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Free financial advice for fire victims

By Angelique Ruzicka

Victims of last month’s fire which raged through Knysna, George and surrounding areas now qualify for free financial advice thanks to a new initiative launched by the Financial Planning Institute (FPI). The FPI’s Disaster Assistance Pro Bono Programme will be available to victims for a three-month period starting from 1 July 2017.

The free service is being offered to those who can’t afford a financial planner’s fees and will help to sort out insurance claims and implementing financial strategies to help homeowners to recover in the medium and long-term.

“Many families have had their homes destroyed and their lives severely impacted by this disaster. We believe that financial planning is a key part of recovering from such a disaster.  We would therefore like to offer our support to help victims in the affected areas re-build their lives both near and long-term,” said Godfrey Nti, CEO of the FPI.

“Over 300 CFP professionals countrywide have responded to FPI’s call for action and agreed to volunteer their time, and expertise, in support of this initiative. We expect more members to join in the coming weeks and months,” added David Kop, CFP, head: public policy and consumer affairs at the FPI.

It is estimated that approximately 600 homes were destroyed which resulted in the displacement of over 10, 000 people. Reports say between R4-R6 billion worth of damage could have been inflicted by the fires but now experts estimate this could be even higher.

The Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Cape Town disasters have resulted in an initial estimate of approximately R100 million in claims for Standard Insurance Limited. Meanwhile, Alexander Forbes Insurance estimates its losses from the Knysna fires at R46 million from the 65 claims reported so far.

To be paired with an FPI volunteer near you and receive free financial planning advice, Southern Cape residents must call 086 1000 FPI (374) or email help@fpi.co.za.

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