Do you have these insurance must-haves ticked off before you leave?
Before you head off on your much-needed holiday, are you sure your home has all the protection it needs? What about your insurance policy? Have you checked that should anything happen while you’re away, that you are covered for any eventualities? Bond originator, ooba, shares vital tips that could save you insurance headaches this holiday season.
“If you do not ensure that you have the correct insurance cover in place, or that your monthly premiums are not paid up, you could be left destitute and out of pocket during an unforeseen event, as the insurers have the right to decline a claim,” says Craig Young, managing executive for oobainsure, who says that homeowners should take care not to underinsure their properties and household contents. “While the extra paperwork may not be high on your festive priority list, it is an important precaution, as no one likes coming home to a burst geyser, or a damaged property as a result of bad renters.”
He notes that where a claim occurs and the property and or its contents are not insured correctly the insurer will apply “average” to the claim, which is based on what they believe to be the true replacement cost of the property at the time of the claim. This means that if you are underinsured, you could end up having to pay for a significant portion of the claimed value yourself.
Before going on holiday, ensure that your house insurance premium is paid and that you are familiar with your policy so that you have sufficient cover in place, whether for accidents or theft.
If renting out your property during the festive period, Young says that there is the genuine chance of damage to the house or its contents, which may only be discoverable upon your return. In addition, your risk profile increases as soon as the property starts earning income, and this could affect your insurance.
“As a property owner, ensure that you have sufficient Liability cover, as well as cover for accidental breakage,” he says. “Obtain a healthy deposit from the renter as well as all of their personal details. Most importantly, inform your insurance company that you will be renting out your property. The insurer will review the policy for the duration of the tenant’s stay and underwrite the risk appropriately.”
Your holiday insurance checklist
Buildings insurance: This is one of the most important policies you will purchase. It covers the structure of your home and its permanent fixtures and fittings in case of unexpected events, such as fire, floods and lightning. If your geyser bursts, whether you are at home or away, this policy will cover the costs of repair and damages.
Contents insurance: Valuable assets inside your home, such as TVs, HiFis, DVD machines and computers are covered in the event of theft, water or fire damage. Do a realistic valuation when you request an insurance quote because if you under-value the contents, there will be a shortfall in your pay-out.
Liability insurance: If your friends or family are visiting or you are entertaining at home and an unforeseen incident occurs, this type of cover indemnifies you up to the amount insured, provided you are not found legally liable in a South African court.
He also recommends additional cover such as Power Surge which covers the fridge, freezer and other electrical items such as electric gate motors and electric fencing while you are away.