Insurance considerations for the new year

As we dive into 2017 with renewed energy, here are a few important insurance factors you should consider to ensure you’re comprehensively covered this year. Many people are predicting that this will be another tough economic year, but with careful planning and preparation you can protect yourself, your family and your valuables.

First things first
Your personal finance, and more specifically your short-term insurance, should always be managed meticulously to maximize the benefits and ensure a positive outcome should you need to claim. To take full advantage of your short-term insurance, you need to work closely with your broker and review your policies at the beginning of each year.

Any circumstantial changes such as a change of address, getting married or divorced, a new baby or a new job can influence the amount and the type of insurance cover you require. Your portfolio should reflect these life changes and may require adjustments in the amount of cover or may alter the conditions of your policy.

New items
We typically take on big tasks such as moving house, planning a wedding, changing jobs or buying a new car in a new year. Make sure to make the necessary adjustments to your policy, should these big changes affect your insurance needs.

Remember to add relevant Christmas gifts to your insurance policy. Electronic goods like televisions, laptops, cell phones, iPads or tablets and iPods are common additions. Toys such as cameras, drones, surfboards, canoes, Stand Up Paddle boards, etc. or valuables like jewellery, watches or other expensive items also fall into this category.

Home insurance
Improving your home security with burglar alarms, beams, burglar bars, etc. will not only enhance the security of your home but may decrease your risk potential. Home improvements that increase the value of your home may also affect your premium – talk to your broker for expert advice and guidance. Even the process of doing renovations can be quite risky, make sure you are covered for damage or loss during the time of restoration and construction.

In the past, banks refused a bond to any applicant without homeowners’ cover and leveraged their position as the bond holder to pressure the client into purchasing such insurance through the bank – often at a much higher premium than the client would have secured through a traditional insurance company. This is naturally not true as the applicant is free to insure their home with the insurer of their choice.

Vehicle insurance
When choosing the right insurance, it is wise to compare not only the premium quotes, but also the benefits, conditions and excess payable when you claim - before making a final decision.

A new or upgraded car will obviously require updated insurance, but also a change in the security of your parking - parking in the street when you used to park in a garage - will affect your premium or insurance conditions.

If you have moved house or jobs, the area in which you live and work as well as where you park your car at work may affect your premium. Make sure you understand and meet all the necessary policy requirements in order to secure on-going and comprehensive cover for your vehicle/s.

Business insurance
2016 was a challenging year for many businesses. From an insurance perspective, it presented a range of unusual risks with strikes and weather hazards becoming fairly commonplace. In addition, cybercrime has become a real business threat and must be accounted for in a standard business insurance policy.

These risks are expected to continue in 2017, along with the more common business risks, so it’s important to always ensure your business is adequately covered.

Top tip for 2017
Regular and on-going communication with your broker will ensure you are always kept informed of any changes in their policy requirements. Your broker will then also be kept informed of any possible changes in your life that may affect your overall risk cover. Your broker will be able to provide accurate advice on whether and when you need to adjust your insurance cover to avoid under-insurance.

Garrun Group wishes each and every partner and client a prosperous new year – may 2017 be your best year yet!

Website: www.garrun-group.co.za