Tips to get the best insurance for your budget

The value of maintaining your cover, particularly during uncertain times

Make sure your car insurance covers hail damage, Maya Fisher-French advises.
Make sure your car insurance covers hail damage, Maya Fisher-French advises.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

No one predict what will happen in the future when it comes to accidents, whether they happen on the road or at home.

During the Sowetan Dialogue presented in association with Budget Insurance on June 24, award-winning financial journalist and author, Maya Fisher-French, spoke about the value of maintaining your insurance cover particularly during uncertain times, pointing out that only 30% of drivers in SA are insured.

Fisher-French said that too often South Africans regard insurance cover as a luxury, with many cancelling their policies during lockdown. This was despite insurance companies such as Budget Insurance coming to the party by offering premium reductions. 

“It is not valid that you don’t need insurance during lockdown. If you can’t afford your insurance, at least have third-party cover. It is also a lot cheaper to have combined car and household insurance,” she said.

Fisher-French also noted that poverty and growing unemployment as a result of the lockdown had seen an increase in the number of break-ins to cars and homes.

During the first five weeks of lockdown people weren’t driving their vehicles, so car accidents were down. With the easing of lockdown restrictions, vehicle accident claims have started to increase, and car thefts and hijackings were now back to pre-lockdown levels.

Fisher-French encourages people to shop around to get the best quotes for car and household insurance since every insurer prices differently. She also offered tips while highlighting some of the factors that can affect your premiums:

  • If you’re insuring your car, be sure to find out what the replacement value of your vehicle is. If your car is written off in an accident or stolen, you should know upfront how much will be paid out. This depends on whether you’ve insured your vehicle at retail value, trade value or market value. Be sure you understand the differences.

  • Make sure your car insurance covers hail damage.

  • Some policies may automatically include retrenchment cover. This means that should you be retrenched, your premiums will still be covered for a specific period of time.

  • The colour of your car matters. Some insurance companies may increase your premium if your paint colour is more expensive — this is generally the case with red cars and other metallic paints.

  • If you’re recently divorced, your premiums will go up. This is because, according to statistics, people are more likely to have an accident in the first 18 months after their divorce. 

  • From the age of 35, start shopping around for insurance every two years.

  • Make sure you have household cover during winter. If you have a problem with a burst geyser, it can set you back by as much as R10,000 if you’re uninsured.

  • Include your laptop and cellphone in your household insurance cover. Insuring them separately can become expensive.

This article was paid for by Budget Insurance.