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CIRCULAR TO OUR CLIENTS: COVID-19
In view of the President’s address that took place last night 23 March 2020, we at Hibiscus Brokers, have carefully considered the latest developments and their potential impact on our ability to continue to serve you, our loyal client.
Whilst there is no clarity on the restriction of movement in terms of essential services (which we believe we may be a part of), we will be providing “business unusual” going forward. We are obligated to mitigate disruptions as far as possible and therefore we have made the following contingency plans as a way to continue business and service our clients.
The Hibiscus Team are equipped to work from home remotely and will be connected to the office by way of the internet.
Claims (Short term Personal, Commercial and Body Corporates)
Your claims team which is made up of Marlene Gama, Pippa Barker and Caitlin Schoeman, will be available on email to assist with current and new claims. Please email as follows:
All current and new claims will be attended to per usual albeit that the response time will be slower owing to restrictive internet speeds and slower response from insurers who mostly have also sent staff to work from home.
Your domestic underwriting team which is made up of Celeste Marnitz, Tao Knott and Bronwyn Buitendag, will be available on email to assist with any changes to the policy that you may need to make.
Please email as follows:
Commercial Underwriting and Brokers
Your commercial underwriting team which is made up of Chrisel Steenkamp and Lee-Anne Groenewald, who will be available on email to assist with any changes to the policy that you may need to make.
In addition to the above your accounts executives (brokers) who deal with your business insurance policies will be available as follows:
All changes and queries will be attended to per usual albeit the response time will be slower owing to restrictive internet speeds and slower response from insurers who mostly have also sent staff to work from home.
The office will be locked down effective close of business (16h30) on the 26 March 2020 and we therefore will not be able to see clients from the office from this date. The above brokers will make themselves available to do Skype meetings with you should you require the same.
The insurance industry is currently looking at ways to support businesses through these testing times and we have received notification from Bryte who will be looking at “premium holidays” for those in the hospitality business who at this point seem to be hardest hit by current restrictions. Any news from insurance companies on such initiatives will be communicated as and when they come to hand.
We have also received many queries regarding Business Interruption cover. Business interruption cover only responds where there has been material damage to property arising out of an insured peril such as fire, wind, water, storm, hail damage floods and the like. In the instance of Covid-19 there is no material damage to insured property and hence the business interruption policy does not respond. There are, however, a number of government initiatives in place to try and keep SMME’s going through these trying times and we will provide updates to our commercial clients as news trickles in. We encourage you to look at these two initiatives to date.
There is a lot of fake news doing the rounds and we encourage you to only trust information from reliable sources. Trusted news sites and official government notices published on government websites would be a good starting point. We will endeavour to share news on support for SMME’s as it comes to hand.
SMME’s are the life blood of our economy and we understand the stress and pain you are going through at this time. We are in this with you and we will do our best to navigate you through this to ensure the survival of your business in these testing times. Your survival is our survival.
Life, investment and medical aid Administrators and Brokers
We would ask you to use your individual brokers assigned to you as a first point of contact for the various products that you have with us.
Your brokers listed above will send through your requests for processing to the administration team mentioned below who will assist with administrative queries. The above brokers will make themselves available to do Skype meetings with you should you require the same.
Your life investment and medical aid administration team which is made up of Neeri Joseph, Nic Gcwensa and Dhiresh Vallabh, will be available on email to assist with any changes to the policy that you may need to make during this time of lockdown but as mentioned above your broker is the first point of contact. In the absence of a response from a broker, the admin team will step in. Each of the above and below mentioned will be working from home and will be connected to the office by way of the internet. Please email the admin team as follows:
Thea Rautenbach has kindly allowed us to divert our switchboard calls to her personal number. Actions arising out of these calls will be communicated to the responsible persons by email.
Alan Hall and Mike Howes are ultimately responsible for this business and should you experience any difficulties in getting hold of any of the above team members, please feel free to contact us.
We thank you for your continued support. We will do our best to ensure that you are protected from an insurance point of view at this time. We wish you well and appeal for you to follow government instructions to keep you and your family safe.
The Team at Hibiscus Brokers