09 Dec SwissFin SwissSure Newsletter – December 2020
We are coming to an end of a year that made history and will be remembered for a long time.
Whilst some of the articles in this newsletter are still Covid-related, other articles show that we are hopefully heading for more normal times again. As we stand on the brink of a new decade, we are entering a period of high uncertainty and considerable challenges – economically, politically, technologically, and socially.
As usual, we have also included information across the board regarding investments, short-term insurance, immigration and other related topics. This newsletter can also be viewed under https://www.swissfin.co.za/newsletters/swissfin-swisssure-newsletter-december-2020/.
We would like to thank all our clients for their loyal support over a difficult period. We wish you and your family an enjoyable Christmas time and hope the New Year will bring in much prosperity and happiness for you.
Enjoy the reading, with best regards,
Your SwissFin / SwissSure – Team
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
3. SWISSSURE: SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
- Insurers withdraw Covid cover
- Santam to appeal high court judgment in Ma-Afrika case
- Insurers are offering motor insurance discounts whilst you are working from home
- OMI gives expired driver’s licences a grace period
- Thatch Risk Acceptances adds Chauffeur Service
- MUA offers Motor Depreciation protection cover
- Ask us for the retail value of your car(s)
5. HEALTH INSURANCE
- Discovery Health changes 2021
- BDAE adjusts premiums for the Expat Retired policy
- New Travel- and Covid Insurance Policy offering
- How to calculate your Body Corporate (community scheme) levy
- Our office hours over the festive season
- We value your comment
SwissSure offers the following rates as of December 2020:
Interest rates ››
- Our Money Market Fund
- 12 Months Bank deposits
The minimum investment is R 100’000. Terms and conditions apply. The rates can fluctuate on a daily basis and the interest rate depends on the investment amount.
Insurance Plans: “Guaranteed income/growth plans” (5 year term), approx. 80% of the income is tax-exempt: ››
- Gross yield
- Taxes payable
Tax-free interest income – maximum investment amounts: ››
R 2.57 Mio. for taxpayers under the age of 65
R 3.89 Mio. for taxpayers between the age of 65 and 75
R 4.25 Mio. for taxpayers over the age of 75
Underlying assumptions: 4.0% effective interest. Couples married in community of property can double these amounts.
SwissSure Forex Rates ››
Our rates as of 30 November 2020 compare as follows, based on an amount of Euro 10’000 to be converted into ZAR:
- Bank A
- Bank F
- Bank N
- Bank S
- Our Offering
The above table shows that our rates are attractive compared to commercial banks. Over and above, we do not charge any fees when the funds are credited or transferred to another local account.
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
The Medium Term Budget Speech ››
The speech by our Finance Minister almost went unnoticed, as the Covid news overshadowed any other reports.
Mr. Tito Mboweni released the Medium Term Budget Speech on 28 October 2020 and it was as grim as expected:
- The economy is expected to shrink by 7.8% this year, and the 2021 outlook is more uncertain. This is overshadowed by an unemployment rate of over 30%.
- Governments borrowing costs stands now at R 2.1 Bio. per day, pushing up the debt to 95.3% of gross domestic product by 2025
- In 2021, South Africa will spend more on servicing debt than on health – R 271.8 Bio. on debt service costs against R 235.3-billion on health!
- There is a R10.5 Bio. allocation for SAA’s “bailout” or “business rescue”, as Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan calls it.
- Mboweni said tax increases of R5.0 Bio. are needed in 2021, going up to R 10 Bio. in 2022/23, another R10 Bio. in 2023/24 and finally to R 15 Bio. in 2024/25 – effectively tax increases of R 40 Bio. over four years.
- The Minister called for a “proposal for across-the-board compensation pay reductions to management-level positions, across national, provincial and municipal governments, state-owned entities and all other senior public representatives”. Or the public wage freeze that must cap the salaries of South Africa’s 1.3 million civil servants at 0.8% increases – effectively for pension and medical aid provisioning – over the next three years.
The tax increases are a bitter pill for consumers, battered by above-inflation food price increases, unemployment and rising prices across the board.
The bailout of SAA is upsetting and disappointing. In order to finance the R10.5 Bio., just about every department must forgo funds – from police, home affairs, international relations to agriculture. Those departmental cuts total R 6.97 Bio., alongside R 3.529 Bio. from the last budget. The Government has not given any reasons why they insist on a national carrier!
Unfortunately the Minister has confirmed our worst fears. He is doing nothing else but manipulating the budget, which is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic! Being recently downgraded again and with a global recession on its way, that iceberg might be a serious threat to the SA Titanic.
3. SWISSSURE: SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
Insurers withdraw Covid cover ››
Unfortunately, all international Re-Insurance companies withdrew cover for pandemic outbreaks and hence the cover against Covid. Most local commercial insurers had to follow suit and had no choice but to cancel or amend their policy wordings. You can click on the insurers below to read their communication:
Santam to appeal high court judgment in Ma-Afrika case ››
On 17 November 2020, the Western Cape High Court ruled in favour of Ma -Afrika Hotels and Stellenbosch Kitchen in its case against Santam Ltd.
The matter relates to policies with Contingent Business Interruption (CBI) infectious disease extensions, meaning coverage against the Covid related losses.
This was the second court ruling in favour of the insured, the other one being Cafe Cameleon, who won against the insurer Guardrisk a few months ago.
However, Santam has decided to apply for leave to appeal the judgment of the Western Cape High Court. The insurer is of the opinion that the Court erred in its judgment regarding causation and the insured peril, the trends clause and the indemnity period.
The matter is now at the Supreme Court of Appeal and we hope that we will obtain legal finality hopefully by early 2021.
We will keep you updated on the outcome.
Insurers are offering motor insurance discounts whilst you are working from home ››
With a lot more people working from home, the need for business travel has been reduced substantially. Most insurers have started offering lower motor insurance rates.
The insurer is offering their clients to change their motor car use from the traditional “Private Use” to a new “Work From Home Use”, which is defined as follows:
– The vehicle may be used for social and domestic purposes.
– It may also be used to travel between your home and permanent work place, but not more than twice a week.
– You may travel to any other destination for any purpose other than business.
Clients that are using their vehicles as “Business Use”, they can change it to “Limited Business Use” which is defined as follows:
– The insured vehicle may be used for social and domestic purposes.
– It may also be used for journeys between your home and permanent work place no more than twice a week, and also for use in your business including in connection with any business by an representative/agent, commission agent or any travel for any purpose including business no more than twice a week.
– You may travel to any other destination for any purpose other than business.
In return our clients receive a fixed 10% discount on regular comprehensively insured motor vehicles and motorcycles only.
This convenient benefit is that clients do not have to inform us of odometer readings, and it doesn’t restrict your overall km’s in any way.
The insurer has launched “SmartPark”:
If you are driving less than 15 000km a year, you can save up to 20% on your insurance premium. It is important to note the following discount structure: 20% (under 5000kms), 13% (5001-10000km) and 7% (10001 – 15 000kms), depending on the estimated distance travelled for the year. For more information please follow this link:
For more information on motor vehicle discount offerings, please do not hesitate to contact our short-term insurance department.
OMI gives expired driver’s licences a grace period ››
Many were unable to renew their driver’s licenses during the lockdown period. This is a cause for concern about the insurance implications when involved in an accident or insured incident while driving with an expired driver’s license.
OMI is taking the COVID-19 lockdown situation into consideration and is granting their clients a grace period until 28 February 2021 to renew their driver’s license. Please note that this does not apply to vehicle registration/license discs.
Thatch Risk Acceptances adds Chauffeur Service ››
The specialist thatch insurance underwrite has launched “Thatch Chauffeur”, which has been added to the Thatch Assist Covers provided by Global Choices Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd.
The new product is immediately available at an additional premium of R 35.94 per month, or R 431.28 per year.
The following additional services form part of this exciting product:
– Home Safe Chauffeur
– Airport Drive
– Trauma & Treatment Chauffeur
An annual limit of 6 trips for all chauffeur services will apply. Any trips booked above this limit will be for the insured’s own account.
Please click here to download the summary or contact our short-term insurance department.
MUA offers Motor Depreciation protection cover ››
The insurer launched this exciting feature last August. It is an optional cover offered at an additional premium to insure your car for an amount equal to its retail value at the time that you first selected the cover. This benefit applies when you claim for a so-called “total loss” (which occurs if the vehicle is written off after an accident because it is uneconomical to repair, or the vehicle is stolen or hijacked and not recovered).
Example: You bought a car for a price of R1 Mio. in 2017 and insured it for that retail value at the time. You decided to take out the optional Depreciation Protection Cover at this point, which means that MUA records a value of R1 Mio. as the “Depreciation Protection Insured Value” on your policy schedule. In 2020 the vehicle now has a retail value of R750’000 when it was stolen.
Most standard motor insurance policies will only pay an amount of R750’000. However, because you elected the Depreciation Protection Cover, MUA will pay you an additional amount of R 250’000 – being the difference between the reasonable retail value of the vehicle on the date of loss and the amount stated on your policy schedule.
This cover is only available for a maximum of 5 years from the time that you elected to have this benefit. Thereafter the benefit will cease.
For further information, please contact your short-term insurance consultant at SwissSure.
Ask us for the retail value of your car(s) ››
You are always welcome to contact us if you are not certain when insuring, buying or selling a car. It becomes more difficult if your car has been modified and/or has extras. We have online access to the Mead & McGrouther system, which lays down the values of all cars in South Africa.
You can contact your short-term insurance consultant and we will gladly assist you.
Tourists are welcome again in South Africa ››
As mentioned in our last newsflash, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently announced that South Africa’s borders are open for all international travel.
The prohibited list of countries has been done away with and visitors from all around the world can now travel to South Africa.
All travellers landing at the three international airports must present a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) Covid-test which is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. Furthermore, the international travellers should possess a mandatory travel insurance which is supposed to cover the COVID-19 test and quarantine costs. All these travellers will be subjected to COVID-19 screening on arrival.
Those who present COVID-19 symptoms which include elevated body temperatures and flu-like symptoms will be required to take a COVID-19 test which should be covered by the travel insurance. Should the test results come back positive, the traveller will be subjected to mandatory quarantine, which will also be paid for by the traveller or the travel insurance.
All travellers will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app. In addition to the above requirements, we recommend that you present a proof of stay in South Africa, like a hotel booking or your proof of ownership if you have property in South Africa.
To read the latest Government regulations, please click here.
Expired Visas valid until 29th January 2021 ››
Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has issued directions in line with the National State of Disaster Regulations to extend the validity period of legally issued visas, which expired during the lockdown period, to 29 January 2021. The directions extend the initial validity period from 31 October 2020. This means that lawfully issued visas, which expired from 15 February and during the period of the lockdown, are deemed to be valid until the end of January 2021. Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas.
5. HEALTH INSURANCE
Discovery Health changes 2021 ››
Herewith a short summary of the major points for next year:
– Contribution increases
Will be frozen across all plans for the first six months of 2021, and contributions will increase on 1 July 2021. The contribution increase will be announced during the second quarter of 2021.
– Connected Care
Discovery Health is giving access to a remotely guided doctor visit by connecting the internationally acclaimed TytoHome device to the member’s virtual consultation. This care is for members at home and a first in South Africa. The device enables remotely-guided, clinical-grade virtual consultations with a GP anywhere at any time.
The kit includes an examination camera, thermometer, otoscope and stethoscope and allows a user to capture and share not only ear, throat and skin images but also lung and heart auscultations (sounds typically heard with a stethoscope) and share these easily with a doctor in the TytoCare Doctor Network.
– Mental health program
From 2021, Discovery Health’s existing mental health program has been enhanced to offer a relapse prevention program which will provide clinical support and benefits for members that are at risk of a recurrence of a major depression.
There is now free access to Vitality active rewards personal health goals for members at risk of or diagnosed with major depression. The personal health goals will allow members to track their own health progress and be rewarded for completing their mental health checks and tracking their mental wellbeing.
– Launch of cover for infertility treatment
To support members affected by infertility from 2021, Discovery is introducing the Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Therapy benefit, to provide cover for Assisted Reproductive Technologies, such as:
In-vitro fertilization (IVF)
Intra-uterine insemination (IUI)
Frozen embryo transfer (FET)
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Female members aged 25-42 years old, on Executive and Comprehensive Plans (who have been members for at least two years) will have access to the benefit, with cover for up to two cycles of ART.
– Expansion of day surgery network
Discovery currently covers a defined and clinically appropriate list of elective day surgery procedures in the day surgery network for priority, Saver, core, Smart and KeyCare plans.
In 2021, the day surgery network will be expanded to the Comprehensive plans and, to maintain appropriate coverage, will see the addition of two more hospitals in Johannesburg, four in Pretoria and one in Rustenburg.
Discovery said that new hospitals will be added to plan-specific hospital networks and some hospitals within the networks will be replaced. Details will be released in due course.
– Formula changes for chronic drug amounts
From 1 January 2021, certain formulary changes and Chronic Drug Amount updates will be applied. These changes have been communicated to members directly.
– Limits, co-payments and deductibles
For 2021, co-payments and deductibles are increased by 3.5% to 4%. And, benefit limits are increased by 3%, with the exception of the following, for which there is no increase in 2021:
Specialised Medicine and Technology Benefit;
International Travel Benefit;
Overseas Treatment Benefit;
KeyCare mobility Benefit.
– Co-payments for endoscopic procedures
Currently, the scheme applies a co-payment of between R 3750 and R 4550 to in-patient gastrointestinal scopes on all of its plans except the KeyCare plans.
No co-payment applies to gastroscopies, colonoscopies, proctoscopies and sigmoidoscopies performed in the doctor’s rooms and for confirmed PMB cases.
For 2021, Discovery will continue to apply no co-payment where scopes are performed in doctor’s rooms and/or endoscopic suites. A reduced co-payment of R 3650 on all plans (except KeyCare) for scopes performed in day clinics is applied, and a co-payment of between R 5300 and R 6250 (depending on the chosen plan) will be applied for scopes performed in acute hospitals.
Discovery Vitality updates:
Vitality members will receive Vitality points for screenings and physical activities done in 2019, to top up their 2020 Vitality points where applicable, by the end of October 2020.
In 2021, Vitality members can track and access discounted workouts at over 300 digital and physical Vitality-enabled fitness facilities.
Discovery is launching the Vitality HealthyDining benefit, which will include fresh and frozen meal kits and ready-made meals at partners.
Vitality has also partnered with Nike to offer discounts to members.
As from November 2020, Nespresso has already been added as a new Vitality Active Rewards partner.
For more information, please visit www.discovery.co.za.
BDAE adjusts premiums for the Expat Retired policy ››
The risk carrier of the EXPAT RETIRED international health insurance will change as of 1. April 2021. This is due to an alteration of the group insurance contract with BDAE Expat GmbH. In future, Swiss Life will be the new insurance partner for this product. This change does not change the insurance cover of your clients. You will continue to receive the contractually guaranteed benefits as usual.
Although unrelated to this new partnership, the insurer will be forced to adjust the monthly insurance premiums in the EXPAT RETIRED product as of 1. April 2021. The reason for this is the global increase in healthcare costs, which has led to a significant increase in insurance costs regarding claims settlements.
The new contributions from 1 April 2021 are as follows:
New Travel- and Covid-Insurance policy offering ››
As per the National State of Disaster Regulations, foreign tourists need to provide proof that they are covered for any Covid-related costs in South Africa by an overseas insurer.
Unfortunately, most overseas insurers do not provide cover if you are travelling for leisure purposes. Another problem is that standard travel policies carry exclusions and maximum entry ages.
We are very pleased to announce that we have an insurance offering, which meets the requirements laid down by the SA government.
How to calculate your Body Corporate (community scheme) levy ››
We recently were approached by one of our clients and would like to share this important information with you:
There are three parts that make up the community scheme levy:
Reserve Fund Forecast:
The reserve fund levy amount is determined by the following calculation:
Cost of planned maintenance activities – (reserve fund opening balance + interest earned on reserve fund account).
It is best practice to perform this calculation not only for the year ahead, but against the backdrop of the 10-year maintenance plan.
Administrative fund levy:
The admin fund pays for operational expenses. Budgeting for the admin fund is an essential step towards gaining control of your body corporate expenses. This can be improved by taking the same long-term approach as described for the reserve fund– by projecting the admin fund cash flow over 10 years.
Section 11 of the CSOS Regulations of 2016 stipulates that a levy is payable by every community scheme on a quarterly basis. The CSOS levy to be collected from the unit owners is calculated as “the lesser of R 40.00 or 2% of the amount by which the monthly levy charged by the Scheme exceeds R 500.00”.
The formula would be as follows:
Cash flow forecast:
Where a body corporate has a history of poor financial management, it may have to resort to a special levy or a bridging loan before getting back on track to financial prosperity. With a regularly updated cash flow forecast in hand, the trustees possess the perfect tool to lessen the dependency on such radical measures.
Reserve fund forecast:
This long-term approach is best achieved by creating a 10-year reserve fund cash flow forecast that is based directly on the 10-year maintenance plan. It will tell you exactly how much money is available at the end of each financial year based on the opening balance, interest earned, levy contributions and maintenance expenditure.
Admin fund forecast:
Budgeting for the admin fund is an essential step towards maintaining control of a body corporate expenses. By combining the 10-year cash flow forecasts of both the reserve fund and the admin fund, a body corporate will be in complete control of its financial wellbeing.
Our office hours over the festive season ››
Please note that we are open on normal working days Monday – Thursday from 08.30 am to 16.30 pm and Fridays 08.30 am – 16.00 pm. Our offices will be closed from the 23rd December 2020 from 12.00 pm and we will reopen on the 4th January 2021 08.30 am.
Should you have an emergency during the above period, please contact the following short-term insurer’s emergency numbers:
Renasa Domestic: 0861 628 328 or 083 791 0201
Renasa Commercial: 0861 736 266 or 083 791 0164
BnB Sure / Bryte: 0800 55 66 77 or 0861 976 656 (Hospitality Assist – includes cover for home and roadside emergencies)
Execuline / Hollard: 0860 103 434
HIC: 011 455 8528 or 011 455 5271
MUA: 0861 000 682 – 24 hour contact centre, after hours, weekends & public holidays
MUA: Geyser claims 0861 682 467 – during office hours
Old Mutual Insure / Elite: 0860 247 365
Santam: 0860 505 911
Vantage: 0800 214 763
Western: 0860 400 007
HLU: 0861 227 627
CIA: 087 135 1222
Hollard Roadside assist 0860 038262
Hollard Geyser Hotline 021 702 0442 (Fogi Plumbing)
AIG (Chartis): 0860 005666