Personal Lines

It's personal

By: Lane Alberts, Divisional Executive Private Client Services, Marsh Africa
Let’s dismantle a few myths about personal insurance: All policies are not created equal; it is possible to get a better price on your insurance; and insurers, and brokers by association, are not out to get you, but your broker would have told you that, right?
Central to the conversation around personal insurance is the role of an insurance broker whose job it is to conduct a thorough needs analysis by looking at your insurance portfolio and making recommendations based on the findings.
It may be obvious that lifestyle determines the required cover. The more luxurious yours is, the more cover you’re going to need
for the Pierneef paintings in the foyer and the zippy sports car in the garage. What may not be as evident is the consideration of premium discounts that would come into play if said sports car sits inside a high- security complex, which would, in some cases, negate theft insurance altogether, and vice versa if your car lives outside on the street inviting all and sundry to have a look inside. Furthermore, young clients who don’t have many assets other than a vehicle and some portable possessions may not require insurance on building or contents and the like – as long as their laptop, cell phone and car are covered, they can sleep at night.
Apart from your assets acquired at a certain age, physical age also plays a role in how much you pay for car insurance. Clients older than 55 can usually benefit from premium reductions, while younger drivers, 30 and under, pay higher premiums due to their notorious driving habits, which has been proven with certifiable data.
Personal insurance has come a long way in the last few years with changes in the environment and technological advances, among many other factors, being catalysts for change. Issues like cybersecurity, identity theft and water-loss cover weren’t as relevant a few years ago, and it’s important that you keep abreast of these changes, or employ the services of a broker to stay on top of these things
It’s human nature to quickly scan over the finer details hidden away at the bottom of a contract but it’s these fine-print policy terms and conditions, and details around what’s covered and not covered where clients are often left stranded. Does the building cover extend to accidental damage? If your car is stolen will your insurer foot the bill for a hired vehicle? What’s your exact responsibility in the event of a claim? These are crucial considerations for when you need reassurance most, as the last thing you need at this stage is uncertainty around valuables that are or aren’t covered and to which extent these items are covered.
For instance, under building and contents insurance, “average” is often used to reduce a settlement in case of a claim. If at the time of incident the item is insured for less than its true value, the insurer will only pay a rateable percentage of the loss and the insured will thus have to pay the balance.
These uncertainties can be addressed by a reputable and registered broker with the necessary knowledge and qualifications. Professional brokers deal with various insurers and can provide options that suit your specific needs and requirements, and will be able to assist with ensuring the best settlement at the time of claim. They know the industry and understand the cover and limits applicable to each specific policy, which puts them in a position to negotiate the best settlement for the client.
Knowing that you are getting the best advice from someone in your corner should put your mind at ease, but more to this, brokers are there to guide and support your insurance decisions, and when the time comes that you have to claim, they will ensure everything goes as it should. And many clients realised that it’s a service that won’t necessarily cost you more than going direct.
What you get is a dedicated consultant that looks after your business when you don’t have the time or clarity of mind to do so.

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