By: Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure
Lockdown level one has become the norm, many activities are resuming, and we may be through the worst of the restrictions we could face – at least for now. As some of us lost income, some adjustments were made to insurance too, to reduce premiums or, in some cases, cancel cover altogether.
Those who could work from home or still do, may have been able to benefit from insurance reductions, such as on car insurance from various providers. But will it still be as comprehensive as you think, should you pop out to the shop and have an accident, or to cover you on an upcoming road trip? It may be time to level up your cover.
We may all be adjusting to this new normal, but that doesn’t negate the old risks. More of us are back on the roads, trying to navigate this new normal. It’s a dangerous gamble without some cover in place.
Short-term insurance is often referred to as a grudge purchase because you can’t always use it or, when you need it, it pays out less than you have anticipated. Your insurance only fails you if you don’t have enough cover in place for what you are insuring, or if you fail to follow the terms and conditions in your policy.
Don’t let the warmer weather fool you
That rainy day could come, and not having the insurance you should have, could cost you. You need not drown unnecessarily in unexpected expenses when you could have some support instead. Paying monthly to have short-term insurance cover in place could really pay off.
The terms and conditions in any given insurance policy include managing maintenance to avoid wear and tear (which generally isn’t covered), so do keep this in mind.
The soon-to-be summer weather will also bring hailstorms to some parts of the country. Reconsider your car insurance to include cover against this if you live in risk areas, and any garden or roof maintenance should also be prioritised.
In drier parts of the country, avoiding fire risk is important too. This extends to both outdoor meals and cooking in the kitchen, as well as those still chilly nights around the fire. If your insurance doesn’t cover the full replacement cost of your property, make sure you change that to avoid any summer dreams or plans going up in smoke.
Feeling safe contributes to feeling better
Arguably, this is the strangest time most of us remember going through and many of us feel insecure about the future. Whether you are afraid of crime, or have financial responsibilities that can’t accommodate another loss, insurance can work in your favour.
Financial security doesn’t just help you cover any shortfalls, it can also contribute to better health. After all, when we have financial struggles, it’s often very stressful. Prolonged financial stress (such as having to use your credit card to fund an emergency expense and then having to pay it off over time, battling the interest that builds up, etc.) can erode your overall sense of well-being and can contribute to health issues. It can lead to symptoms like sleep problems, migraines, depression and heart disease, among others. Insurance can help maintain your overall sense of security and well-being by reducing your need to worry about your financial position should anything go wrong.
An insurance safety net can ease stress
Putting your safety net to good use means you have to install it properly. Essentially, if you are not insured adequately based on your risks (and only you can know what these risks may be), your insurance policy can have some holes. And we all know a safety net with holes is somewhat redundant.
Working closely with your adviser will help to spot any gaps in your cover. Keep communication honest and regular and you are unlikely to feel the full effects of any hard knocks that may come. We also can’t predict when the world will be free of COVID-19, so doing all we can to stay safe and healthy (traditionally and financially) is all the more essential.