The year is finally coming to an end and the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has tirelessly worked through the challenges faced by the industry, actively collaborating with valued stakeholders within the sector to achieve and maintain a sustainable non-life insurance sector. It has not been easy, but the support of the SAIA Board and its guidance kept us focused on achieving the best we could under trying economic and social circumstances.
Update on Recent Key Topics
The regulatory landscape has constantly been changing. The non-life insurance industry is currently dealing with the Department of Labour’s proposed amendment to the Employment Equity Act and the set targets which are in line with the Financial Sector Code’s agreed targets. One of the additions is the 100% compliance with all targets that will now be hard coded into law with severe penalties attached to it. A SAIA, ASISA and BASA joint board level engagement is currently being considered to further discuss the potential risks at an industry level. Please do lookout for a SAIA MD Circular with the proposed targets for the financial sector soon.
The industry witnessed an increase in the number of claims as a result of the continued swings in weather patterns (Climate change) that led to flash floods in the KwaZulu Natal province costing the insurance industry hundreds of millions in damaged infrastructure, property and livelihoods. SAIA takes climate change and the adoption and implementation of adaptation strategies by both the provincial and local governments seriously. The development and implementation of infrastructure maintenance plans by the 278 municipalities across South Africa is of paramount importance as this will have a profound effect on incidents caused by flash floods and accidents resulting from poorly maintained road surfaces (potholes).
Our commitment to the transformation of the industry remains unchanged. In fact, the non-life insurance industry recognises that it is imperative to achieve the desired transformation levels through pulling together. This is further demonstrated by the inclusion of the “Transformation Section” in the SAIA Code of Conduct that requires all members to report certain figures at certain intervals, and encouraging members to support industry initiatives. We would like to thank the members who have taken the time to make submissions in line with the new transformation reporting requirements in the Code of Conduct, while also encouraging those members who have not yet made their submissions to do so. We also thank our members for their support for our important industry initiatives, such as the Consumer Education Initiative.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the SAIA Board, the relevant SAIA Board Committees, SAIA Divisions and various Forums, SAIA Champions, SAIA executive and staff for their efforts to work towards a non-life insurance sector that remains relevant to all stakeholders, from the regulators to the consumers serviced by our member companies. I would also like to thank all our members for entrusting us with the responsibility of representing them to various stakeholders and contributing to a sustainable industry.
And since this is our last Bulletin for the year, I would personally like to wish each one of you happy December/ January holidays!
SAIA Chief Executive