Smith Delivers A Silver Lining After Floods

Through difficult times it is said that every cloud has a silver lining.

While it might not seem to be the case for a large number of people right now, given the extent of damage suffered personally and to property and possessions in the recent Cape flooding, the expression rings true, figuratively and literally.

The Nadeson Park Stud, the pride and joy of leading businessman, owner and breeder Hassen Adams, was one of the worst affected as torrential rain and wind swept through Hermanus and the breath-taking Hemel ’n Aarde valley on Heritage Day weekend.

The 71-year-old Adams, who became the first owner of colour to win the Grade One Cape Met, with Past Master in 2011, told Sporting Post in an emotional interview that all might be lost, and it might be time for him to move on.

He reassured that loss of life was avoided, and also that his 150 horses on the farm had been spared.

In assessing the damages from the storms, the CEO of leading insurers Kuda, Wӗhann Smith, offered his sympathies to all affected.

“We have heard and seen so many harrowing stories of how people have been affected by the floods. While most people were merely inconvenienced, our hearts really go out to those that have suffered losses, in some cases devastating in nature,” he said.

“Many of those worst affected have nothing to fall back on and rely on their communities and government to help in their time of need. It has been heart-warming to see how communities and local government have come to the aid of so many.”

Smith said that early estimates put the cost of the damage as a result of the storm at about R1.4-billion. “That is according to the provincial Department of Agriculture. We think that the number will end up being well north of that, and this seems to be likely to end up as our biggest combined insurance event since starting our business in 2009.”

The importance of insurance was laid bare by the countless tales of those who suffered in the storms. The devastating floods are a reminder that when it comes to equine and racing insurance, there are many strands, and it’s not only about the horse.

“At Kuda we have been directly involved as we have a large number of personal and commercial insurance clients who suffered losses in the storms,” Smith said.

“Thankfully, we have had no reports of any horse losses or even injuries, but a number of stud farms have suffered significant losses to infrastructure, most notably probably Hassen Adams’ Nadeson Stud which was worst affected. It is at times like these that you appreciate an insurance broker’s ability to understand your business, and our domain knowledge when it comes to stud farms sets us apart, I believe.”

Smith also put to bed the notion that there would be those who suffered significant losses despite being properly insured, would be affected owing to it being an “Act of God”.

“So many people have asked me if floods like these are covered by insurance policies, or whether this would be excluded as an “Act of God”. It is a common misnomer that events like these aren’t covered. I can’t tell you where this originates from, but glad to confirm that it is in fact exactly at times like this that insurance is so important in protecting your assets and allowing you to recover from such unfortunate and unanticipated events,” Smith said.

Smith admitted that insurance was getting more expensive, but stressed that the storms and flooding, and resultant damage and loss, was why coverage is so necessary.

“Unfortunately, times like these remind us of the importance of insurance in protecting our assets and investments, whether personal or business. We are an optimistic species by nature, and don’t ever think it will happen to us. Working in the insurance industry certainly shows you that bad things can happen, and often do.”

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