DURBAN - AN insurance company says initial assessments suggest that damages due to the disastrous flooding in KwaZulu-Natal are significant and run into hundreds of millions of rand.
This is according to Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson for Old Mutual Insure, who added that the company has received a staggering volume of claims since Tuesday.
“The claims continue to come in fast given the large area affected. We expect this to last in the coming days. We have mobilised our teams to deal with the expected volumes to ensure continuity of customer service in these difficult times,” said Mnguni.
He added that the insurer has put additional teams on the ground to deal with the devastation and ensure claims are processed quickly.
“The core purpose of insurers is to protect clients in these difficult times and our customers whose business have been impacted by a weather-related event will be protected by Old Mutual Insure. We are working around the clock to support all of the businesses and individuals affected by the devastation,” said Mnguni.
Mguni also said that the company had seen a significant increase in weather-related losses in recent times, and was expecting changing weather patterns and climate change to continue to cause havoc.
The company was also working closely with NGO, Gift of the Givers, to assess the damage and needs of affected communities in KZN, such as food, blankets and clothes.
“We will be fully supporting our affected communities in KwaZulu Natal to make sure that we minimise their suffering.”
Shakeel Ebrahim, Head of Claims at Standard Bank Insurance said it was also receiving high volumes of claims.
As of Wednesday, the bank had received nearly 2000 claims that were directly related to storm damage and expected that this figure will only continue to rise in the days to come.
The bank said Standard Bank Insurance and Standard Bank Business Clients had assigned dedicated virtual and physical teams to the region to assist customers with claims, advice, guidance, or business support if they have suffered losses, damages or interruptions to their ongoing business activities.
Ebrahim said: “We are doing everything we can to assist. We have sent service providers and assessors from across other regions, and they are on their way to the affected areas in KZN to help with emergency repairs as well as long-term overall repairs. We also have loss adjusters from across the country assisting with the quantification as well as project management of these claims as a result of the flooding within the area.”
Ebrahim said despite increasing call centre capacity, agents were currently tending to abnormally high volumes of incoming calls and, as a result, had advised customers to register claims on Standard Bank’s digital channels: the Standard Bank Insurance App or website.