Saving grace for individuals who do not qualify for traditional household insurance

26 May 2020 Hollard Insure and Lumkani Insurance

As winter is at our doorstep, the most vulnerable South Africans will face yet another crisis. The economic and health disaster of COVID19 will now be compounded further with the trauma and anxiety of the rise in shack fires in informal settlements across South Africa. Rebuilding your home and your life will be that much harder for many South Africans affected by shack fires over the next few months.

How does one bounce-back with little income and no savings? In these challenging times our vulnerable communities cannot afford a disaster like a fire forcing them to reassemble their lives.

COVID19 and the subsequent lockdown has emphasised the need for:
? Vast improvements in home safety and security as our primary shelter
? The need for access to innovative low-cost financial services which can be sustained even in the event of crisis

On 16 May 2020 over 10 homes in Masiphumelele, an informal settlement in Cape Town, were destroyed in a single shack fire. Five of the families involved in this tragedy had low-cost home insurance provided by Lumkani and underwritten by Hollard. The families protected by Lumkani and Hollard will benefit greatly as they can rebuild their homes speedily and ensure a dignified Better Future.

The reality of the families who were not insured is devastating. They are left homeless and will struggle to rebuild their lives in the worst economic time South Africa has seen in a decade.

Lumkani is a social enterprise with the mission to mitigate the loss of life and
property caused by shack fires in South Africa and across the world. The award-winning organisation's approach to shack fires is the first of its kind.

Francois Petousis (Head of Product at Lumkani): “We do this in two ways: by providing risk-reducing innovative hardware solutions, designed specifically for these communities, and by developing and distributing affordable financial products to allow people to rebuild after disaster strikes, breaking the cycles of poverty common in these environments”

Lumkani’s affordable insurance may be the saving grace for individuals who do not qualify for traditional household insurance.

Petousis continues: “We provide access to self-protect, without needing to rely on external actors to fund activities to build resilience of people’s shelters and communities”

Lumkani has been funded to deploy its technology by over 16 different humanitarian and other organisations, worldwide. This is a testament of the positive impact of its detection systems and the immense need associated with the challenge of fires in informal settlements across the world.

Quick Polls


The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?


No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
fanews magazine
FAnews August 2020 Get the latest issue of FAnews

This month's headlines

Ethical behaviour - are you toeing the line?
Latest business interruption developments raise more questions than answers
Brokers remember: You are accountable...
A sustainable pension - How to manage living annuities in uncertain times
Claim stats… life can change in a heartbeat
Are South Africa’s income protection benefit providers ready for COVID-19?
Subscribe now