Schindlers Attorneys is a dynamic multi-disciplinary law firm offering a full range of legal services to both corporate and individual clients in South Africa and around the world. Through our unmatched professionalism and comprehensive knowledge of the South African business environment, we ensure that our lawyers offer the highest calibre legal advice in every situation.
Our innovative approach and creative business solutions are specifically tailored to guarantee that every client’s individual needs are met, and by taking the time to understand our client’s business, we ensure consistently remarkable results. The firm is widely recognised for our friendly and flexible approach, our rapid turn-around times and exceptionally high ethical standards – a combination that keeps our clients coming back time and time again.
Our dynamic team of experienced insurance attorneys offer expert advice on all aspects of insurance law. We have represented both insurers and the insured individuals and corporates alike.
Our skilled attorneys take care to understand the complexities of each client’s legal requirements and formulate tailored strategies and approaches accordingly.
- Short Term Insurance;
- Long Term Insurance;
- Medical Aid;
- Referral of claims to the FAIS Ombudsman;
- Referral of claims to the Ombudsman for Short Term Insurance;
- Training and seminars;
- Recoveries; and
- Legal opinions.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schindlers Attorneys is offering general insurance law and insurance policy advice, free of charge, to businesses and individuals who may be feeling financial pressure during the lockdown period.
In order to ensure that we can help as many people as possible, free of charge, certain factors will be taken into account, to determine whether you or your business qualifies for this assistance.
These factors are as follows:
For Juristic Persons:
1. Annual Turnover, and/or Asset Value;
2. Contract Value – sums insured, limits of indemnity, insured asset value etc.; and/or
3. Value of your Claim.
For Natural Persons:
1. Annual Income, and/or Value of Assets owned by Natural Person;
2. Contract Value – sums insured, limits of indemnity, insured asset value etc.; and/or
3. Value of your Claim.
Should you wish to make use of Schindler’s free insurance advice service, please provide us with the relevant financial documents, for individuals or businesses, as well as your policy schedule, policy wording, and quantified claim (if any).
Please email your query, and any supporting documents (such as those stated above) to email@example.com and a member of our team will get back to you.
Due to the fact that all advice is provided by qualified and experienced attorneys, the extent of advice given, and the time spent reading policy wording, will be limited, so that we can assist as many people as possible.
Schindlers Attorneys is passionate about assisting the community. Should you not qualify for this free advice service, you may still qualify for a discount on our fees, to minimise any financial burden arising from these difficult economic times.
A: Travel cover generally only applies to unforeseen situations. In light of the wide media coverage of COVID-19, most travel policies will no longer cover cancellation resulting from COVID-19.
Regarding treatment should one contract COVID-19 abroad, policyholders are to check whether their travel policies includes treatment for a COVID-19 infection.
Policy holders must get in touch with their insurers to find out what third-party global service providers may be able to offer during global pandemics.
A: Cargo insurance contracts are designed to cover goods while in the course of travel. The scope of coverage includes, amongst others, delays and interruptions in transit that are beyond the control of the insured.
With respect to the liability of a carrier or logistics service provider, the inability to perform services as a result of COVID-19 quarantines will likely be covered by force majeure provisions included in most contracts of carriage, either per a standard bill of lading or under custom contract.
Standard bills of lading will likely absolve logistics companies of liabilities arising out of their inability to provide services during the outbreak.
There may, however, be instances of inconsistent approaches/interpretations of the force majeure provisions giving rise to potential disputes.
A: To mitigate Public Liability (third party) claims, businesses who have clients/customers at their premises must ensure that their premises are cleaned and sterilised regularly. Businesses should have hand sanitisers and masks available for employees and customers, and should ensure that soap and running water is available to wash hands. Businesses must ensure that any employee showing symptoms of Covid-19, or any employee who has been in contact with a person infected with Covid-19, is sent home and quarantined, without occupational detriment. Businesses should consider posting signs around the workplace, and public areas, reminding employees and customers to avoid close contact.
To mitigate Business Interruption claims, businesses should ensure that all essential employees have access to laptops and/or portable electronic equipment, internet and phones, so that they may effectively work from home.
If a business does not mitigate its risk, which mitigation would have been reasonable to do, their insurer will have a basis to repudiate their claim, or a portion thereof.
A: If the individual who passes away due to the coronavirus had a life insurance policy, the nominee of the policy will get the sum assured as the death benefit. When the insured person dies, the death benefit is paid to the nominee or the beneficiary nominee after a valid insurance claim is filed. While some life insurance policies have exclusions for a specific cause of death (such as an infectious disease), coronavirus will likely be covered if you already have an existing life insurance policy. Therefore, only existing life insurance policyholders are covered. Policy wording must, however be carefully examined.
If you get a policy now, you should keep in mind that insurers determine the premiums of a policy on the basis of your health and medical history. Therefore, the coronavirus would have an impact on your policy acceptance and premiums.
A: Yes, although it is important to note that this cover will only apply to a policy holder who has actually tested positive for Covid-19, and not an insured who is missing work due to a self-imposed quarantine, or a suspicion that they may have Covid-19. Confirmation from a registered medical practitioner will be required for cover.
Take note that certain insurers are considering adjusting their benefits, to exclude cover for disability as a result of contracting Covid-19. This is due to the large number of claims already received. Clients are advised to carefully read any correspondence received from their insurer, in case the insurer attempts to exclude this risk. Generally, insurers cannot amend the policy, without agreement from the insured, however, should an insured neglect to read and object to, any relevant policy amendments, the amendment may apply.
A: Medical aid premiums are likely to increase in order to cover the costs associated with the pandemic.
A: Yes, some insurers offer Severe Illness benefits in terms of an individual’s life insurance policy. Insurers are paying policyholder retrospectively from the date of positive Covid-19 test result for as long as the client with the virus is unable to perform their nominated occupation due to the disease, subject to a guaranteed payment of no more than 14 days.
A: To cover the insured’s inability to work as a result of disability or injury. Some insurers have extended this policy to include the inability to work as a result of being medically isolated by a medical practitioner or by a government authority, in response to direct or probable contact with COVID-19.
A: Typically, insurers pay all death and funeral claims, regardless of what caused the death, so long as the claim complies with the usual requirements.
A: The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) defines a Person Under Investigation as a hospitalised patient with severe acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease, e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
AND the absence of an alternative diagnosis that fully explains the clinical presentation
OR Any person with acute respiratory illness with sudden onset of at least one of the following: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever [≥ 38°C (measured) or history of fever (subjective)] irrespective of admission status
AND In the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms, met at least one of the following epidemiological criteria: Were in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19;
OR Had a history of travel outside of South Africa; OR Worked in4 or attended a health care facility where patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections were being treated.
A: Many insurers require that a person be classified as a PUI as defined by the NICD in order to submit a Sickness Benefit Claim.
BComm (Law) (Unisa) LLB (Wits)
Lisa Sher obtained a BComm degree from Unisa and an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand she studied insurance law at both universities. She has been a partner at Schindlers Attorneys for 17 years. Her experience in insurance law is set out hereunder.
Lisa Sher led the team in the transaction involving GA Seguros Angola (“GA Seguros”) the largest private insurance company operating in Angola with a composite non-life and life insurance license. She also led the team in the transaction involving Global Alliance Seguros Mozambique (“GA”) one of the leading insurance companies operating in Mozambique. During 2011, 100% of GA’s shares were purchased by the Absa Group.
Lisa Sher led the team for the acquisition by the DARAG Group Limited, which acquired, One Re Ltd (“One Re”), a London-based non-life reinsurance company.
Lisa has also been involved in other transactions related to the sale of insurance related transactions in Namibia, Mauritius, DRC, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, including but not limited to the sale of businesses, products, brokerages and the like.
Lisa Sher has advised leadings software insurance developers in license agreements, advised on the merits of insurance claims to both insurers and the insured, litigated on insurance claims, negotiated both international and local insurance wrapped transactions in relation to Project Finance and Trade Finance.
+27 (0) 11 448 9609
Alec Veitch obtained his BComm LLB degrees from the University of Johannesburg which was conferred upon him in 2012. He has been with Schindlers Attorneys for 8 years and partner for 2 years.
Alec Veitch’s main practice area revolves around the litigation involved with subrogated insurance claims and the defence of an insured with regard to third party claims.
Alec Veitch has also provided a number of opinions to individuals, brokers and insurance companies relating to: policy wording, validity of claims being submitted in consideration of the relevant policy wording and surrounding circumstances, and the legal validity of insurance products being offered.
Alec Veitch has also had a number of dealings with matters submitted to the ombud for short term insurance.
BComm (Law) LLB MComm (Tax) (Rhodes)
Justin Sloane is Partner at Schindlers Attorneys where he runs a general litigation practice which includes, Commercial/Civil Law, Insurance Law (complaints/referrals to the FAIS and Short-Term Insurance Ombudsman, general advice on policy wording, validity of claims and legal opinions), Criminal Law (fraud/theft, drug related charges, drunk driving, sexual offences, extraditions, protection orders, etc), Insolvency Law (liquidations, sequestrations and business rescue), Labour Law (restraints of trade, retrenchments, unfair dismissals, unfair labour practice and legal opinions) Tax Law (objections and appeals to SARS, alternate dispute resolution, tax litigation and legal opinions), Consumer Law, Debt Collection and Property Law. He has a particular interest in White Collar Fraud/Theft and Tax related matters.
Justin has advised numerous clients on compliance with various legislation, including the Companies Act, the National Credit Act, the Consumer Protection Act, the VAT Act and the Income Tax Act. He has Right of Appearance in the High Court and has appeared in various CCMA, Magistrate, Regional, Commercial Crimes and High Court matters, as well as before the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Justin has formed very strong relationships with his clients and has demonstrated to be very resourceful and passionate in his approach, adding value to his client’s bottom line.
BA (Law) (Wits) LLB (Unisa)squier@Schindlers.co.za
Lauren completed her BA at the University of the Witwatersrand and her LLB at the University of South Africa. Lauren completed her term of articles of Clerkship with Schindlers Attorneys in February 2020 and is presently awaiting admission. Lauren has vast experience in insurance law, having worked in an insurance brokerage whilst completing her LLB. Lauren’s experience extends includes the interpretation of policy schedules and wordings, litigation, Ombudsman referrals to the FAIS and Short-Term Insurance Ombudsman, legal recoveries, and third party claims.