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7 Car & Home Insurance Tips That Could Save You Thousands

For most of us, car and home insurance is just one of those premiums that run off our bank accounts like clockwork. Let’s be honest, how often do we really review our car and home insurance policies? Not nearly often enough, is the real answer. The problem is that there are a few bits in the policy wording (the T&C’s) we should all be aware of. Today we look at a few tips that could literally save you thousands.
  • Driving with an expired license. We know it’s a real hack to go and find the time to stand in the queue at the Licensing Department. But driving with an expired license is an illegal act and if you are involved in a car accident, your insurer might have questions about the fact that your license has expired.

  • Moving and not letting your insurer know. Perhaps you have found the house of your dreams and you are ready to move in next weekend. Have you let your insurer know you are moving to a new address? You need to. The reason is that each physical address has a risk rating attached to it (based on your area and security features). Failing to let your insurer know about your move could lead to a repudiated claim.

  • Letting someone else drive your vehicle. Are you the only driver nominated on your policy? Or is anyone, with a valid driver’s license, allowed to drive your vehicle. These are important questions you really should know the answers to. If you are the only nominated driver on your policy, then make sure nobody else drives your car; otherwise there will be problems if you have a claim.

  • Have you completed an inventory of your household goods? If not, there is a good chance that you have insured the value of your household contents for less than the replacement value, and at claim stage, you run the risk of being underinsured and having the dreaded “average” applied. Make sure you tally up the value of your household contents and insure at a fair value.

  • Is your home alarm in working order and do you always put it on before leaving the house? It could well be that you are getting a discount on your household content cover because you have an alarm. But if your alarm isn’t working, or you don’t always put it on when you leave your house, at claim stage your insurer is going to repudiate your claim.

  • Is your car insured for business or private use? Are you on the road visiting clients for most of the day? Is your car insured for private use? You need to be really careful about this type of thing. For the most part, insurers deem “private use” to be driving your car to work and back. Not driving your car around visiting clients the entire day. That would be deemed to be “business use”. This might be an issue at claim stage when your insurer asks the question “Mr Black, your car is insured for personal use, why where you visiting a client in Brakpan at 11H00 in the morning? Have you been using the vehicle for business purposes?

  • Ensuring your valuable items you carry around with you under the “All Risks” section of your policy. You do know that items like cell phones, jewellery, sports equipment, tablets etc need to be specified in your policy? Have you got all your valuable items specified? If not, the risk is that if these items get stolen or damaged you have no leg to stand on when it comes to claiming because you didn’t mention these high value items to your insurer. This is the Golden Rule. Make a list of all the expensive stuff that leaves the house with you, place a fair value on those items and list them as “specified items” in your insurance policy.
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