About Us

 

Our History

Safire was founded in 1987, when a group of farmers and timber-growers decided to act to curb the spiralling costs of insuring their timber. They created a unique insurance co-operative to respond to the specific requirements of their niche market at a cost that was accessible to all. Initially called the Central Timber Fire Protection Co-operative Limited (CTFP), it operated a scheme whereby members’ claims were settled from a central pool of reserves contributed by the members. A re-insurance treaty was simultaneously established with underwriting syndicates at the renowned Lloyds of London, to cover the catastrophic portion of the risk.

In 1997, with the advent of the General Short Term (GST) programme, insurance cover was extended to include non-plantation short-term insurance to co-operative members. The co-operative’s name was changed to South African Fire and General Protection Co-operative Limited.

In November 2000, a momentous step was taken when the co-operative was granted an insurance licence by the Financial Services Board, and converted to a public insurance company known as Safire Insurance Company Limited. The decision to transform the nature of the company was based on plans to expand the range of insurance options available to clients, achieve better economies, and develop the company beyond the limitations of co-operative insurance. Despite this conversion, Safire maintains its co-operative philosophies to this day, and its clients are still viewed as members of a self-insurance scheme. Safire practices a strict policy of selectivity, choosing clients that are risk-averse and responsible. The company thus sustains a sizeable pool of resources from past profits and low claim levels, resulting in extremely competitive premiums. Safire enjoys the dual support of re-insurance through renowned international underwriters, plus extensive reserves.

 


 

Safire Today

Safire maintains its early co-operative philosophies to this day, and its clients are still viewed as members of a self-insurance scheme. We practice a strict policy of selectivity, choosing clients that are risk-averse and responsible as we don’t believe in subsidisation of high risk individuals by responsible, low risk clients. The company thus sustains a sizeable pool of resources from past profits and low claim levels, resulting in extremely competitive premiums. Safire enjoys the dual support of re-insurance through renowned international underwriters, plus extensive reserves.

 

 


 

Five Fingers

At Safire, we pride ourselves on being different. Our differences set us apart, and our focus on our relationships with our clients, suppliers and staff are embodied in the brightly coloured “five fingers” logo that symbolises a warm handshake, the global expression of trust. Each “finger” stands for a core strength that makes our “handshake” so meaningful.

They are:

safire-green1
Safire will not ignore your query, claim or correspondence. There are no stalling tactics, no delays.
All our dealings with you will always be above-board, ethical, fair and fast.
safire-blue1
You will always encounter real people, with real job titles and real accountability. There are no distant
rooms filled with unknowing, unknown, uncaring call centre personnel.
safire-purple1
There are no ivory towers at Safire. Our senior management team is hands-on, with the power and the
skills to make informed decisions. They are available when you need them.
safire-pink1
Safire was established in 1987, and has grown from strength to strength over the years. Satisfied clients
means great expansion. Enough said.
safire-orange1
Our personnel are here because they are knowledgeable and insightful. We don’t encourage dead wood
at Safire.

 


 

Symbiotic Relationships

The Safire branding and advertising campaign is based on the theme of symbiotic relationships, featuring ‘partners’ from the animal kingdom that have mutually beneficial interaction. This win-win partnering is in line with our slogan of “Short-term insurers, long term partners” and our strong commitment to environmental awareness and sensitivity.

Worker BeeClown FishHummingbirdCattle EgretsLadybirdSheep Dog
bee

Just as the worker bee and the flower help each other, Safire can help you. Bees and flowers have a mutualistic
relationship with worker bees gathering nectar which they use for food and in turn they pollinate flowers. The
mutual relationship best describes the type of relationship that Safire aims to have with you – one that is
committed and focused and has your best interests at heart. The bee and the flower have a lasting relationship.
Safire hopes to share a relationship like this with you by being your short-term insurers, long term partners.

fish

Just as the clown fish and anemone look out for the interests of one another – Safire looks out for you. These two
organisms have a mutual and symbiotic relationship which relates to the sense of loyalty and friendship that Safire
strives to have with each of its clients. Energy and commitment best describe Safire and the focus and drive that it
has.These two organisms have a lasting relationship and Safire hopes to share a relationship like this with you by
being your short-term insurers, long term partners.

bird

In nature, living creatures co-exist for mutual benefit. Like the humming bird, which feeds on nectar, facilitating
cross-pollination between plants. Symbiotic relationships such as this mirror Safire’s mutually beneficial relationship
with its clients. Safire offers a comprehensive range of specialist short-term insurance products to those who are
responsible and risk-averse. It’s a situation that suits both parties, just like the symbiotic relationships of Mother
Nature. Safire Insurance Company. Short-term insurers, long term partners.

cattle-egret

In nature, creatures work in harmony for mutual benefit. Like egrets and cattle, which roam alongside each other in
the fields, the cattle feeding on the lush grass, the egrets feeding on the cattle’s ticks and other harmful pests.
Symbiotic relationships such as this mirror Safire’s mutually beneficial relationship with its clients. Safire offers
a comprehensive range of specialist short-term insurance products to those who are responsible and risk-averse.
It’s a win-win situation for both, just like the symbiotic relationships of Mother Nature. Safire Insurance Company.
Short-term insurers, long term partners.

ladybird

Just as the ladybird consumes aphids that would otherwise destroy a plant, so Safire will take care of you. It’s a
win-win symbiotic relationship. Committed, focused, dedicated. Taking care of your needs. Protecting you from
harm. Safire Insurance Company. Short-term insurers, long term partners.

sheep-dog

Just as the sheep dog looks out for the best interests of his master and his flock – Safire looks out for you.
There is a sense of loyalty and friendship that has lived for years between sheep dogs and their owners and this
carries over to Safire’s relationship with each of its clients. Energy and commitment best describe Safire and
the focus and drive that it has. The farmer and his dog have a lasting relationship and Safire hopes to share a
relationship like this with you by being your short-term insurers, long term partners.

 


Our Team

Pierre Bekker

Chief Executive Officer
My father was a founding member of the original Safire co-operative, and I was blown away by the opportunities that the co-operative business model presented in terms of revolutionising insurance. As CEO, I form part of our dynamic and experienced management team that guides and develops this great company.

Sean Stanton

Financial Director
I joined South African Fire & General Protection Co-operative Limited (as Safire Insurance Company Limited was known) on 1 April 1999.  I am the financial director, company secretary and head of risk and compliance control functions at Safire.

Anton Rohrs

Marketing Manager
I joined the Safire group in 1994, and manage Safire’s national marketing and sales. I feel privileged to be part of such a successful organisation.

Ivan O’ Gorman

Underwriting Manager
I joined Safire in 2003. I am Safire’s Underwriting Manager – I determine the acceptance of risk and rates to be charged and am involved in all aspects related to underwriting.

Ruth Bezuidenhout

General Manager – Crop division
I joined Safire on 1 April 1992. I manage the Crop & Agriculture division, dealing with underwriting, risk management and claims. I’m always looking for ways to enhance our products and keep in line with market and client requirements.

Gavin Myburgh

Claims Manager
I began my career in the insurance industry on 1 March 1974 – what a wealth of experience! I joined Safire on 1 January 2004. I am Claims Manager, and have seen the department grow from an original staff of two.

Megan Stella

Chief Operating Officer
I started working with Safire in the late 1990s as a consultant, designing and maintaining Safire’s financial and claims systems. In 2007, Pierre asked me to join the Safire group on a full time basis.