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KZN flood damage sees over R245 million in claims so far and this is just tip of the iceberg

Multiple cars are seen under the rubble at the Khokhoba informal settlement where residents of the settlement were seen digging for bodies. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Multiple cars are seen under the rubble at the Khokhoba informal settlement where residents of the settlement were seen digging for bodies. Picture: Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published Apr 19, 2022

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As the country begins to re-build after the devastating floods in Durban and other areas in KwaZulu-Natal, the true cost of the damage to property and life is becoming clearer. The death toll has surpassed 400 and the extensive damage to infrastructure and property is slowly becoming apparent.

Old Mutual Insure announced that as of Thursday, April 14, it had received over 720 claims related to the flooding, with the total estimates over R245 million, spanning homeowner, motor, commercial and Speciality insurance cover.

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“While this is a significant indication of the scale of the damage, this is more than likely only the tip of the iceberg. We are expecting many more claims to come in this week given that it is still early days,” said Soul Abraham, head of retail for Old Mutual Insure.

Of the claims received, an estimated figure of R45 million was attributable to homeowner, motor and commercial policies, while over R200 million was estimated to be for Speciality cover, such as plants, factories, specialised equipment as well as shipping and maritime.

“Our customer service teams are working around the clock in all parts of the country to process claims fast and provide the necessary assistance to our policyholders. We have put additional teams in place to deal with the devastation and to ensure continuity of customer service,” said Abraham.

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Although it was too early to tell what the total claim volume and estimates were likely to be, Abraham said this was “already the biggest natural disaster to have happened to the insurance industry following the Knysna fires in 2017”.

The total damage from the fires was R7 billion for the entire SA insurance industry.

Abraham added during extremely difficult times like these, insurance played a critical role in bringing relief and assistance to those impacted.

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“The core purpose of insurers is to protect clients in these difficult times and our customers whose businesses have been impacted by a weather-related events like these will be protected by Old Mutual Insure. The industry is well capitalised, and all valid claims received by Old Mutual Insure on our policies will be paid.

“We are seeing a significant increase in weather-related losses in recent times, and expect changing weather patterns and climate change to continue to cause havoc,” said Abraham.

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