Review your insurance policies now, avoid the pain of later

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“What’s critical to remember, and it’s not as complicated as what meets the eye, is speak to your broker, let them interpret that wording in the contract for you because there are many conditions associated and attached to that contract,” IntegriSure CEO Helen Szemerei told CNBC Africa.

“There are terms and conditions that you need a professional financial services provider to interpret for you. For instance, if you take out a policy today and you have assets, two vehicles, a home, you want to insure the contents and a couple of specified items. That situation changes after a year.”

Many see the third quarter of the year as a chance to review their financial policies, contracts and insurance policies in preparation for the New Year. This is however not beneficial as any changes, such as new asset purchases or modifications to currently insured assets, also change one’s insurance premiums.  

Insurance policies should be looked at more frequently not only to save on premiums but to also prevent a loss. One should also be aware of the different insurance options once could gain when changing insurers.

“Don’t assume that when you do shift, that what you have with the one is what you’re getting with the other one. Critical to ask for the differences to be pointed out. There are some insurers for instance who don’t offer hail damage cover automatically. If you don’t know that and if you’ve moved across, assuming your cover’s still in place, and if your car’s not covered for hail damage, then it could leave huge financial ruin.”

Items such as cell phones, laptops and tablets also need to be insured and can be added to one’s existing insurance cover. Because cars are depreciating assets, it’s important to have one’s vehicle values adjusted to today’s vehicle values and not those from the time of purchase.

“Insurance companies replace new for old. What you built your house for five years ago, the average square metre then was dramatically different to what it is today as a result of inflation and everything else that impacts on building costs. Should the worst happen, and that’s what you’re insured for, it’s going to be at today’s replacement cost,” said Szemerei.