* It can be very expensive to specify items such as cellphones, notebooks, designer sunglasses and jewellery under the “all risks” section of your policy, which is surprising when you consider their value in comparison with bigger items such as a house. But premiums reflect risk, and gadgets and accessories are more prone to loss.
“We all know how quickly the value of a cellphone drops when the new model comes out, and there is no use paying the higher premium on the original value of the phone when the price has dropped,” said Jacqui Mayne from the PSG Simbithi Office Park in Ballito. “Regularly adjust your cover, as insurers will only pay out to the current value.”
Riana Wiese, short-term adviser from PSG Insure Meesterplan, says: “You could also keep your old phone locked away safely and forgo adding specified insurance on the new model. This will save you a couple hundred rand per month on average and allows for a back-up should your new device become stolen or damaged.”
* Although it might be cheaper not to specify in some cases, there are items that require special attention in order to be covered. Some jewellery or accessories, particularly items of value, may require a valuation certificate for insurance purposes.
“Each insurer has different minimum values on jewellery before a valuation certificate is required. The same goes for a safe warranty - each insurer has different minimum values on jewellery before it needs to be kept in a safe,” says Mayne. “It’s best to check what you need to be safe, rather than sorry.”
If you have items you want cover for, but might not need to specify, including them in your overall contents value is an option. This should be the minimum consideration for cover.
* Be vigilant when driving. Do not put handbags or valuable items on the passenger seat, or any place visible from outside the vehicle, to prevent the cost and trauma caused by a potential smash-and-grab incident.
Use open parking areas instead of parking in isolated basement parking.
* Often, women in relationships defer financial planning to their partner. This often includes short-term insurance cover. In the event of a divorce, or the death of a partner, it’s not safe to assume that insurance remains as is. “To discover your jewellery isn’t covered only once you have suffered a robbery is a devastating example of what can happen when you simply assume your ex-partner was paying for the cover,” said Riana.
“Apart from physical and emotional trauma, a huge financial loss can follow if your insurance is not in place, which can be really difficult to recover from.”
* Ignorance can result in bad decision that lead to big financial losses. There may be elements of cover you don’t know you need. With so many ways to become underinsured, or to unintentionally neglect your own best interest, can you afford not to give your insurance policy the care and due diligence it deserves? Chatting to a trusted adviser goes a long way to helping you make decisions that can go the distance.