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How do you ensure you’re insured properly? Part 2

Monday, January 16, 2017

In last month’s blog, we talked about a question that almost every insured person has had to ask themselves when something goes wrong: “Am I really covered for this?”

You shouldn’t have that feeling of dread and doubt as to whether you’re covered or not, especially during the holiday season. This is the time for relaxation and rest, not for stressing about your insurance.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re covered is to read your schedule of insurance and policy book. But you don’t always have your documents on hand to refer to.

That’s why we’re making it easy for you to know the main things about your home contents and portable possessions insurance, so you’re not caught without cover.

Home Contents Insurance

When we talk about home contents insurance, simply put, we usually refer to everything that would fall out if you were to pick up your house and flip it upside down.

What we do cover

There are loads of things we cover that you probably didn’t even know you could claim for. Here are some of them:

  • food that goes off in the fridge and freezer during a power failure
  • stolen washing and garden furniture
  • your domestic employee’s and your guests’ belongings
  • fire brigade charges

What we don’t cover

This list isn’t exhaustive, but while our home cover is comprehensive, there are a few caveats to it.

  • personal documents such as deeds and bonds
  • medals and coins
  • items you have specified or covered elsewhere or with us. This means that if your house is broken into and your smartphone is stolen, but you’ve insured your phone under specified portable possessions, you’ll need to claim under that, and not your home contents insurance.

Underinsurance

Underinsuring your contents might seem like a good idea at first. After all, your premiums will be lower every month. But when it comes time to claim, it’s going to hurt. If you don’t insure your items for their replacement value, you’re going to be paid out a fraction of their worth when you claim.

It works like this: If you put in a claim for R10 000 and you’ve insured your household contents for R50 000 but they are actually worth R100 000, you will only be paid out 50% of your claim. We work this out based on what we call an underinsurance calculation and it goes like this: Claim (R10 000) X what you’re insured for (R50 000) ÷ actual replacement value (R100 000) = R5 000.

Summary

If you’re unsure what you’re covered for or not covered for, check your schedule of insurance and policy book or ask us. Also, make sure you update your household contents regularly – at least every time you buy something of value, so that you’re always insured for the right amount.

Portable Possessions Insurance

The most important thing to know about portable possessions cover is that we split it into two categories: specified and unspecified.

Unspecified vs specified

Unspecified possessions are things that don’t cost a lot of money that you’d typically carry around with you on a day-to-day basis.

Specified possessions are valuable items that you take with you, such as your smartphone, laptop, and those very pricey sunglasses. You are only covered for these items if you specifically ask us to add them to your policy, so make sure you let us know about everything. If you’re unsure about whether something should be specified or unspecified, ask us; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Whatever kind of portable possessions insurance you have, you’ll be indemnified for items that are lost, stolen or damaged.

Help us to help you

While we can give you exceptional cover, we need you to care for your valuables as much as we do. That’s why, if you’re going to leave your items in the car, you need

to lock them in the boot or cubby hole; we don’t want you to make the temptation too great for criminals. If your items are not left in these places, we may reject your claim. Similarly, you need to check that your car is locked when you leave it unattended. With remote locking, it can easily become a habit to walk away and assume that your vehicle will lock itself, but if we cannot see any damage to your car from being broken into, we may reject your claim.

Summary

Insure your more valuable items under specified portable possessions, and if you’re going to leave items in the car, remember to place them in the boot or cubby hole, and double check that your vehicle locked.


Insurance should be plain and simple, and that’s why we make it easy for our customers to understand what they can expect from their cover. And if you’re unsure about anything, simply call us on 0861 007 367, send an email to support@dialdirect.co.za, or speak directly to us using our live online chat functionality.