23/11/2018. Crowds pushing their way into the Shoprite inSoshanguve Crossing for the Black Friday specials. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
JOHANNESBURG - For many of us, Black Friday is an exciting time to buy as many items as possible for a discount, and often bargains can result in some big purchases.

Whether you've splurged on new electronics or some special accessories, new items need to be factored in to your insurance cover.

It's very important to consider the real replacement value of these items, and not just what you paid for them on special.

If you had to replace an item in perhaps a few months’ time, having the accurate replacement cost insured is essential or your cover could come up short at claim stage.

Use the opportunity of purchasing new items to re-evaluate your overall contents cover.

From your brand-new television to your second-hand curtains that have been hanging for years, if every item in your house were to be damaged in a fire or flood, or a few expensive items stolen, these are pricey to replace without insurance.

It’s essential to have the value of your contents regularly updated and you need to work out the replacement value of everything you own in line with what it would cost you to buy these items again in present time.

Imagine if your house was turned upside down, everything that would fall needs to be covered.

Your contents cover includes portable possessions such as your cellphones, laptops, cameras and other items that you might take with you away from home. These are items that typically attract lots of interest when they are on sale and will form part of your All Risk cover that even extends to having these items with you overseas. You do, however, need to supply information such as the make and model of these various items to your insurer.

Your contents may change from year to year if you buy new things, as well as inflation pushing up the costs.

It may cost you an extra R1000 to replace an item in your home, so make sure your general cover amount is updated accordingly, and that you continue to pay your premiums. Failing to do this will mean if you need to claim, you may not be paid out sufficiently to replace your contents and will instead be paid out proportionately to your cover.

What this means is that if your goods are 50percent underinsured and you have a claim, you will only get 50percent of the claim amount because your cover was not correct for your contents. Should your new item warrant a valuation for insurance purposes, you will either submit the valuation certificate to get cover, or it will only be required at claim stage. However, the valuation must have been done prior to the incident to be considered valid at all.

So, it would be worthwhile to have your item valued up front and revalued on an annual basis to make sure that you are covered sufficiently, just as you would review your contents cover as items can fluctuate in value over time.

Keep in mind to also safely discard any packaging of new items as well to avoid any unwanted knowledge of new expensive items in your home, preventing potential crime.

Rather be safe than sorry. Don’t delay updating your insurance on Black Friday, and always. Share these updated values with your adviser or insurer, including photos or valuation certificates of specific items, as needed, to keep your cover consistent.

Bertus Visser is the chief executive of distribution at PSG Insure.