DURBAN – The Edgars customers who were sent letters requesting them to switch their insurance payment methods from the store’s account to monthly debit orders were those that remained in the Edcon credit business that was not acquired by RCS.
In a response sent to the Business Report following a media enquiry by the publication, the Edcon Business Rescue Practitioners said that unfortunately, no further funding for these accounts were available by Edcon for credit sales.
“To ensure that these valued customers can still take advantage of the insurance cover, they are required to change their payment mechanism to one of the following: debit order, EFT, direct deposit, Pay@ or EasyPay. This ensures that their policies do not lapse and they have peace of mind that they still have insurance cover (underwritten by Hollard),” said Edcon’s BRPs.
The retailer said that their new policy administrator, IUA Business Solutions, who are affiliated with The Hollard Group, would be managing this process with Edgars over the next few weeks.
Edcon’s BRPs said that although RCS acquired the majority of the Edcon store card book (Edgars and Jet Accounts) before the business rescue process, Edcon still owned a portion of their own book.
“As a result of the business rescue process, RCS acquired some additional Edgars and Jet store card accounts and all these customers will continue to have their insurance charged to their account.”
The retailer’s BRPs said that on the other hand, the remaining customers that were still owned by Edcon were the only ones affected by this insurance change. It said this customers were a small portion.
Last week, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) divisional executive for Conduct of Business Supervision Kedibone Dikokwe said their office had been in contact with Hollard Insurance Company Limited with regards to the insurance policies linked to Edcon clients and the effect of the sale agreement in terms of which Retailability (Pty) Ltd and TFG would obtain Edgars and Jet respectively.
Dikokwe said that this process was being monitored to ensure that insurance policyholders were protected, as per the mandate of the FSCA.
Edcon, which went into voluntary business rescue in April has recently sold parts of its Edgars stores to Durban’s Retailability and its budget store Jet to The Foschini Group(TFG).
The retailer said that the administrator needed to set up the debit order facility with the respective banks to ensure that the first deduction took place to avoid the policy/ies from lapsing.
Edcon’s BRPs said that should the affected customers not respond by the end of this month, there would be a grace period afforded to them until the end of October 2020 to ensure customer policies remained in force.
“These selected customers received their first notification on the 14th August followed by a reminder sent on the 17 September. Thereafter the debit order application form was provided for the customer to agree and sign for the monthly deduction. Further reminders will be sent to these customers to ensure the change in premium payment is made to continue with their insurance cover.”
According to Edcon’s BRPs, the majority of Edgars and Jet Store Card Accounts, owned by RCS, had their insurance charged to their Accounts and so this would remain unaffected.
“We therefore expect less than 2 percent of customers to be affected, as these are the remaining Edcon owned customers.”
“The Edcon store card accounts, comprising both Edgars and Jet accounts, acquired by RCS, will continue to enjoy the benefits of their insurance billed to their Store Card Account. These customers will continue to be able to use their cards for purchases and manage their account in the same manner as any other credit product, with additional enhancements and benefits being planned,” said the Edcon’s BRPs.
Retailability chief executive Norman Drieselmann confirmed last week that a deal had been reached between RCS, Hollard and the new home some Edgars’ stores.
He said that the deal was intended to ensure the continued collection of premiums via the Edgars Account card. He also confirmed that their insurance business had always been underwritten by Hollard, and this would continue to be the case.