By: Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure
Though colder weather is certainly lingering in some parts of the country, with spring in the air (at least according to the calendar), a new season is upon us. Temperatures will start to rise pleasantly and so will the urge to thoroughly clean out the house and garden. We look for ways to declutter so that everything is fresh and dust free.
However, one thing we often forget to dust off is our insurance policies. An annual look at your policy – at the very least – is recommended because your belongings often change, and your policy needs to keep up.
Here are three simple tips to help you spring into action.
Out with the old and in with the new
If you’re throwing out old things, and buying any new things, don’t put yourself at risk when discarding items and their packaging. For example, wait for the garbage man to come around before you dispose of the packaging of large or pricey items.
While you’re at it, take note of all the things you’ve acquired and let go of during the past year. This helps you reach the insurance sweet spot – you’re not underinsured, or over-insured. When you’re underinsured, you have to pay out of pocket for the balance of the losses that weren’t covered. When you’re over-insured, you’ll be paying a larger premium than what you actually need, to cover your goods and as a result, you’ll only receive a pay-out for the products covered and nothing more (despite the fact that you’ve been paying more than you needed to).
When you have an accurate idea of your home or office contents, contact your adviser and update your policy. You can find templates online to help too.
Maintain as you go
If you come across an item that needs to be fixed, deal with it immediately. Leaks are a good example. With the inside of your home, be sure to store anything that you are holding onto correctly to minimise the associated risks. Keep recyclables and chemicals away from fire-prone areas and clean out the fireplace.
The outside of your home is the area you’re least likely to maintain during the colder months, but most likely to spend time in during the warmer months. Trim long branches in anticipation of braais and when cutting the grass.
If you can’t fix it yourself, rather opt for professional help. If you note an item that you’ve replaced or that has changed in value, get these changes included on your insurance policy ASAP. An example might be new security features, or even a back-up power supply.
Go with the flow
All your resources should be cared for, but especially water. Choose to be water wise.
If you’re in the warmer regions of the country, be sure to tighten outdoor taps, cover your pool when it’s not in use to avoid excessive evaporation and regularly inspect the garden sprinklers for any leaks.
Being proactive means becoming less accident-prone, or at least having the protection you might need in place. Get in touch with your adviser if you’re in doubt as to the best approach. Remember they have a wealth of wisdom and insights to share, ensuring you are prepared for whatever the changing seasons bring.