Things you may not know about your insurance cover

Whether you’re buckling up for a road trip or getting ready for some quality time at home over the holidays, these facts about your insurance will help ensure you’re properly covered.

Most people pay their insurance premiums without ever thoroughly reviewing the details of their policies. But when it comes to proper cover, it does pay to read the fine print.

There are many reasons why you should check your insurance policy but one of them is that you’ll have the certainty of knowing exactly what you’re covered for. Says Attie Blaauw, head of Santam Personal Lines: “It’s so important to know what you’re covered for or what you may not be covered for in the event of loss, damage or theft to your home, your vehicle or your valuables. That is why we’ve decided to share some insights around insurance cover that may come as a surprise to some.”

· Your vehicle’s tyre tread: It’s true that vehicle accidents and minor collisions happen every now and then. Should you be involved in an accident and follow-up investigations indicate that the tread on your vehicle tyres is less than the legal limit your insurer will have grounds to reject your claim. Worn tyre treads present a significant safety risk for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists so make sure you have yours checked, whether you’re staying home or going on a road trip.

· Check your driver’s licence: When the card-type driver’s licenses were introduced, all people in possession of the old ‘code 8’ license were automatically converted to code ‘EB’ which would allow the driver to tow a caravan or trailer weighing more than 750 kg. Vehicle drivers who obtained a ‘B’ license after the conversion may now incorrectly assume that they are licensed to tow a caravan when in fact, they are not. Drivers need to be aware that an ordinary driver’s licence (code B) only allows them to tow a trailer with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) less than 750kg. For anything larger, such as a caravan, a code EB license is required. Licence codes EC1 and EC also allows for towing GVM in excess of 750kg. If you are found to be in contravention of these regulations, your claim could be rejected.

· Lost keys? Check your insurance cover: At some time or another almost everyone misplaces their house or car keys and the reality is, some sets of car keys can cost anything upwards of R700. That’s why it’s important to ensure you have a spare set of keys in a safe place and to check if your insurer would cover the costs of replacing your keys (something they may well do).

· Broken windows and mirrors? What does the policy contract say?: On the home front, breaking a mirror or a window can cost you if you have to get someone to come out to you on a public holiday to replace it. Santam will cover you in the event that a mirror or window in your home breaks accidentally.

· Is your smart watch an accessory or a communication device? Most insurers classify smart watches which work in conjunction with a cell phone or another device as an accessory to a communication device. While some may even function as a communication device, you need to check with your insurer whether your smart watch is covered under ‘personal clothing and effects’ or whether it needs to be specified in your personal insurance policy.

Blaauw says that providing insurance good and proper is about offering customers more than just insurance cover. “We understand the inconvenience that losing or damaging your valuables can bring, which is why we offer our policyholders peace of mind by providing practical solutions to claims arising from everyday scenarios. In recent years, the frequency of severe weather had increased, causing individuals to assess the adequacy of their insurance cover. In 2016, Santam paid R5,2 billion in personal insurance claims. Nearly 60% of these claims were vehicle-related while household contents and home-related claims accounted for 30%.

“Santam’s insurance offering and claims paying reputation gives our policyholders a sense of comfort – both at home and on the road – knowing that they’ve received proper advice and are covered adequately. We want everyone to be safe and covered for every eventuality whether at home or away on holiday.”

 

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