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Could your insurer reject your claim due to poor tyres?

Dunlop Tyres SA 19/12/2019

As a responsible driver, what can you do to protect your family and ensure that in the event of an accident, your insurance claim will be covered? The first step is to ensure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and that includes your tyres, not only to have your claims paid but to prevent accidents happening.

According to the RTMC, mechanical failures, which include tyre failures, account for 14.1% of road crashes in South Africa. Of these, burst tyres account for 60.6% and smooth tyres for 5.5% - together accounting for over 66% of accidents caused by mechanical failure.

“In the event of a crash, insurance claims could be refuted if it is found that your tyres were in a poor condition, and the insurer can claim a causal link between your tyres and the accident,” says Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop). “Tyres are the only thing keeping your car safely on the road. For this reason, motorists must check their tyres regularly, and replace them if necessary, with tyres that are deemed to be roadworthy. When the tread on your tyre goes below 3mm braking performance starts to deteriorate – especially in wet conditions. Once the tyre reaches the legal limit of 1.6mm it can take twice the distance to stop when the road surface is wet.”

CEO of Impac Underwriting Managers, Hennie van Staden says that “When a vehicle has been involved in a car accident, one of the first things the assessor will do is check the tyres. If the tyre is under the legal tread limit of 1.6 mm, chances are the claim will be rejected. Most often a rejection or dismissal of a car insurance claim will be identified by the car insurer as a serious breach of contract. It is also important to remember that criminal action can be taken against drivers or owners of vehicles with unroadworthy tyres.”

Consider this case history. The insured was travelling on the N1 from Sandton City, Johannesburg to his home in Midrand. Just before the Midrand turnoff, a dog ran onto the freeway just missing the 4x4 he was driving. He swerved, braked heavily to try and avoid the dog, but ultimately collided with the barrier. The insurer rejected liability because both rear tyres had tread below the legal limit, and it was a condition of the policy that the vehicle had to be in a roadworthy condition. The insured did not accept the outcome and requested a report from the AA, which confirmed both rear tyres to be unroadworthy.

The ombudsman responded as follows:

“The policy issued to the insurer contained specific conditions that the vehicle is kept in a roadworthy condition at ALL TIMES in terms of the Road Traffic Ordinance. The tread depth did not meet the requirements. The insurer’s decision was not based entirely on the policy condition, but also on the fact that the accident may have been avoided and the damage lessened had the vehicle tyres been in good condition.” Based on this, the ombudsman upheld the insurer’s decision.

“Car insurance is not supposed to be a battleground between policyholders and insurance companies. It’s an agreement reached through mutual understanding, where the insurance company agrees to provide cover for specified risk in return for the payment of car insurance premiums,” van Staden explains. “Both parties agree to abide by clearly specified clauses and warranties in the car insurance policy. If a party to the contract fails to abide by these, he/she is in breach of contract and the law or the ombudsman must ensure that justice and fairness prevail.”

“Replacing your tyres before they wear beyond the tread limit of 1.6 mm and maintaining optimal tyre pressure are musts to prevent mechanical failures on the road. You will find the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle displayed on the inside of the driver’s door, the fuel cap or in your vehicle owner’s manual. Inspect tyres at least once a month by turning them to the side to get a full view of the tyre tread depth. Rotating tyres atleat once a year will extend tyre life,” Haffejee advises.

“If you are unsure as to whether or not your tyres are safe, meet the legal requirements or need rotation, it is best to visit a reputable fitment centre for advice,” advises Haffejee. “These operations have professional staff who have been trained and can conduct a thorough assessment of your tyres.”

For more information, please visit https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/Partwornguidelines

References:
http://www.rtmc.co.za/images/rtmc/docs/nrss/National%20Road%20Safety%20Strategy1.pdf


2019 Read More...

Helping learners put their best foot forward

Dunlop Tyres SA 12/12/2019


Grade 8 – 11 learners at the Bhekinthuthuko Secondary School, along with their educators, were thrilled to receive the donation of a brand new pair of school shoes. The donation, sponsored and co-ordinated by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa and the company’s suppliers, will see 1670 school children from two high schools in the Ladysmith area, attend school with pride next year.


According to a recent UNICEF report, 11.9 children live in income poverty in South Africa, which for many means new school shoes are unaffordable. These same children are expected to walk long distances to school, often over rough terrain such as gravel roads or footpaths. Those who do have shoes, often have ones that do not fit correctly, are either too small or too big, with worn-out soles or broken buckles.

Recognising the importance of correct fitting and comfortable shoes for learners, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop) pledged R150 000 and appealed to the company’s suppliers to assist further. As a result, a total of R280 000 was raised to equip under-privileged children in the rural areas surrounding their Ladysmith manufacturing plant with brand new school shoes for the 2020 school year. Partnering with Ntenga Footwear and Bhanas Wholesalers, the company delivered a total of 1670 brand new school shoes to 819 female learners and 851 male learners from grades eight to eleven at the Bhekinthuthuko Secondary and Steadville High schools on Wednesday the 4th of December.

“Earlier this year Sumitomo Dunlop donated a fully equipped classroom to our school, providing our matric learners with an excellent environment in which to learn and prepare for their final examinations. Our learners and their families are going to be so incredibly grateful for these shoes,” said Bhekinthuthuko Secondary School headmaster, Mr Madonsela.

Head of Steadville High, Mrs Shabalala said, “This is indeed a joyous end to 2019 for our learners. We are overwhelmed by this donation.”

Sumitomo Dunlop partners with the two schools to provide tutoring to grade 11 and 12 learners in mathematics and science, stationery and other supplies, hosting career guidance days, bringing in teams of staff from across the country to share their education and career journeys and encourage our learners to stay in school and strive for success.

For more, visit: www.srigroup.co.za


Featured 2019 Featured Article Read More...

Three simple checks to save you money on your tyres

Dunlop Tyres SA 05/12/2019


"Road safety is the responsibility of all road users", says President Cyril Ramaphosa. “Safer roads begin with checking our vehicles and keeping them off the road if they are not roadworthy,” he said in a recent speech addressing various stakeholders and the public. The South African President mourned the loss of over 14000 lives due to accidents on our roads and acknowledged the estimated R147 million per year that roadway accidents cost the country. He went on to stress that roads will not become safer unless we, as road users, change our attitudes.

Being aware of what a safe tyre looks like, is part of arriving safely at your destination. As a board member of the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC), Haffejee has the following tips to share for staying safe on the road:

  1. Maintain pressure
  2. Check your tyre pressure at least once per month at the filling station. On the inside panel of the driver’s door, in the fuel cap or the vehicle owner’s manual, you will find a sticker that details the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle’s tyres. Always ensure that your tyres are maintained at the correct inflation as prescribed by your vehicle manufacturer, as this is the easiest way to extend tyre life and ensure that your car handles properly on the road. Under- or over-inflation of tyres can cause damage to the tyre, reduce their lifespan or could result in an accident.

  3. Inspect the tread and tyre regularly
  4. Around once a month, turn the steering to the far right to get a full view of the front tyres and inspect the tread. Look out for uneven tread wear and inspect the tyre tread depth. Then check the rear tyres as well. Tyre manufacturers include a tread wear indicator (TWI) within the tyre tread. This indicator looks like a small square in the groove of the tyre. As an international standard the TWI is set at 1.6mm and when the rest of the tyre tread is level with this indicator, or below, your tyres are no longer legal and need to be replaced. It is important to note that once you go below 3mm tread depth, the braking performance of your tyres will be reduced. Once the tread gets to the absolute minimum – the 1.6mm – your wet braking could increase by more than double, and you will have a problem stopping your vehicle in an emergency. The tyre is also illegal according The National Road Traffic Act.

    During this visual inspection, always make sure to check the sides of the tyres for bulges (or bubble type defects), gashes or cuts that expose any steel wires or fabric in the tyre. According to the National Road Traffic Act, a legal tyre must be free of these defects.

  5. Rotate regularly
  6. The general rule for tyre rotation is every 8000 – 10000km but diarise to have your tyres rotated and balanced by a reputable fitment centre once a year. If you see uneven tyre wear or feel a “shudder” when driving, get them checked straight away. Ask the tyre expert to give your tyres a thorough once over to ensure that they are safe for use on the road.

    Driving with worn or unsafe tyres could also result in your insurer rejecting your claim. “In the event of an accident, if your tyres are not in fit-for-use condition, your insurance claim will be rejected – even if the tyres were not the direct cause of the accident,” says Hennie van Staden, CEO Impac Underwriting Managers. “As part of an insurance contract, the onus of maintaining a roadworthy vehicle is on the vehicle owner. Failure to do so constitutes a breach of contract.”

    Your first choice should always be to replace a worn or damaged tyre with a new tyre. While second hand tyres may seem like a cost-effective solution to brand new tyres, there is a reason those tyres were removed from the previous vehicle they were on. Surveys show that over 61% of second hand tyres are not safe for use on the roads.² Buying Second hand tyres should be a very last resort, but if you do need to do so, go to a recognised retail outlet to ensure that the tyre you purchase is safe to reuse.

    As our President said, “We all have a right to safety, and it is up to each of us to create that safety through our own conduct. It is through our individual sense of responsibility that all of us will arrive alive, uninjured and without any infringements, fines or judgements against our names, all of the time.”

For more, visit https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/Partwornguidelines

2019 Featured Article Read More...

KZN business scoops 2019 Exporter of the Year Award

Dunlop Tyres SA 31/10/2019

 

Image: From Left to right: Ian Pillay Group Manager: Sales (International Business) and Riaan Rix Group Manager: Sales (International Business)

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd has won at the KZN Exporter of the Year Awards – for the second year in a row. Announced on 17 October at the awards banquet held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, the KwaZulu-Natal tyre manufacturer, better known as Sumitomo Dunlop, received the prestigious award of KZN Exporter of Year 2019 in the Africa category.

“2019 has been a challenging year for Sumitomo Dunlop. Apart from the tough economic conditions in the domestic market, which showed its third consecutive contraction in tyre market volume, we have also been commissioning and ramping up production after our investment into the factory upgrade and extension over the past few years. As a result, the export market has become even more important to us,” said Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa. “This was also the year of our 130-year celebration of the Dunlop brand and to win the KZN Exporter of the Year Award is a such a great honour. This win further affirms that we are on track to be the number 1 tyre manufacturer in Africa.”

Currently exporting into 48 countries in Africa, Sumitomo Dunlop has a fast-growing retail footprint with close to 500 branded franchise stores. These cater for the tyre fitment needs of consumers and commercial fleet owners providing access to safe, quality tyres.

The Sumitomo Dunlop brand has continued to invest in the local economy, creating jobs in the region while increasing tyre output and export capacity. The upgrading of the existing Ladysmith passenger car, SUV/4X4 and light truck tyre facility improved access of our premium tyres into the continent. Officially launched in October 2018, the establishment of a world-class, 180 000m² custom built truck and bus radial tyre manufacturing plant, further expanded our offering, making inroads into this vital market.

“Africa holds great expansion and investment potential,” says Haffejee. “Sumitomo Dunlop continues to invest in innovative technologies, research and development to ensure that we continue to deliver quality tyre products to the market, prioritising safety on the roads.”

The company’s commitment to economic growth, skills development and safety have been recognised by both industry stakeholders and the public. At the inaugural KZN Investor Awards in September, Sumitomo Dunlop walked away with the KZN Investor 2019 Award, also winning the Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor Awards. The Dunlop brand was again voted the #1 Tyre Brand by consumers in the 2019/2020 Ask Afrika TGI Survey – the seventh win since 2011.

The 2019 Exporter of the Year Awards, now in its 19th year, aims to recognise and celebrate exporters in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, highlighting the success of local businesses and stimulating the growth of the economy by encouraging other businesses to strive for similar achievements. The 2019 Awards were hosted by The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry in partnership with Transnet Port Terminals, a key enabler of exporters and the country’s leading terminal operator responsible for commercial import and export operations.

Sumitomo Dunlop was up against impressive competition in the Africa company category, with Sappi Southern Africa and Imperial Armour amongst the finalists.

For more, visit: www.srigroup.co.za

Featured 2019 Featured Article Read More...

Top honour for KZN business

Dunlop Tyres SA 20/09/2019

Nduduzo Chala, Group Manager Strategic Planning Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Riaz Haffejee, CEO Sumitomo Rubber South Africa holding the awards for the 2019 KZN Investor of the Year , Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor at the KZN Investor Awards 2019. Pictured with them is Jennifer Wallace, Manager of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

(L-R) From Sumitomo Rubber South Africa - Nduduzo Chala, Group Manager Strategic Planning; Warren May, Divisional Head: Sales (OE); Riaz Haffejee, CEO; Hennel Nkonjela, Manager: Business Development and Akira Sasaki, Director: Corporate Planning holding the 2019 KZN Investor of the Year, Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor Award Bottom pictured with them is (L-R) Vuyani Xhapha, Senior Associate: Automotive Engineering and Rachel Ngema, Associate: Channel Development


At the KZN Investor Awards 2019, tyre manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd, known as Sumitomo Dunlop, walked away with the main award of the evening – the KZN Investor of the Year Award for 2019. The inaugural event, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (KZN EDTEA) and its agency - Trade and Investment KZN (TiKZN) was held at the Durban International Conference Centre in Durban, KZN on Thursday 12th September. Sumitomo Dunlop also scooped two major category awards for Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor.

“To be chosen as the KZN Investor of the Year is a great honour for our business.” says Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa. “Safety, enterprise and skill development are aspects of business that are especially close to my heart. We recognise that the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit is vitally important for the health of the economy as it boosts productivity and diversifies opportunity in our society. This award is evidence that the dedication and passion with which we approach the manufacturing of tyres for the African continent, always placing safety, innovation and technology as a priority, is not only of benefit to our business but also to our customers, communities and our province.”

The Most Impactful Investor Award was bestowed on Sumitomo Dunlop for the company’s Enterprise Development initiatives which include the impactful Dunlop Container Programme. The programme now boasts over 120 branded Dunlop Containers across the country. Working closely with the KZN EDTEA, Sumitomo Dunlop seeks to develop young entrepreneurs with a strong focus on supplier development, driving local procurement of goods and services.

The investment of over R2.1 billion into the Sumitomo Rubber South Africa manufacturing facility in Ladysmith put Sumitomo Dunlop in the running for the Major Capital Investor Award. Culminating in the launch of a custom-built 180000m² truck and bus radial tyre manufacturing facility, the upgrade of the existing factory resulted in the increased output of passenger car, SUV and 4x4 tyres to meet the African continent’s quality tyre needs.

“As a leading tyre manufacturer, we consider being a well-rounded corporate citizen, as business priority and being joint-winner of the Most Impactful Investor Award is evidence that we are indeed on track with that” Haffejee said. “For the Major Capital Investor Award, Sumitomo Dunlop competed with giants from various industries including Sappi and Transnet. This category is reserved for an investment of over R1 billion. We are extremely proud to be ranked so highly, showcasing our commitment to investment in the region.”

For more, visit https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/

2019 Read More...

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