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Managing hijacking risks – vigilance is key

posted 16 Dec 2017, 06:30 by Melvin Hoods

According to the latest SAPS crime stats released, car hijacking has increased by 14.5% across the country with Gauteng (+16.9%), Kwa-Zulu Natal (+21.5%) and Mpumalanga (+28.8%) provinces recording the highest increases. The statistics tell the story of 16 717 cars that were hijacked between April 2016 to March 2017, equating to a staggering average of 46 vehicles hijacked every day in South Africa.
 
“The key in mitigating crime risk is to be vigilant, understand how and when such crimes are most likely to happen and to take pro-active and preventative measures to mitigate them,” says Mandy Barrett of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa. “Most hijackings happen in the driveway of its victims so it is absolutely vital to stay alert, especially as we head into the festive season which normally sees an uptick in vehicle theft and hijackings.”

Stay safe during the holidays

posted 16 Dec 2017, 06:28 by Melvin Hoods

Planning a well-deserved getaway in December? Taking your family on a road trip? Wherever you’ll be during the holiday season, read Indwe’s tips to stay safe.
 
Before you leave home:
  • Make sure your alarm system is working properly.
  • Tell your security company you are going on holiday.
  • Ensure that there’s a battery back-up for your alarm in case the power goes off.
  • Check that all the windows are closed, the doors are locked and that, if you have them, all your security cameras are working and that you can monitor them remotely.
  • Instal day-night sensors or motion detectors outside your home.
  • Ask a neighbour to check on your house, to take collect your mail, open and close your curtains, and turn your lights on and off.
  • Put some of your inside lights and even your TV or radio on timers, to create the illusion that someone is home.
  • Do not post your holiday plans on social media – criminals have access to the Internet too.
  • Explain to your house-sitter, domestic worker or gardener that if anyone, such as a plumber, comes by while you’re not there, they can only be let in with your permission.
When you’re on the road:
  • Take your car in for safety checks before you set out.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • If you’re going on a long trip, take regular breaks to avoid getting overtired. Best yet, if there is someone with you, take turns driving.
  • When you want to overtake someone, make sure you have a clear view of the oncoming traffic, and only overtake one vehicle at a time.
  • Never overtake someone on a solid line and never take a chance with oncoming vehicles, rather wait until you have an open road before overtaking.
  • Slow down! When you’re speeding, you have less reaction time in dangerous situations and a bigger chance of getting hurt.
  • Pay attention to other drivers – you might follow the road rules, but that doesn’t mean they are.

Prep like a pro - top risk and insurance tips for the holidays

posted 16 Dec 2017, 06:27 by Melvin Hoods

As the excitement of heading off for some much-needed R&R sets in, take some time out from the shopping, travel arrangements and last-minute work wrap-ups to secure your home, assets and loved ones before you head off for the holidays.
 
Criminals never take a break, usually targeting the holiday season to ply their trade. Aon South Africa, insurance brokerage and risk advisors have developed a handy holiday checklist to help keep your risks to a minimum and your holidays joyful. Start your holiday preparations early so that if you do need to make special arrangements or get repairs or adjustments done, you’ll have enough time to do so.

School bus accidents – what does the road accident fund cover?

posted 14 Dec 2017, 06:13 by Melvin Hoods

When there is an accident involving a bus with innocent children on board, most people will respond with anger or rage. They want to blame and seek retribution from the driver or owner of the bus concerned. This is of course completely understandable – there are thousands of parents all across the country, who, on a daily basis put their children’s lives in the hands of a bus driver. It is only natural for people to think: “What if this happens to MY child and MY family?”, “What can I do when that happens?”, “Will I be able to afford medical treatment?” or “Surely someone must pay?”
 
There is, however, two sides to the story. Most bus drivers and companies go to great lengths to provide a safe and reliable transport service to their community. No good, hardworking and well-trained bus driver drives a bus full of children, to intentionally cause an accident. Nor does an owner of a bus company, whom has a reputation to uphold and who invests everything he has in his drivers, employees and vehicles, put un-roadworthy busses on the roads to cause accidents on purpose. A lot of accidents are caused by factors which are outside of the control of the driver or the owner of the bus, such as poor road conditions, adverse weather, stray animals, jaywalking pedestrians, and of course, other irresponsible road-users.
 
The fact of the matter is, we all make mistakes and accidents do happen. Some errors and the subsequent accidents just have more devastating consequences than others. How we prepare for, mitigate and manage those consequences after the event, are the actual questions that really need to be focused upon.
 
The Road Accident Fund
 
Fortunately, victims of motor vehicle accidents have the Road Accident Fund (RAF) that has been specifically established by law (i.e. the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, as amended - “the RAF Act”) to administer the system of compensation for damages suffered due to bodily injuries or death caused by the negligent driving of a motor vehicle. The RAF is financed by a levy on all fuel consumed in South Africa. Every person, even non-South African citizens, have a right to claim compensation against the RAF if they have suffered injuries or the breadwinner dies in a motor vehicle accident, which occurred within the borders of South Africa.

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.

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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.

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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.

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