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Personal Lines Insurance
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Annual check up

Bad attention to detail could find you out of pocket when it comes to short-term insurance claims if you do not update your policies from time to time, at least every year.

Edward Gibbens, Santam’s Executive Head of Broker Distribution says one should think of all the changes that occur within the year, including the new insurable assets you buy, change of address or new car radio, for example.
“Life moves so fast these days that clients often forget to inform insurers about changed circumstances and accumulation of new possessions. And they only realise the impact of this if they have to claim.”
Check that your policy premiums are paid up to date. Account details may change and your bank simply send the payment back. If there is no payment the policy might be cancelled, resulting in no cover.
Increase sums insured over time. As you buy more things for your home, or make alterations or renovations, the insured amount could become inadequate. When there is a loss, you may find that you are underinsured and this could result in further financial loss.
Make sure your car is insured correctly along with any extra accessories that have been added. Indeed, check the specifications of your vehicle. Only factory-fitted ‘extras’ are included in the price of the vehicle according to the Auto Dealer’s Digest, and it is often this upon which insurers initially base the indemnity. If you bought a second-hand car you may not be sure what is included in the basic value and what is not, so check your manual, and verify the correct amount is entered on the insurance policy.
List jewellery in the ‘Specified All Risk’ section of your policy. Make sure that your personal effects are also covered under the general ‘All Risk’ section. This includes things like glasses, cameras, binoculars and bicycles.
If cover is subject to burglar proofing and security gates, it applies to each and every window and door of the property. Remember, this includes the small windows too, and even the doors that are rarely used.
If an alarm is applicable on your policy, check that it is in working order and remember to activate it every time you leave the premises. Make sure that the response company does get the signal when the alarm goes off.
When applying for a policy, remember to tell the insurance company or broker about anything that might influence the premium or cover. Declare all claims; make sure the insurer knows exactly what the vehicle is going to be used for, as well as who the regular driver will be.
An insurance policy does not cover all contingencies. Make sure that you know what is and what is not covered. Most importantly, remember that you are entering into a legal contract. Make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions and don’t misrepresent your position. If in doubt please consult your insurance broker, or insurance company.

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:20.4 1st May, 2007
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