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Personal Lines Insurance
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Easing the burden

Edward Gibbens, Executive Head of Broker Distribution at Santam says many policyholders are unaware of how small adjustments to their lives, like installing a tracking system in their vehicle or a security gate at their home, can have on their premiums.
“Always remember to speak to your broker if you take any protective measures in your home or with any of your possessions outside of the home. These measures will all contribute to saving you money on your premiums.
Note that the value of your vehicle depreciates over time, and should be insured at current market value (this is opposed to household contents which should be insured for their new, replacement value). You can therefore adjust insured value of you vehicle every year and so reduce premiums. And if your vehicle is old and not worth much then it might be best to opt for fire, accident and third-party cover only – a further saving on premiums.
Try and improve your security. You should call your broker or your insurer whenever you take any new security precautions, whether it be installing a gear lock, linking your security system up to an alarm company or installing a security gate. These, among other things, can help to reduce your premiums.
A voluntary excess is an amount you agree to pay from your own pocket in the event of an insured claim. By opting for a larger excess you can further reduce your premiums. Your broker should be able to advise you on premium quotes in respect of various voluntary excess combinations. You should only consider this, however, if you are able to afford paying the higher excess.
Never submit unnecessary claims, because these, while being paid out, will increase your future premium rate. When you claim, your no-claim bonus generally falls away and your premium goes up. If you can afford it, rather cover relatively small losses out of your own pocket. Ensure you are aware of what the excess is before you make a claim.
Never provide false information, which in any case is illegal. If for example you pretend that you had a gear lock installed when you actually did not, you leave yourself open to being charged with committing fraud. Fraudsters generally become uninsurable.
Mr Gibbens adds that one should always beware of being under insured. “Update your policy at least once a year to make sure all those house contents and car accessories are fully covered at their correct value.
“Before making any changes to your policy speak to your broker first to understand how it will impact on future claims”, he adds..

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.6 1st July, 2008
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