Black Friday, the shopping extravaganza that takes South Africa by storm annually, will bring thousands of discounts and promotions for savings-conscious consumers. 

The custom, which originated in the United States, has become a worldwide phenomenon. It’s hard for consumers to see the downside – until you insure your new purchases. 

Louis Hay, the head of short-term insurance propositions at Standard Insurance, says you may find that the prices of some of your online Black Friday purchases will increase markedly in the coming weeks – either to reflect their real value or because of the fluctuating value of the rand. He says: “If you do not accurately insure your items from the start, you could be told that you are under-insured and do not qualify for like-for-like compensation when you lodge a claim.

“Basically, policyholders could find themselves getting less than expected from a claim if they don’t insure their items at their true or actual value, regardless of the sale price at which it was purchased,” Hay says. 

“This means that your premium should be calculated to reflect the value of your item at the value it would take to replace it. People who are uncertain about the value of their possessions should ask their insurance company for assistance.”

You should also bear the following in mind:

• Check the current value of assets annually so that the premiums can be adjusted accordingly. Some insurers do this automatically.

• If you buy a “big-ticket” item, such as a TV or fridge, you will need to review your cover.  

“It pays to read a policy thoroughly and speak to an authorised representative at your insurance company, to explain exactly what it will, or will not, pay out for. This will ensure that you will be able to replace your Black Friday item to its true value should it be damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen,” Hay says.

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