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Press Offices > Short Term Insurers

Hollard Insurance
Press Office Feature : SA’s hospitality industry lags behind global standards in insurance and emergency preparedness

Company: Hollard Insurance
Author:Susan Ford
Email:[email protected]
Posted:10 Apr 2007

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Take charge of risk rather than merely having the risk dictate the premium

Helping the hospitality industry measure up to global standards is a unique feature behind a new insurance for accommodation providers.

Hollard Insurance and Factory and Industrial Risk Managers have formed a partnership to assist the tourism industry deliver the international standards expected by global tour operators.

“It is astonishing how often hotel personnel don’t even know where to find, never mind operate, simple fire extinguishers,” says Brian Muller, director of Factory and Industrial Risk Managers, whose insurance partner is Hollard Insurance. 

“We have designed a policy to help the accommodation sector of the tourism industry gear up their emergency preparedness as well as provide acceptable insurance protections for guests and staff.  At the moment the majority of our hospitality facilities do not measure up to global standards although accommodation ventures are booming.” 

He says the new insurance policy focuses on helping providers of accommodation take charge of risk rather than merely having the risk dictate the premium.

“It is the first of its kind in South Africa and includes free on-site emergency evacuation guidance together with full risk assessment and support.  Our philosophy is all about showing our policyholders how to be proactive and efficient in managing risk to achieve low premiums – even where thatch is involved.” The policy is called Amkela, meaning ‘welcome’ in Xhosa.

Says Muller:  “When putting a roof over a visitor’s head you need worst-case-scenario protection. And for international tourists, European Community (EC) insurance regulations are very specific and essential and required by travel agents. Irrespective of size, everyone selling hospitality needs insurance for things like emergency evacuation; trauma counselling to guests and staff; compensation for accidental death or injury to employees; theft of the personal effects of guests; and, equally important, financial compensation if large events or tours are cancelled.”

He says stiff challenges are ahead as 2010 approaches. “Urgent attention has to be paid to increasing awareness and training as well as knowledge about legislation and emergency procedures. In the spirit of partnering with the hospitality industry and our tourism industry at large as we approach 2010, Hollard and Factory and Industrial have provided this unique value-add, offering training and assistance.”

These unique and free services are:

  • Free Risk Assessment of the premises with copies of reports to client & broker
  • Support and assistance with regulatory compliance issues for Fire Protection & Occupational Health & Safety Acts
  • Fire training of staff at the insured’s hospitality facility
  • Assistance with emergency procedures such as: 
    • Evacuations, 
    • alarm activation and
    • First Aid readiness and First Aid equipment  

Thatch Roof Risk

Muller explains that while thatch roofs are a typically African feature with unique charm and character, they usually attract high premium penalties because they are perceived by conventional insurers to be a ‘non-desirable’ risk or ‘an accommodation line’.

“We believe that if equipment, training and emergency preparedness is given the serious attention and expert support it deserves, then thatch fire risk doesn’t have to be penalised with an exorbitant premium loading.  Amkela is an Afro-centric creation and thatch is part of our Afro-centric way of life in this country."

"That means thatch has to be accommodated efficiently and economically in any South African hospitality insurance policy by making sure that up-to-date and adequate fire protections reduce risk to acceptable levels. That’s why our focus is on taking charge of the risk rather than having the premium rate control us and our clients.”  

What does Amkela cover?

In addition to conventional insurance protections, the Amkela Policy includes:

  • Trauma counselling to guests & staff
  • Payment for Third Party emergency assistance
  • Compensation for Accidental Death or Injury to employees
  • Insurance of personal possessions of guests while in residence
  • Replace costs for signs, shades and canopies
  • Compensation for storm damaged to landscaped gardens
  • Silt and debris removal
  • Compensation if events are cancelled
  • Emergency evacuation costs
  • Wide liability protections including insurance required by overseas travel agents who require European Community (EC) cover when bookings are made anywhere in the world

The red tape team

Dealing with death or injury to guests and staff on the premises can become a red tape nightmare.  “This is why we provide free assistance to policyholders who are faced with this kind of incident where dealing with statutory documentation, regulations, authorities and police services are complicated and time-consuming. But we know all about red tape and how to untangle it.

“We understand the need to focus on being a host.  So, our business is ensuring that the host can continue functioning – no matter what while our red tape team takes over sorting out formalities, claims and conforming to the demands of authorities,” says Muller.

For more information visit the website or phone 011 450 4100. 

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