REUTERS, OMAR SOBHANI
With spring in the air and the weather improving, many of us will be thinking of getting fit for the warmer months.

There are similarities between exercising or going to the gym and being “short-term insurance fit”.

You exercise to prevent bad health. You take out insurance to protect against emergencies. Now’s your chance to address your short-term cover like a new fitness regime - no excuses.

* Practise smart moves. For exercise to yield the best results, it usually requires practice. The same can be said for short-term insurance, as you must keep cover in place to get what you need from it. You also need to make sure you’re paying for the right cover - or “practising the right moves” - to get the results.

* Lunge towards the long term. Gym memberships and some short-term insurance may seem optional; after all, why bother if you’re happy with your build, or if nothing goes wrong?

While it’s true that you may never need to claim, including short-term insurance in your overall financial plan is a much-needed step towards securing the best results for the future.

Though it depends on your unique circumstances, goals and assets, it’s rare that someone regrets having insurance cover (or undertaking an exercise programme). It’s about getting the specifics right, paying for what you need and keeping your side of the deal. Make sure your cover stretches to fully protect you, so that you can prevent hard knocks from impacting your progress towards your future plans.

* Count your calories (and your contents). With exercise, you get out what you put in. This often requires maintaining a healthy diet for consistent results, and may mean that you need to adjust your eating plan to align to a new goal. It’s similar when it comes to your insurance. You need to count everything you have to ensure enough insurance cover, and then make the necessary adjustments as you go. This requires keeping your list of insured goods updated in line with current replacement values, removing items from your policy that you no longer own, and adding new purchases.

If you’re paying for insurance but aren’t checking your benefits or what you need to keep your cover active, you may find that the expected benefits disappoint.

* Don’t wait until it’s too late. For some, paying for a gym membership can be a grudge purchase if you don’t use the facilities often enough. For others, the gym becomes a second home. Whether you’re either of these or somewhere in-between, you would likely agree that it’s best to get the most out of what you’re paying for. The same goes for your insurance, and seeking professional assistance is a great first step.

Advisers can be seen as coaches or personal trainers and can help you to get - and stay - insurance fit. Make touching base with your adviser as important as sticking to a workout schedule. After all, the effort you make to exercise well and the rand you regularly place towards covering your short-term insurance needs should matter.

So, put some muscle into it and get ahead of anything that could derail your plans by ensuring you’re making the most of what you have at your disposal.

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

PERSONAL FINANCE