Insurance News Updates 2020

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SA tech startup develops tech to detect disease in livestock

The University of Cape Town and a local tech startup, 3DIMO have begun working together to create new technological ways to detect disease in livestock as early as possible. Founded in August 2018, 3DIMO originally focused on creating sports building hardware and software that could detect injury early and monitor an athlete's performance. Thola The CEO of 3DIMO, Nneile Nkholise, explained that as the company grew they saw an opportunity to become a large part of the solution to the challenges in the agriculture sector and decided to move their focus into this sector. 3DIMO eventually began developing the Thola infrared imaging tool which is currently in its final testing phase. We have worked with 317 farmers and 17000 cattle and the value of our solution has been providing farmers with the biometric identity of their animals which has a benefit that goes beyond identifying an animal that is not well but also helps with linking an animal to its owner, explained Nkholise. Nkholise added that is has been an advantage to have UCT Professor Amit Kumar Mishra as the tech lead for their team. Professor Mishra was able to bring in a team of engineers who previously his students. Many of the students had worked on similar projects and it is enriching to see academics apply the knowledge they build throughout the years of research in real life to solve some of the most challenging problems in society and in turn making a huge impact on sustainability, commented Nkholise. Due to the engineers having previously worked on similar systems it only took two months to do a proof of concept and begin pilot tests for Thola. How it works The Thola infrared imaging tool has been designed with the purpose of helping small scale and medium scale farmers as they are at most risk of losing their income. The inexpensive tool consists of a basic infrared that can be mounted on a phone or a drone to scan larger areas. The camera measures the heat signature at different parts of the animal that is being scanned. This will help farmers detect any abnormalities or diseases in the animal. Importance of early detection The Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on how susceptible humans can be to life-threatening diseases. However, animals are just as vulnerable, if not more, to fatal pandemics. The loss of livestock can end up costing farmers their livelihoods. The loss of livestock could have a ripple effect which could lead to loss of work for farm workers and a shortage in the meat supply. In 2013, eight million pigs were killed in the US due to the porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus. It is all the more reason for farmers to be able to detect the disease as early and as accurately as possible. Long term goals for Thola Nkholise stated that 3DIMO has international long term goals for the Thola infrared imaging tool. The startup aims to build an international database of animal biometric identities that will be able to connect an animal to its owner by simply taking a picture. This will be able to combat livestock theft in some countries in Africa and provide an opportunity to partner with insurance companies.

sep 29 2020 8:36pm
newsarticle News : Startups
Compensation Fund covers workers' COVID-19 claims

The Compensation Fund (CF) has to date received 7 966 COVID-19 claims. The CF received62%(4 929) of the claims, with Rand Mutual having received35%(2 792) of the claims, while Federated Employers received3%(23645). From the total claims received,57%(4 548) were received from females and43%(3 418) from males. An amount ofR5 007 464.01has since been paid towards the benefits. The distribution of payments is as follows: - R664 322.20paid for temporary total disablementand this constitutes13%of the total amount paid. - R51 477.53paid towardspermanent disability lump sumand this constitutes just above1%of the total amount paid. - R1 015 555.16paid out in medical aid costs and constitutes20%of the total amount paid. - R18 251.00paid out in funeral costs and constitutes just below1%of the total amount paid. - R3 257 858.12paid out in dependents benefits costs and constitutes65%of the total amount paid. From the total,claims received,57%(4 574) were adjudicated and43%(3 392) are not yet adjudicated. The breakdown is as follows: - Of the total 4 929 claims received by the Compensation Fund,81%(3 987) were adjudicated and19%(942) still to be adjudicated. - Of the adjudicated 3 987 claims by the CF, liability was accepted for86%(3 443) and liability repudiated for14%(544). Of the total 2 792 claims received by Rand Mutual,13%(371) were adjudicated and87%(2 421) are still to be adjudicated. Of the adjudicated 371 claims by RMA, liability was accepted for10%(38) and liability repudiated for90%(333). Of the total 245 claims received by Federated Employers,88%(216) were adjudicated and12%(29) are still to be adjudicated. Of the adjudicated claims, liability was accepted for49%(105) and liability repudiated for51%(111). The work of the Compensation Fund comes in the wake of the improved controls and systems that the Unemployment insurance Fund has instituted resulting in better vetting of claims and claimants. As oftoday, theUIFhas assessed and paid over R43 billion (R43 532 125 278.30) in 9 934 007 paymentsto employeesfrom 874 852 employer applications. A total number of over one million employers have submitted claims on behalf of11 283 665employees. However, there are still 443 369 employees who have not been declared by employers and until that is the case, the claims will remain in abeyance. We still have about 443 369 undeclared employees whose April, May and June claims we could not process for payments, and we urge employers to make declarations either electronically on uFiling or by completing the UI-19 form [email protected] a case of less than 10 employees, said the acting UIF Commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst. Bronkhorst said the new controls that have been instituted in the wake of the Auditor-Generals report have not only made the process smoother but have also weeded out undeserving claims, including those made on behalf of deceased persons, prisoners and other unqualifying claimants.

sep 29 2020 8:36pm
How digital platform drives insurance uptake during pandemic

sep 28 2020 6:36pm
business News : Mixed
The application window for the Space-Tech Innovation Challenge 2020 now open

-Tech Innovation Challenge 2020. The programme hopes to attract the top innovators across the continent. The challenge will narrow down to downstream tech applications in insurance, agriculture, sustainability, retail, and conservation. Space technology involves the use of remote-sensing applications and tools to carry out earth observations. The demand for the adoption of such technologies has risen drastically driving down costs and creating sustainability. Space tech is now at a point where practically most businesses use it without knowing. Adoption of space tech in Africa Africa is witnessing a strong surge in the growth of space technologies. However, its main uses remain under-utilized. Many innovators are fixated on coming with solutions to solve this problem. The African Union views earth observation as a fundamental resource that must be leveraged to achieve pertinent development goals. This has prompted the rise of initiatives such as the open innovation challenge. Benefits to participants The top 10 startups that take part in the challenge will get an opportunity to address a global audience at the GEO Week. There will be a well-represented media presence (including social media) by ZASpace and partners. In addition, a one-month business-development support package by the Research Institute for Innovation Sustainability . Finalists who make it to the final pitching den get satellite imagery from Maxar's archive worth $75,250. More benefits are detailed at To take part, at least one of the participants must be of African origin. You first download the SPACE-TECH CHALLENGE SUBMISSION FORM the registration forms, then complete your registration here . Share

sep 24 2020 9:35am
newsarticle News : Startups
ABC transport, Wapic insurance others lift NSE index by 0.01%

sep 24 2020 9:35am
business News : Markets
AXA Mansard insurance Hosts Brokers

sep 23 2020 12:23pm
mixed News : News
Former Bendel insurance Defender, Adejoh, Dies

sep 22 2020 11:20am
sports News : Mixed
UIF COVID-19 TERS payments resume today

The Unemployment insurance Fund (UIF) is resuming the payment of COVID-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits from today. TERS aims to put hard cash in the hands of workers to shield them from the worst effects of the Coronavirus enforced lockdown. "We plan a payment run for all outstanding payments for April, May and June 2020 on Monday and Tuesday. After that, we will plan to run payments for the 1 July to 15 August 2020 period from 23 - 26 September 2020, said the acting UIF Commissioner Marsha Bronkhorst. The two-week halt of payments came as the Fund was responding to observations from the Auditor-General (AG), which highlighted lax controls. The AGs report guided the UIF on the steps to take to ensure that only deserving recipients benefit from TERS cash disbursements. "We are aware that many workers around the country have been placed on the back foot as a result of the need to ensure that our systems stand up to scrutiny, and we close the gaps identified by the Auditor-General. While the inconvenience was greatly regretted, we are pleased that we have turned things around and our systems are ready to make a difference in the lives of workers again, Bronkhorst said. The Fund has since scheduled multiple payments to fast track payments this week. It has also initiated discussions with government departments and agencies to assist in synchronising its data to ensure that COVID-19 TERS payments reach the right and authentic beneficiaries. While the Fund will start processing payments, this applies to competent claims only and incomplete forms will not be automatically processed. "We still have claims that are yet to be processed in the system because of outstanding information. We urge employers to submit this information and we have made it easier for them to know what is still outstanding by developing the discrepancy tab in the system, and they can also use FAQs on the DEL website," said Bronkhorst. Closing dates COVID-19 TERS benefit applications for March 2020 to end May 2020 will close on 25 September 2020, while the COVID-19 TERS benefit applications for June 2020 will close on 15 October 2020. COVID-19 TERS benefit applications for July to 15 September 2020 will close on 30 October 2020. According to the Fund, no further applications will be accepted beyond these closing dates. However, the closing dates will not affect claims that have already been submitted, as they will be settled once all the outstanding information is finally submitted to the Fund. The extraordinary payments which have seen R42 billion placed in the hands of workers are part of governments response to the pandemic, and are designed to ensure that workers are not irreparably negatively affected by the lockdown and its resultant lack of economic activity, the UIF said.

sep 22 2020 11:20am
Foschini Group one step closer to acquiring Jet stores

The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal conditionally approve The Foschini Group's proposed transaction to acquire Jet stores. The Foschini Group, also known as TFG, put an offer to buy Jet from Edcon for a cash purchase consideration of R480 million. TFG announced last month that is had concluded a purchase agreement, reports said. The cash-strapped Edcon Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection in April after losing R2 billion during the hard lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, which has claimed almost 16000 lives in South Africa. TFG is one of the foremost independent chain store groups in South Africa. The group has a diverse portfolio of 29 leading fashion retail brands offering clothing, jewellery, cell phones, accessories, cosmetics, luggage, sporting apparel and equipment, homeware, and furniture. It also offers insurance products. Meanwhile, the Jet division sells clothing, footwear, homeware, cosmetics, cellular and insurance products locally, and also has stores inBotswana, Namibia, Lesotho and the kingdom of Eswatini. The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets. The Commission and the merging parties have agreed on merger conditions, said the Commission. These include ensuring that the merging parties retain at least 381 Jet stores and the employment of at least 4 664 Jet employees from the target firm. The merging parties have also committed to making efforts to increase the number of Jet stores that will be retained post-merger, said the Commission. The acquiring firm has agreed to give preference to eligible Edcon employees, should vacancies arise in the Jet business for three years from the implementation date. The merging parties have also made commitments to try to increase their procurement of locally produced inventory going forward, the Commission said.

sep 18 2020 6:49pm