123 years of caring for lives
This year, Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA), a new exhibitor at the A-OSH Expo, celebrated its 123rd birthday at the event
Nomfundo Mcilongo, GM for sales and marketing at RMA, says: “I visited A-OSH last year and knew then and there that RMA had to be there in 2017. As workplace injury compensators, we need to meet with SHEQ managers to hear what kind of initiatives they have in place to prevent workplace injuries.”
Mcilongo adds: “A-OSH provides an opportunity to get information from clients, as in this environment people talk about their challenges and needs. These are the ‘golden nuggets’ that help us to develop our products and services to suit the needs of our clients.
“We were very happy to see so many of our existing clients who came to visit us at our stand and tell us how they are doing, and what new developments or plans are in the pipeline for SHEQ management in their companies. We also had government officials visit us to discuss possible future projects, and we saw a lot of new faces.”
The company introduced a few new products, which are extensions of its core product – Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID), under the national COID Act of 1993.
“We have noticed that there are a few gaps in the COID coverage, and we have created new products to fill those gaps,” explains Mcilongo.
“For example, in Germany you are covered from the moment you leave for work until you get back home. In South Africa you are only covered while you are at work. At RMA we have now included the option of additional cover for the journey to and from work.”
Another new RMA product provides coverage for injuries sustained as a result of violent strikes, protests or riots. “During these events, sometimes people, who are not part of the strikes, or protests, get injured,” explains Mcilongo.
“If you are on your way to work and you have to pass an area where a protest is taking place, someone could break your vehicle’s window and you could get injured by a shard of glass. In circumstances like these, RMA will cover your injuries.”
In terms of COID, RMA used to cover those workers employed outside the country for up to 12 months, but it recently extended this policy to provide complete income replacement, permanent disability and life cover for the full duration of the project outside South Africa.
“We are also currently exploring collaborations with companies to put injury-prevention systems in place. Although our products provide compensation to workers when the prevention systems fail, it is, however, the safety of the workers that is of primary importance,” says Mcilongo.
“That’s why we have a discount reward system whereby a company’s premium is lowered if over the years it can prove that its prevention systems work, or if it can show that it focuses on the safety training of workers by providing study material in the workers’ language of choice.”
With COID, RMA has different types of cover for different worker categories, such as mining and metal workers, but it also provides value-added services. “We provide safety training for our clients and we educate them about their benefits, which are carried over to their spouses and children if they were to pass on,” says Mcilongo.
“We are not only in the business of compensation, but also in the business of compassion and care. We want to be there for our clients and their families when they are affected by an injury. We have been there for them over the last 123 years, and we will continue to be there in the years to come,” she concludes.