, this is to prevent any long-term structural damage.

4. Prune your trees.
Remove any dead or hanging branches from your trees to prevent them from falling onto your car, the roof of your house or through a window during a major thunderstorm. A stray branch can cause major damage which could cost tens of thousands of Rands to fix.

5. No electronics on the floor.
All your electronics should be raised off the floor to prevent water damage in the unfortunate event that your home is flooded. This will also remove the risk of being electrocuted or damaging your homes electrical system.

6. Check your homeowner’s insurance coverage.
Some homeowner’s insurances will not cover your property for damage caused by a natural disaster such as torrential rain if you live in a high-risk area. Speak to your insurance broker to make sure that your home insurance policy covers you for water, hail, and storm damage.

As a homeowner it is essential that you do everything you can to protect your home from weather damage but also have the right cover in place to protect you if there is an unavoidable disaster.

POPIA and Insurance

POPIA and insurance

By | Individuals | No Comments

The Protection of Personal Information Act has come into place this month and this can have major effects on you as an individual, as a broker and your business. Here is some information about the POPI Act and what it means for you and your insurance.

What is The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)?

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA or POPI Act) is the comprehensive data protection legislation that obliges organisations to deal with the gathering and processing of personal information by applying specific principles and conditions.

POPIA deals with your constitutional right to privacy and the right to access of information. POPIA was signed into law by our President on 1 July 2020 to be effective by 1 July 2021 and much work has taken place behind the scenes in preparation for this deadline.

Why POPIA is important?

The goal of the POPI Act is to protect you from security breaches, theft, and discrimination.

The biggest impact is on organisations that process lots of personal information, especially special personal information such as ID numbers, children’s information, and account numbers. The most affected industries are financial services, healthcare, and marketing.

The POPI Act’s Eight Conditions for Lawful Processing

The POPI Act has issued its rules for using South African data. It refers to these rules as conditions, and they largely cover what data you collect, what you can do with the data, and how you protect both the data and the data subject, in other words you!

POPI includes eight conditions for lawful processing including:

  1. Accountability
  2. Processing limitation
  3. Purpose specification
  4. Further processing limitation
  5. Information quality
  6. Openness
  7. Security safeguards
  8. Data subject participation

For more detail on each of the conditions please click here: https://www.privacypolicies.com/blog/popi-act/

What does POPIA mean for you as an Insurance Zone Client?

Insurance Zone has always been committed to treating client information in an ethical manner and POPIA provides the legal framework and requirements for this treatment. All companies, including Insurance Zone, are now obliged by law to deal with client information with far more diligence than ever before. This means that we have looked at how and why your information is collected, how it is processed, shared, stored as well as access to this information.

The information we gather is only used to provide the best products and services to you, communicate with you with regards to your policy, terms and conditions as well as provide improved quality, training and security (for example, with respect to recorded or monitored phone calls).

We have updated our Privacy policy to ensure we are compliant with the new POPI Act. Read our updated Privacy Policy here: http://insurancezone.co.za/wp-content/uploads/Privacy-Policy-Document-Insurance-Zone-Group-June-2021-Final.pdf

IZ_Use an insurance broker or go direct?

Use an insurance broker or go direct?

By | Individuals | No Comments

There’s nothing wrong with going direct for your insurance, it’s like getting takeout for the family and everyone’s happy with fried chicken. But if the kids want chicken, you’re doing low carb and your spouse wants a burger, you may have a problem. Sometimes your needs are just more complicated than what a one-stop-shop can offer. This is where insurance brokers come in and can actually save you money by crafting insurance that fits your needs, instead of trying to fit your needs into the insurance options commonly available.

Going direct may be for you if:

  • You have simple, uncomplicated, and straightforward needs where you only need basic advice. Simple needs don’t mean you aren’t paying a lot for your insurance, but simple needs mean simple insurance will suffice.
  • You are knowledgeable enough to know what you need and are capable and willing to take the time to go through the policy wording to make sure you fully understand all the Ts and Cs and what you’re signing up for.
  • You’re fine dealing with a call centre when you need help, need to claim, or have any questions.

Going through an insurance broker may be best for you if:

  • You have more complex, technical needs that require a high level of advice.
  • You aren’t 100% sure what kind of cover you need, for example, when it comes to your business. On a commercial policy you may get basic cover, however, there are specialist extensions only brokers know about that can have a serious impact on your policy − especially at the claims stage.
  • You don’t have the time or don’t want to shop around to find insurance that fits your needs, and you don’t have the time to read through and understand all the fine print and policy wording of a variety of insurance options.
  • You don’t want to deal with a call centre, you want personalised one-on-one service from someone who knows you and will develop a professional relationship with you in managing your risk and needs over time – someone who looks out for you, especially when it comes to claims.

It’s important to know that neither option is wrong – what’s best for you really depends on your needs. However, brokers are knowledgeable and licensed professionals who understand all the products available on the market. Take the following example: you own a business that manufactures parts for the motor industry. Most basic commercial policies will cover common risks and losses on a generalised level, so you could go direct. However, this could leave you open to industry-specific liabilities that your standard commercial policy wouldn’t cover. Standard policy means standard cover. A professional broker has the experience and knowledge to recognise the liabilities specific to your business and will advise you on how to cover these, for example, various intangible liability risks, product recall risks, specialised manufacturing machinery breakdown risks and distribution of product risks, which need to be transferred appropriately through brokers into specialised insurance markets. A broker can also assist with risk management within a manufacturing environment.

The benefit of a broker is that where an agent works for a specific insurer and can only advise and sell you on what their company is offering, brokers work for themselves and will find what works for you, and where more complex needs are involved, this could mean insuring your assets with various insurers or even getting specialised policies crafted for you. Meanwhile, you will still only deal with one broker, regardless of how many insurers are involved.

Having a one-on-one relationship with a broker also has benefits when it comes to maintaining and servicing your policy, annual renewals and updating your cover with elements you may not have even thought of. Developing a relationship with your broker means that your policy and cover will evolve with you, your business, and your family. Claims are also handled by your broker, who will help you sort things out from beginning to end. All of this translates to money, time and effort saved.

How To Avoid Winter Home Insurance Risks

How To Avoid Winter Home Insurance Risks

By | Individuals | No Comments

It’s that time of year when we’re all wrapped up in woolly coats, scarves and boots, craving hot drinks and sipping soup. We stock up on firewood and gas and then huddle next to our heaters or fireplaces at night. There are lots of plus sides to winter, the main one being that it only lasts a few months. But there are also downsides. One of them is that there are increased risks of damage to your home from things such as fire and burst water pipes. Here are some home insurance related risks experienced during Winter and how to avoid them.

FIRE

Everyone loves a roaring fire at night to warm up the house. But fires can be extremely hazardous if left unchecked; there are many examples of serious damage caused to homes and cars and even loss of life due to fire. One of the most recent was the massive fire in the coastal town of St Francis Bay in 2018, which caused damage worth millions of Rands, with many people claiming from their home insurance.

If you have a fireplace in your home, we urge you to make sure you’ve put the fire out properly before going to bed. Also be sure to put a grate in front of the fireplace so sparks don’t fly off and set carpets or furniture alight. The same applies to bonfires, braais and even candles – before you leave your home or go to bed, make sure that the fire has been put out and is not a risk to anybody or anything.

HEATING DEVICES

Fires aren’t the only things that can cause damage. Gas heaters are another common hazard, especially if they’re placed too close to curtains or flammable furniture. The same applies to electric blankets – if left on during the day or unattended for long periods, they can malfunction and cause fires.

WATER

Water can be just as damaging as fire. In winter, water in our household pipes often gets so cold that it freezes, which then causes the pipes to burst. To prevent this problem, we suggest that clients in colder areas install insulation over the pipes in their roof voids. This will keep the pipes warmer and stop the water from freezing.

MAINTENANCE

What many people don’t realize is that, as a homeowner, you’re responsible for any maintenance to your home, which in turn impacts your home insurance. If any damage is caused to your home due to neglecting the maintenance of your home properly, you run the risk that your insurer may not pay out your claim in all instances.

So, it’s a good idea to arrange for a contractor to inspect your roof for any maintenance-related problems during the Highveld winters when rainfall is lower. Also check that your waterproofing is working well and clear your gutters of leaves and other debris, so that when the rainy months come, you’re well prepared.

Making these small adjustments before Winter will mean a safer and more enjoyable Winter for you, your home and your family. Stay Safe and Warm!

What to do in case of a burst geyser

What to do in case of a burst geyser

By | Individuals | No Comments

Although we usually don’t dwell on things that can go wrong with the geyser, the reality is that something will, at some point. Here is what do when your geyser burst:

Contact the 24hr Orange Assist Emergency Helpline: 0861 467 966

Turn off the water supply

  • The water shut-off valve is usually situated outside

Switch the geyser off

  • The switch for the geyser is on your electrical distribution board.

Drain the geyser to reduce pressure

  • Drain the geyser to reduce pressure and minimize water damage if possible.
  • Be water wise and use buckets to collect the water to be used elsewhere.

Call for 24hr Home Assist – 0861 467 966

  • If you have the Orange Assist App, press the emergency assist button to have the call center call you back and arrange for an approved repairer to be sent to your location to begin repairs on your geyser.
  • You can also process your claim via the Insurance Zone Orange Assist App

Call your Broker

  • If you don’t have the Orange Assist App yet, call your broker and they will arrange for an approved plumber to be appointed as soon as possible so repairs to your geyser can be done.
  • Your broker will also send you the details to start your claims process.

Download the Orange Assist App for home assist at the touch of a button and to submit claims via the app.

Click here to download this article and send it you friends and family so they too will know what to do in case of a burst geyser.

Insurance, a vital tool in construction

Insurance, a vital tool in construction

By | Business | No Comments

The ongoing development of infrastructure around us brings with it associated risks that  require the correct products, technical expertise and advice. Insurance is a vital risk mitigation tool in construction projects which relevant parties cannot afford to go without.

These risks range from devastating damage to projects under construction, plant on site and the substantial associated liability exposures that attach to contractors whilst doing work on site. Protection against these losses is required at every stage of construction.

It is also important to understand where the legal obligation lies for the parties entering into the contract and determining which party is responsible for which risk and the associated insurance coverage required especially when there are several contractors and sub-contractors involved. This will be determined by the works contract which creates the legal obligations along with terms, conditions and period for completion to name a few. The works contract will determine the party responsible for taking out the cover required which may be the Employer or the Contractor.

Insurance Zone provides a wide range of products to cater for these risks with the main covers as follows:

These may be once-off or annual depending on requirements:

Contract Works Cover:

  • Covers any loss or damage to the actual contract works during the construction and maintenance period selected on the policy. This is extended to cover removal of debris, cost of demolition, professional fees, storage and transit of materials and claims preparation costs.

Plant All Risks:

  • Comprehensive cover is provided for contractors plant and equipment and can also be extended to include hired-in plant that the contractor has been made legally responsible for.
  • It is important to obtain the correct advice when deciding on what basis and how to insure the plant as this may be insured on New Replacement value, Market value or Agreed Value.

Public Liability:

  • Provides cover against any Liability for loss, damage, death or bodily injury to any third party or third party property arising out of the Contractors performance of the works contract.
  • Includes legal defense costs and Wrongful Arrest.

Surrounding Property:

  • This provides cover for loss or damage to property which is in the custody or control of or is being worked on by the contractor and arising out of the work being undertaken in connection with the contract.

Contact Insurance Zone or one of our accredited Brokers to assist in designing the correct tailor-made product that is best suited to your needs and contractual obligations.

 

What to do in case of a car accident

What to do in case of a car accident

By | Individuals | No Comments

Over one million car accidents occur each year in South Africa. Fortunately, most of them involve only property damage – damage to the vehicle as opposed to the drivers and passengers.

Here is a list of guidelines to follow if you are involved in a car accident:

Contact the 24hr Orange Assist Emergency Helpline: 0861 467 966

Stop and call for help

  • Stop, switch on your hazards to warn other vehicles and climb out of your car if it is safe to do so.
  • Call an ambulance and the police if passengers, drivers or pedestrians are injured.

Clear the road

  • Move any cars that are obstructing the flow of traffic, but be sure to mark their position on the road first if available, or to photograph the scene before the cars are moved. NOTE: If a person or animal has been injured in the accident do not interfere with the evidence or move any vehicles unless those vehicles are obstructing the traffic completely.

Assess the damage

  • For insurance purposes take photos of the accident from as many different angles as possible. Take close-up photos of any damage to your car and any other cars involved.

Questions and answers

  • Take down the following information from all other drivers involved in the accident as well as from people who witnessed the accident: Full names and surnames, ID numbers, contact details, vehicle registration, description of the vehicles (make, model and colour), Names and contact details of the police officials, paramedics and tow truck drivers
  • Take down the following details about your surroundings such as the street name and suburb, time of the accident, road conditions and visibility
  • Remember to also take note of what happened immediately before and after the accident, for example was the other driver drunk, talking on his/her cell or driving

Report the accident to the police

  • Report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If you are injured or in hospital and cannot report the incident within 24 hours, do so as soon as you possibly can and explain why your report is delayed.
  • Note: It is an offence not to report an accident in which another person has been injured or in which someone else’s property has been damaged even if neither of the parties intends taking legal action.

Report the accident to your insurance company

  • Report the accident to your insurance company and submit a claim where relevant.
  • Note: Report the accident to your insurance company even if you don’t intend submitting a claim to them. This is important because if you caused the accident another party involved in the accident may wish to make a claim against your policy. Click here to submit a motor accident claim form

Download the Orange Assist App for road and accident assist at the touch of a button and to submit claims via the app.

Click here to download this article and send it you friends and family so they too will know what to do in case of a car accident.