An insurance claim. Picture: File picture: IOL
An insurance claim. Picture: File picture: IOL

Making the most of your insurance during a pandemic

By Opinion Time of article published May 6, 2021

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Over a year since the initial Covid-19 lockdown restrictions began, many of us are reassessing if the things we needed pre-pandemic are still relevant today. For the insurance industry, this trend has triggered a massive increase in client queries as customers try to understand the extent of their coverage and review if they have too much or too little cover in place.

“With financial setbacks a commonplace thanks to Covid-19, no one can afford to be overspending on their insurance,” says Edwin Theron, head of strategy at Sanlam Indie. “This is why it’s so important to know what you can claim, to explore how you can reduce your costs and to ensure that you’re sufficiently covered going forward.”

If, for example, you used to work in an office but now work from home, it’s likely that you aren’t be driving as frequently or as far as you did in the past. This means that you can probably save money by adjusting your car insurance.

Here are a few simple things you can do to maximise the benefits you’re getting from your insurance.

  • Embrace more flexible terms: In response to changes in customer behaviour, many insurers have attempted to make their products more flexible. They are doing so by offering payment holidays so that clients can pause your premiums when money is tight or helping customers to streamline their cover by eliminating any cover that is no longer necessary.
  • Read the fine print: If you’ve experienced business disruption or lost income due to an inability to work, you may be able to claim. It’s a good idea to reread your policy documentation and review the terms and conditions to find out if your policy includes this kind of thing. If not, chat to your insurer about your options to up your cover going forward.
  • Think twice: When budgets are tight, it makes sense to look for ways to cut costs. And often this means cancelling your insurance. But think twice before you do so, especially when it comes to life insurance. If you cancel your life insurance and then take out cover again in the future, you’ll have to go through the underwriting process again and run the risk of no longer qualifying for coverage and you’ll probably have to pay higher monthly premiums because your circumstances are different.

Theron says that people need to remember that insurance is designed to prevent you from suffering a significant financial set back should something go wrong. “These policies are typically sold when something big happens – when you buy a house, get married or start a new job. But over time, our needs change, which is why it’s so important to regularly review your policies to make sure that you have the right cover to match your situation and your budget.”

PERSONAL FINANCE

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