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Managing insurance under the pandemic and times of economic difficulty

Published Nov 4, 2021


THE WORLD has changed drastically over the past year and a half, so much so that people are questioning whether anything will ever be “normal” again.

Financial circumstances might have changed drastically during the pandemic as a result of lockdown measures. The full or partial loss of income has become a reality for millions the world over and this might lead to people being unable to pay premiums on their insurance policies.

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While most people have taken refuge with insurance relief, this does not make for sustainable change, and approaches to personal car and home insurance cover has to be advised properly in order to give both insurer and client the best possible service under these uncertain circumstances.

1. Review your insured items

While this may seem like the most logical thing to do, few people look at their policies regularly and check what is actually insured and what isn’t. You may have sold that camera you wanted to use to take up semi-professional photography but it’s still on your household insurance. That increases your premium and will hurt in the long run. Reviewing your insured items is the cleanest and quickest way to reduce your payments.

2. Adjust the amount you’re insured for

Sometimes people over-insure themselves or their belongings because who doesn’t think their stuff is worth more than it is? In reality, this could be a financial handicap. Make sure that you are insured for the right amount or within the “sum insured or limit of indemnity”. This means the maximum value for a year that your insurer​ can pay out. Any amount above and beyond the sum insured will have to be paid out of your own pocket. This works on the principle of indemnity. It will cover the loss from the damage caused to you by whichever party is responsible.

3. Understand your car’s worth

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Your car should be insured at what is known as a reasonable market value, or the retail value, this is what a dealer would sell it for when considering how old the car is, its mileage, the condition of the car, and whether it has had any major accidents, work done, or internal replacements. You can contact a dealer and your insurer to confirm your car’s value and adjust your insurance accordingly. If you are now working from home, ensure that your work address is no longer listed under your car insurance as being parked at home is a sure-fire way to get the premiums reduced.

4. Increase your excess

Increasing excess by increasing your stake in the car and home risk covered is rewarded in the form of a reduced monthly premium.

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5. Check your security and changes at home

This may not reduce your premiums but make sure that every little thing works and is properly installed. Reason being, should there be a break-in or something goes wrong, your insurance pay-out will be affected depending on whether you took the right steps to protect your home, car, and belongings. Similarly, if you’ve done any work that changes the value of your home or belongings, this needs to be declared too so, while under financial stress, it’s best not to revamp until you’re able to afford the premiums.

We have all heard the saying, “the sooner you start to build up your own profile, the better,” and it has proven true. The longer a client has an insurance history, the better their insurance premium will be. This means you should take out insurance as early as you can, have no gap cover and build on your claims history, and you will ultimately save on your premiums.

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The best way to navigate these changes is to speak with your financial adviser and go over what you would need to do to work within your budget.

This list was compiled by Momentum Insure.