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Protect your credit card from cybercrime on the dark web

posted 9 Nov 2017, 06:38 by Melvin Hoods

The dark web, currently hosting tens of thousands of listings for a variety of illicit goods and services has finally come to the attention of the South African market.

As a place where users can anonymously purchase credentials to stolen credit card data, the dark web has put a target on every South African citizen owning a credit card, moreover every business in possession databases and Point-of-Sale (PoS) systems carrying this information.

In addition, whether due to lack of interest or just plain ignorance, some organisations have been ‘slow on the uptake’ when incorporating and implementing the appropriate prevention technology and processes.

Consequently, businesses need to become ever more conscious of the dark web, and consider  it as a viable threat to their customer’s wallet, and to the company’s reputation.

In today’s cyber-climate organisations should be preparing themselves.


The need-to-know details of cybercrime and cyberinsurance

posted 9 Nov 2017, 06:34 by Melvin Hoods

With attacks like WannaCry and Petya infecting hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, many are calling this the Year of Ransomware. Its increased level of threat sophistication and maturity clearly show that even though traditional methods of data protection are essential, they are no longer sufficient.

Many organisations are failing to learn about what they are up against from both a data protection and cybersecurity perspective. They might be aware that they need to have strategies in place to protect their business from being disrupted by cybercriminals, but can they get up and running quickly after an attack or breach?

Airbnb and insurance, it’s not what you think

posted 2 Nov 2017, 04:46 by Melvin Hoods

The benefits of using Airbnb to let property are myriad but many homeowners and their brokers don’t consider the insurance implications of using this hospitality service.

The average South African homeowner rents his or her home on Airbnb for 16 days per annum and earns R28 000 from this service, according to Airbnb statistics; Airbnb generated roughly R2.4 billion in total economic activity across South Africa in 2016. It is big business but there are risks attached to opening your door to foreign guests.


Spring into action to get risk-ready

posted 27 Sep 2017, 01:19 by Melvin Hoods

Spring has sprung and with it comes the time-honoured ritual of cleaning out the cobwebs and getting ready for the warm weather.  It’s also the perfect opportunity to divert some of that energy into tidying up your home and motor insurance policies, ensuring that you have the right cover in place that can stand the test of weather-related catastrophes.
“If you’re in a summer rainfall area, spring brings with it the potential for heavy thunderstorms and hail damage, while runaway fires are a serious risk in dry regions, especially the drought-stricken Western Cape.  Spring provides the perfect opportunity to get your home and vehicle risk ready,”

Getting value for money from your personal insurance

posted 27 Sep 2017, 01:17 by Melvin Hoods

We all want to get the most value possible from our insurance. We to try to make sure that we get the right insurance cover for our needs while keeping our monthly premiums as affordable as possible.
We need to find that sweet spot between paying too much and being over-insured, and not covering ourselves adequately. One approach to making your premiums as cost-effective as possible is to evaluate your current circumstances in more detail to see if you can make changes to your insurance schedule that will save you money on premiums without compromising on your insurance cover.
Here are some suggestions:

How to optimise your household contents insurance cover

posted 27 Sep 2017, 01:16 by Melvin Hoods

The biggest challenge when buying household contents insurance is to accurately value your possessions. The trick lies in finding the balance between correctly covering yourself so that you’re not underinsured, and making sure you don’t overvalue your contents and end up paying higher premiums than necessary. 
Unfortunately, this isn’t as straightforward as simply going through all your possessions and recording what you paid for them. You have to think of what it will cost you to replace them a couple of years down the line, as most insurers offer cover on the basis of “new for old”. This means that irrespective of the age of your household items they will be replaced with new items should you suffer a loss – that is of course as long as you are correctly insured. Furthermore, some of your possessions will also have sentimental value which isn’t reflected in their prices. This gives you a lot more to think about, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.

Understanding Consequential Loss

posted 14 Sep 2017, 04:09 by Melvin Hoods

In a world that seems to constantly produce new forms of risk, it is wise for the public to rely on insurance intermediaries to benefit from their knowledge, experience and expertise, coupled with a good working relationship with one or more insurers, to prevent unpleasant surprises at the time a claim arises.

Even the most experienced advisers at times run into new scenarios which often lead to a dispute on how the claim should be handled. One of these grey areas concerns what is termed ‘consequential loss’ in the short-term insurance industry.

BusinessDirectory defines consequential loss as: “Indirect loss which accompanies an insured loss, such as loss of earnings resulting from a burnt down business that was insured against fire. Consequential losses are not covered by ordinary insurance policies, unless specifically included on payment of additional premium.”

In commercial insurance, it could happen when a fire takes place at a warehouse (the direct loss or damage) and the business, being unable to operate as a result, loses its revenue (the consequential loss). In a scenario like this, the business usually should have business interruption insurance in place to provide for the consequential loss.

Vehicle alarm and central locking jamming still a major issue in South Africa

posted 14 Sep 2017, 04:06 by Melvin Hoods

For any South African, becoming a statistic in the country’s rising vehicle jamming figures is a very real danger. Over the past three years, the country has experienced a significant amount of vehicle jamming incidents, also known as remote blocking.
Vehicle jamming or remote blocking happens when criminals block a vehicle’s remote signal by simply pressing down on a gate remote while the vehicle owner presses down on their immobiliser to activate the vehicle alarm and the central locking.
“Most vehicle and gate remotes operate on the same frequency, making it easier to interfere with the signals. Thus, a driver will be under the impression they’ve locked their vehicle while they haven’t,” explains Hannes Smith, Head of Personal Lines Sales & Operations at Old Mutual Insure.
Old Mutual Insure urges all South Africans to be vigilant when exiting their vehicles and to make sure it is properly locked.

Insurance claims face rejection over expired licences

posted 14 Sep 2017, 03:16 by Melvin Hoods

Ekurhuleni motorists, who pay thousands of rand every month in car insurance, could find their claims repudiated if they don’t have a valid driver’s licence.

Hundreds of motorists in the municipal area have taken to social media to complain that many of the licence renewal centres, specifically Kempton Park, Alberton, Bedfordview, Springs, Edenvale and Etwatwa, are almost always closed, or people get turned away.

Motorists daily are either turned away from the centres, or find official notices at the gate saying they are offline. Often, they wait for hours in queues before being turned away.

They claim that the Bedfordview centre, especially, often says it is offline while staff are, in fact, attending to people inside.

Motorists also accuse the staff of being extremely rude to them.

The SA Insurance Association’s Zakes Sondiyazi said each case would be treated on its own merits, but ideally, an expired driving licence was not sufficient reason for an insurer to repudiate a claim.

“It nevertheless remains an offence to drive with an expired licence, and you are at risk of a traffic fine if you do so. However, vehicle claims could be invalid if there is sufficient proof that a driving licence was issued illegally and is therefore invalid. The onus would rest with the insured/driver/ employer to prove that everything possible had been done to ensure the licence was valid,” he said.


Will insurance pay claims for a landslide?

posted 15 Aug 2017, 03:08 by Melvin Hoods

A recent incident where almost 30 families in Mosselbay had to evacuate their houses after land foundations shifted, has raised awareness about whether this type of damage is typically covered by insurance policies.

Most insurance policies provide limited or no cover for subsidence, landslip or ground heave unless it is specifically requested beforehand and the homeowner pays an additional premium for that cover. Homeowners might not have this cover in place as part of their policy and it is therefore vital that they check with their insurance broker what their policy states.


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