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M & F sends task team to aid flood victims

07 August 2006 Carol Dundas

Short-term insurer Mutual & Federal has despatched an initial emergency team to Port Elizabeth and George to assist policyholders affected by flood damage. At the same time, teams from its branches in the two cities are working with relief workers in support of the wider humanitarian effort by donating blankets, funds and essentials to uninsured families left homeless by the floodwaters.

Over the weekend (Aug 4-6) two further task teams would be sent from head office in Johannesburg to assess damages to homes and buildings and facilitate speedy claims processing, said Keith Kennedy, Executive General Manager Claims at Mutual & Federal.

He added: "The initial task team that was despatched today (Friday, Aug 4) includes builders and artisans. Their priority is to make emergency repairs and render structures safe.

"The devastation is extensive and our policyholders are traumatised. We are doing everything in our power to respond to their cries for help. Our branch staff in both George and Port Elizabeth have put in tremendous efforts, and the local effort is now being reinforced by additional resources from head office and other Mutual & Federal branches."

Regional procurement consultants will source building materials from outside the region due to the anticipated shortages of these commodities in the affected areas.

Hundreds of families have called Mutual & Federal offices to report claims. A continued spate of claims is expected in the coming days.

Schools in Port Elizabeth and George have closed. Mutual & Federals staff members have taken their children to work with them and child-minders have been called in to look after the youngsters.

Keith Kennedy noted: "In an emergency such as this it is obviously vital that we have as many staff available as possible to process claims and respond to client needs. I cannot sufficiently commend the dedicated and resourceful people of Mutual & Federal for going the extra mile and providing uninterrupted, unstinting service to our clients."

Kennedy and newly appointed Regional Manager Pascal Pau are on their way to Port Elizabeth and George to lead emergency response efforts.

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