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Mutual & Federal’s multi-million Rand claim settlement keeps business and jobs alive

13 December 2012 Mutual & Federal
Mutual & Federal CEO, Peter Todd

Mutual & Federal CEO, Peter Todd

Mutual & Federal, a member of the Old Mutual Group, has settled its portion of a major fire claim that is expected to reach R180 million. The claim payment has enabled policyholder, Finlar Fine Foods, to continue servicing major brands in South Africa wit

Finlar Fine Foods manufactures chicken and meat products for the food and retail markets – its main clients include brands such as McDonald’s, County Fair and Woolworths. The claim covered fire and business interruption.

Mutual & Federal CEO, Peter Todd, says that the FinIar Fine Foods claim is an example of how the short-term insurance industry saves jobs and drives money back into the economy - by paying claims timeously. “Through our intervention and with the assistance of loss adjusters Cunningham Lindsey, Finlar Fine Foods was able to continue with its business despite being left with only a burnt structure. The company successfully implemented its contingency plans to move production to Cape Town and was able to import beef products from Australia. A temporary facility was set-up in Johannesburg allowing employees to continue working,” Todd comments.

“From our side, we expect the final portion of the claim to amount to R108 million, R100 million of which has so far been paid out.

“It is a sizeable and complex claim, but one in which Mutual & Federal has been the prime mover in working out the cash flow needs of Finlar Fine Foods. This will ensure minimal disruption to its contractual supply chain, particularly to the McDonalds’ franchises, and will keep the policyholder’s business operational,” he adds.

Heidi Dias, Head of Claims at Mutual & Federal, corroborates Todd’s views by highlighting that, “the prompt settlement of a claim of this magnitude reflects
Mutual & Federal’s brand commitment – which is protecting what’s important to you”.

“These payments have allowed the insured’s business to continue relatively uninterrupted while the necessary repairs are carried out. To enable this, we took the initiative in forecasting the client’s cash flow needs rather than waiting for the client to approach us for money. We established a working committee with the insured to ensure that any deposits and final settlement of equipment were paid according to schedule to minimise delays. We’re well aware that few insured companies have that kind of money readily available,” comments Dias.

This is one example of the noble purpose that Todd has been promoting to industry players since the beginning of the year. He believes that they should be vocal about how settling claims contributes to the economy.

2012 has been one the busiest years for the short-term insurance industry. It was hit by major claims from floods, hailstorms and the recent St Francis Bay fire.

“Paying these claims will result in a financial boon to businesses, especially those in the vehicle repair and building industries. By playing our part, we are saving jobs and are helping in the creation of new ones. That’s what being proudly insurance is all about”, Todd concludes.

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