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Senate Transit Underwriters
 
Overview
Senate is an underwriting agent for Mutual and Federal Risk Financing (PTY) Ltd. Our mandate empowers us to transact transit business throughout the African sub-continent. We insure over 2500 transport companies, from the largest fleets to the owner driver, with a premium turn over just shy of R110 million per annum.
 
Philosophy
Our services are focussed via efficiency and dynamism, to assist our valued clients and intermediaries to cost effectively insure their risk exposures arising during the transportation of goods.

We are constantly striving to provide innovative insurance solutions to the changing transit needs, which arise, in a manner which blends affordability of cover with peace of mind.

We believe that we are fair, and always open to negotiation in all matters. Our pricing structures are very competitive, but we do not strive to be the cheapest. The factor, which differentiates us from our competitors, is, expertise and efficiency of service. I am of the belief that a sensible approach, coupled with a friendly, trusting relationship with our brokers, is what has resulted in our success.

This philosophy has created a situation where we eventually procure almost all of the transit business on the books of our brokers. In fact, most of our existing brokers refuse to deal with any one other than ourselves, in respect of their transit business.

 
Products
By far, the bulk of our business is derived from trucking companies, with the balance coming from transport brokers and companies insuring their own products, whilst in transit.
   Trucking Companies
  We believe we have developed fairly unique approaches to the methods of assessing proposed risks and arriving at equitable premiums. Typically, our premiums are based on own fleet sizes, not on estimated annual carry figures or haulage fee turnovers. The philosophy behind this approach is that a vehicle is only physically capable of transporting a limited amount of loads over a period. Therefore, most of our policies specify the vehicles by registration number. Typically, the registration number is that of the truck, with cover being applicable to any load transported on any trailer attached thereto.

Whilst this may seem impractical, it actually works very well for most transporters. Regardless of fluctuations in haulage fees, the monthly premium remains unaltered. As further trucks are added, the premium increases, if trucks are sold off, the premium decreases. This system is very manageable for 80% of our clientele. It is however not appropriate for large fleets, where the actual fleet size can fluctuate regularly. However, for example, if an operator with 30 trucks adds one or two more, this does not greatly influence the overall risk exposure as originally presented. If an operator with 2 trucks, adds 2 more, this effectively doubles the risk exposure and premiums should be increased.

This method presents one obvious problem in the case where the trucker subcontracts a load to another transporter. My view is that such arrangements originate from the fact that the trucker has more work than his existing fleet size can handle, and more risk than the premium is geared to cover. Therefore, subcontractors are typically excluded in our standard wording. Most of our truckers are comfortable with this, however we can extend a policy to include subcontractors if needed, on a contingent basis. This implies that the trucker must make sure that, the subbie is made aware that he will be held responsible for any loss / damage, and must insure such loads. If despite such efforts on the part of our transporter, the subbie has an uninsured loss, we would pay the claim and proceed under subrogated rights against this subbie, in terms of their arrangement with our transporter. However, any required “variation of the theme” is possible.

 
Transport Brokers
  A similar concept to the direct subcontracting arrangement as mentioned above. The cover is designed to protect the transport broker against non-payment of a loss by an appointed subcontractor. Reasonable efforts need to be taken to ensure that, the subbie has the required cover and the subbie’s obvious liability must be made clear to them. Our policy would respond as a policy of last resort, whereafter any potential recovery actions against the subbie are explored. These policies are typically rated on a haulage fee figure.
 
Owner Covers
The traditional transit cover to protect the Insured against loss / damage to his own goods, whether moved by himself, a trucker, rail, airfreight, etc.
Hijack excess buy back
  For those clients that are insured with us and wish to insure their Hijack excess, this can be purchased through us via our Web site at very reasonably terms.
 
Visit our web-site for more information regarding ourselves, our products and the market we deal in. The web address is www.senate-net.co.za
 
Required Information
We would prefer to have our proposal form completed to provide a quote. There are three types:
  • Haulier proposal form - Used for trucking companies.
  • Owner proposal form - Used for owner Insureds.
  • Transport Broker proposal form - Contingent covers.
We can however, provide quotes over the phone, provided that the basic information is available.
 
Claims Procedures
We prefer to be informed as soon as possible, either by phone or fax, and not wait for a claim form to be completed, etc. This is so that we can immediately evaluate the situation and decide on the best course of action. We prefer to appoint assessors ourselves, as we have built up a collection of assessors around the country, each with their own specialties. However, we have no objection to you appointing an assessor in cases of extreme urgency, provided that you still let us know as soon as possible. Typically, claim amounts are deposited into the beneficiary’s account and a deposit slip faxed through. I am of the belief that, the speed of assessment etc, is amongst the best available.
 
Contact Us
  Clint Janssen (Managing Director) Clint@senate-net.co.za
  John Fairhurst (General Manager - Claims) John@senate-net.co.za
  Wayne Phillips (Underwriting Manager) Wayne@senate-net.co.za
  Debbie de Wet (Underwriter) Debbie@senate-net.co.za
  Debbie de Wet (Underwriter) Debbie@senate-net.co.za
  Telephone Number: (012) 663-1004
  Fax Number: (012) 663-1518
  eMail: senate@senate-net.co.za
  Our Web Site: www.senate-net.co.za

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