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How to spring-clean your insurance cover

Insurance policies can be complex and might be challenging to decipher on your own. Picture:

Insurance policies can be complex and might be challenging to decipher on your own. Picture:

Published Sep 17, 2023


Whether you celebrate spring on September 1 or on the 22nd – to coincide with the spring equinox – the start of the new season brings an opportunity to clean out the clutter. It’s also a great time to clean up your financial affairs, starting with your insurance.

This is the view of Lizo Mnguni, spokesperson at Old Mutual Insure, who says that doing an annual spring-clean of your insurance policy can help put money back into your pocket.

“There are many ways that consumers can actually end up saving money because they reduce the risk of their claims being rejected and could also benefit from lower premiums by being a good insurance customer,” said Mnguni.

Below are his top insurance steps to spring into the new season.

Assess your coverage

“The first step in your insurance spring-cleaning process is to assess your current coverage. This involves taking an inventory of all your insurance policies. Carefully review the terms, conditions, and coverage limits of each policy to gain a comprehensive understanding of your current financial safety nets,” said Mnguni.

Spring-cleaning around the home

His second step is dusting off your home insurance by doing some spring maintenance.

“When it comes to home contents insurance, carefully and regularly updating your household inventory could provide an opportunity to update your coverage and risk requirements,” he said. “Claims determined as a result of poor home maintenance, or negligence, are most likely to be rejected, therefore failing to properly maintain your home could result in an increased risk of insurance claim repudiations.

He said as part of this, it was crucial to ensure that home contents were insured for the correct replacement value.

“For most consumers, the contents of their home are likely to change from year to year as they purchase new items. As a result, the correct value to replace these possessions must be provided to the insurance company to avoid under-insurance in the event of a claim.”

He suggested making a point of testing your home alarm system this spring.

“All homeowners’ insurance policies will stipulate that it is the policyholder’s responsibility to keep the alarm system in full working condition, because if theft takes place as a result of a faulty alarm, then the claim is likely to be repudiated. This also includes an alarm with a flat battery. With load shedding a reality, alarm batteries are not lasting as long as they should so homeowners need to be proactive to prevent losses.”

His next tip for home maintenance is to conduct frequent valuations of home contents.

“Home contents values increase as the years go by and could now cost twice as much to replace. It is so important to conduct regular valuations and provide updated values to your insurance provider to ensure adequate cover.”

Maintaining your wheels

Mnguni said polishing your motor insurance policy could give you a spring in your step as you set out to enjoy the warmer weather this season.

“If you haven’t updated your vehicle licence as per regulatory requirements, or haven’t booked your annual service, nor checked your tyre rims, now is an opportune time to get the basics right, which can set you up for a smooth ride.”

Seek help

Lastly, he said it was important to speak to your broker.

“Insurance policies can be complex and might be challenging to decipher on your own. If you find yourself struggling to understand certain aspects of your coverage or to determine the best course of action, speak to your broker. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions that align with your circumstances,” concluded Mnguni.