With the year drawing to a close, and the holiday season approaching, this is a good opportunity to remind you of some important insurance issues.
If you have accessories fitted to your vehicle in addition to the standard factory fitted ones, please inform us so that we can adjust the sum insured to include them. If your vehicle is written off or stolen and the sum insured does not include accessories that were on the vehicle you will not be adequately compensated. This is often applicable to vehicles which have been purchased second hand and accessories have been put onto the vehicle, but not itemized and costed on the purchase invoice.
If you are unsure, please contact the dealership from where your vehicle was bought, and in most instances, with the VIN number, they are able to provide you with the necessary information. If in doubt, you are welcome to contact our underwriters, who will try to assist you. However, the onus in on you to notify us of any accessories.
Please bear in mind that accessories are depreciated annually and your sum insured will be reduced accordingly.
ROAD SIDE AND HOME ASSIST NUMBERS
If you have road side and/or the home assist facility, we strongly recommend that you save the relevant numbers, together with your policy number, in your cellphone. As we explained in our last newsletter, these numbers are especially important for accidents that happen after office hours, when we will be unable to assist you. Roadside assistance is a 24 hour service, which will ensure that you can have your vehicle safely towed away from the scene of the accident and given any first line assistance you need depending on the nature of the emergency.
Please see all the relevant numbers below which are listed by insurer.
- MUA: Road Assist and Home Assist Benefits: 0861 000 682 (MUA)
- ECHELON help: 0860 200 002
- AIG Assist: 0861 244 767
- HOLLARD Help: 0860 123 3279 (EASY)
- VANTAGE SPECIALISED HOME & ROAD SIDE ASSIST: 0800 214 763
- BRYTE Assist: 0860 001 121
- SANTAM: 0860 505 911
- NEW WHEELS: 0860 103 412
- CROSS COUNTRTY ASSISTANCE SERVICES: 0800 005 688
- OLD MUTUAL INSURE – SWIFTCARE (Personal lines): 0860 247 365
- OLD MUTUAL INSURE – SWIFTCARE (Commercial Lines) is the assist policy available to the Old Mutual Insure Commercial Clients who have the Multisure policy. Should you require this product, we would need to add it to your policy. Clients then call 0860 247 365 within South Africa or +27 11 374 4880 from outside South Africa.
IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN A VEHICLE ACCIDENT
A recent article highlighted some precautionary measures to take when driving. The points highlighted below are especially relevant during the festive season when many people take long trips which increase the possibility of being involved in a collision. The four things everyone should not do if they are involved in an accident are errors which may give insurers grounds to reject a claim or impose extra costs on the policyholder:
- Admit guilt
- Allowing an unauthorised provider to tow your car away
- Drive away without getting contact details
- Failing to report the accident to the nearest police station
If your vehicle is financed, it is very important to check whether the sum insured on your policy is in line with the amount your vehicle is financed for. In some cases, the amount you paid for the vehicle is not the same as the amount the vehicle is insured for. There are several reasons for this, especially if the vehicle is second hand, and is sought after, which will mean that its market value is higher than its actual retail value.
If this is the case, and your vehicle is stolen or written off, you will only be paid the sum insured based on current retail value. This amount may less than the amount your vehicle is financed for. If there is a credit shortfall, you may find yourself out of pocket. We recommend that you check the values and if necessary approach your lending institution who can arrange credit shortfall cover on your behalf.
SECURITY AND ALARM WARRANTY
Many of you may be going away for the holidays or leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time. This is therefore a good opportunity to check that your home alarm system is fully operational. This becomes essential if you have an alarm warranty on your policy. Please bear in mind that where there is an alarm warranty in place, you are required to activate the alarm whenever you leave the property unoccupied. If for whatever reason your alarm system is faulty, or there are any material changes to your security arrangements, whether applicable to your home or business property, please notify us so that any warranties or endorsements on your policy can be amended (temporarily if necessary) to reflect the new circumstances.
UPGRADING OF CELLPHONES
If you have your cellphone(s) specified on your policy, please inform us if you change or upgrade your phone so that we can update your policy and make any amendments. Your insurer will be unwilling to pay out a claim for a cellphone that is not listed on your policy, even if you can prove you replaced your phone.
We offer very competitive rates for building insurance compared to lending institutions, so before accepting a quote from your bank, we suggest that you contact us to get a comparative quote.
If you are moving and intend using the services of a removal company, and/or are placing goods in storage, please inform us as the extent of cover on your insurance policy differs depending on the insurer. There are often conditions and limits in place which could negatively impact on any claim you may have for damaged, lost or stolen goods.
Please ensure that if you embark on renovations that your contractor has adequate cover for any loss or damage caused by them during the course of the work being done.
You should take all precautions to protect your property and assets from potential theft or break-ins. Insurers will not settle a claim where the security has been compromised by the work being done on your property.
UNDERINSURANCE AND THE AVERAGE CLAUSE
Insurance works on a ‘new for old’ replacement principle meaning your settlement will be based on current values. If you are underinsured, the average condition, which pertains to both the contents and homeowners sections of your policy, may be applied, resulting in you not receiving an adequate settlement for your loss.
Here is an example of how average can apply:
Loss: R10 000 Sum insured = R100 000 Actual value should be R200 000
Sum Insured R100 000
————— X Loss = Pay-out (claim settlement) —————— X R10 000 = R5 000
Actual Value R200 000
The result is that you will only receive a settlement of R5 000 for a R10 000 loss because your sum insured was inadequate and did not correctly reflect the actual value of the asset or possession.
Therefore, it is important to regularly assess your assets and possessions in order to ascertain if the values ascribed to them are still current.
READING YOUR POLICY SCHEDULE
While we always try to keep you informed of the most salient points of your policy, such as policy conditions and excesses, we urge you to take the time to read your policy schedule thoroughly. Specifically, attention must be paid to any warranties, endorsements and additional excesses that could apply to you. It is always easier to do this before a claim arises, thereby avoiding any confusion or surprises, and allowing you to make an informed decision. If there is anything that concerns you, or requires an explanation, please contact us and one of our trained staff will be more than happy to assist you. In this way, you will be able to make an informed decision at any stage, be it at inception of your insurance, or at claim’s stage.
With the return of load shedding, we strongly recommend that you check your policy schedule for any conditions that may apply to power surges. Your policy conditions may require you to install surge arrestors or protectors, alternatively, there may be an additional excess applicable for power surge claims. If you are going away on holiday, it is advisable to unplug all non-essential appliances, TVs and computers to prevent them being damaged by any power surges.
You are no doubt aware of the ongoing incidence of remote jamming. With the festive season fast approaching, you will no doubt be shopping and could leave your purchases in the boot. It is extremely easy for thieves to remotely jam a vehicle, so it is important that you take all necessary and reasonable steps to safe guard your vehicle, as well as any valuables carried around with you or left inside. We suggest that you check that your vehicle is indeed locked when you walk away from it and to always be aware of your surroundings.
Also, it is advisable to avoid leaving items of value, such as laptops and iPads in your unattended vehicle and, if it is not possible to remove them and take them with you, you must ensure that they are concealed from sight, preferably in a locked boot or compartment inside a locked vehicle.
The attitude of many insurers towards remote jamming, is that in the absence of forcible and violent entry, theft of items from the vehicle will not be covered. This is with the exception of a few insurers who offer limited cover, but still apply the same criteria, that all valuables be concealed from view.
We remind our clients that we have recently sent out an email regarding broker fees. Please can you read this email and respond at your earliest convenience.