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File Image: IOL

Savings Month: 7 ways to save on short-term insurance

By Wynand van Vuuren Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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July is national savings month, and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time, as millions of South Africans’ finances have taken a massive hit from the effects of lockdown on the economy. Insurance premiums are often an easy target for people looking to cut costs – and here’s how to do it without leaving yourself exposed.

The whole point of savings month is to encourage and enable people to take control of their own financial future, and it’s exactly the same with insurance. You have to know what your risks are, and then work with your insurer to get the best possible deal.

Here are a few top tips to save on your short-term insurance premiums.

Shop around. If you feel you’re paying too much for your short-term insurance, don’t settle for the first quote you get. You’ll be surprised by how much premiums can vary between insurers for exactly the same car, buildings and home contents cover.

Combine your policies. Most insurers will make it worth your while to bring all your business to them, starting with additional savings for putting more than one car on the same policy. Try including your buildings insurance and your home contents cover as well. Your savings will increase even further, and your life will get a whole lot easier.

Check your excess. Your excess is the first amount payable on any claim, and the excess you choose affects the premium you pay. Generally, the higher the excess you choose, the lower the premium you pay - but choose very carefully, because you need to be able to pay the excess amount if you claim. The other thing to consider is that if you set an excess of R10,000, and you sustain damages of R8,000, for example, you effectively have to foot the bill yourself.

Reduce your risks. All insurers base your premium on your risk. So, if you’re suddenly driving a lot less as a result of lockdown restrictions, your risk – and your premium – should reduce as well. You can also lower your risk by improving your home security, for example, and parking in a garage rather than on the pavement.

Driving less, you should pay less. The value of your car decreases every month - so surely, your car insurance premiums should, too? Not so.

Review your buildings and home contents insurance. Make sure your buildings and home contents are covered properly, which means making sure they’re covered for their current replacement value. Being under-insured could prove to be a very expensive mistake. As an example, if you insure home contents worth R1 million for R500,000, you would only be paid 50% of any claim.

Look after your credit score. You should look after your credit score as carefully as you do your car or home, because having a good credit rating positively affects your premium.

If your finances have been affected by Covid-19, the most important thing is to talk to your insurer to see what you can afford: Don’t leave yourself uninsured or under-insured at a time when you need it the most.

Wynand van Vuuren is a customer experience partner at King Price. 

PERSONAL FINANCE 

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