Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure in Cover Magazine 6 May 2021
Parents have so much to think about, especially when it comes to essentials like savings for the family, healthcare or provisions should something bad like a dread disease happen. There are many aspects of modern family living that require thorough planning, and short-term insurance should be key among them.
Home is where the start is
Your house is the hub for family gatherings and day-to-day living, but is it covered properly for worst case scenario? If you are paying your home off, chances are you have insurance attached. You don’t have to opt for your home loan provider’s insurer, so check your best options. If you have paid off your property, you still need cover against floods, fire, and crime. Your largest asset could be your biggest regret, if you don’t keep cover in place.
When it comes to building cover, the replacement value for your property needs to factor in any demolition and site-clearing costs, in addition to rebuilding the house, with materials at current prices. Don’t just assume that the value of your property as stated on your rates bill is right, as it is typically based on municipality valuation instead of actual replacement cost of your unique home. Get your property valued and have this updated at least every three years to keep up with the proper replacement value.
It’s not on top, it’s inside
Every item in your home has value, from your piano to your winter duvet to your family’s heirloom dresser and the flat screen TV. Each outfit, accessory, and shoe per family member, not to mention every gadget, cooking pot and picture frame. The value, however, is not just sentimental. What matters is how much it would cost you to replace each item, as well as collectively. The collective value of all these goods is how much you need to insure your home contents for. There are online calculators to work this out, and at least annually you should review things (as often new toys, clothes, appliances, or devices are added to or depart from family homes).
You won’t end up with a disproportionate pay out from your insurer if you over-insure, since they will only replace the equivalent of what you have actually lost, but if you are underinsured, your pay out won’t be sufficient to replace what you have lost.
Park problems before they appear
Your family vehicle (perhaps you have more than one) is another key asset to keep covered. In the event of an accident, you may not have access to the vehicle while it is being repaired, and vehicle hire cover can really help cut the inconvenience and extra costs of getting around. Remember that leisure vehicles like caravans or trailers need to be serviced, properly licensed and need well-maintained tyres to be insurance savvy and safe on the roads. Keep bicycles and equipment like canoes or surfboards covered too. Anything that could get damaged and replaced, should be insured. You just need to keep cover up to date and manage any wear and tear issues as they arise.
The inner circle
Security features at home matter and your kids need to know what must be locked to keep insurance in place. It’s best practice for everyone at home to know what the checklist is for keeping safe at home, especially if these steps align to your insurance cover.
It’s always a good idea to practice safe gas use in the house, for appliances like stoves, or if heaters begin to emerge in the colder months. Safety around open flames is also important and even though freestanding homes don’t require a fire extinguisher by law, having one or even two could literally be a lifesaver.
Your digital set-up
Many families have internet access at home, with various individuals and devices signing into many different social or email accounts and apps over WIFI. Keeping passwords updated and installing proper anti-virus software is so important. With many of us working from home, the risks for cybercrime activity have increased even more. Instilling safe online practices throughout your family home is a very sensible move to make.
Get some extra support
Working closely with a financial adviser can help to fit insurance into your life, alongside the various products you need to protect your family. Don’t delay, life is too short. Accidents can happen, and it’s best to be ready to deal with them. Insurance definitely makes dealing with life’s surprises easier and more affordable, provided you keep up with the terms and conditions of your policy.