They say what goes up must come down, but interest rates and inflation seem to be headed in one direction – up. If you, like millions of other South Africans, are battling to breach the gap as your wallet comes under strain, then an annual review of your costs is the way to go. While this approach definitely pays off, going to different company websites and making notes of what each company offers you can be onerous to say the least. Here's how you can save hundreds of rands in just one day on just one website.
The ombudsman for short term insurance flagged a higher number of policy lapses over the last year in her latest annual report. Policies lapse when you stop paying premiums, usually due to affordability issues. Although the Policyholder Protection Rules afford you a 15-day grace period to make up missed payments, the higher number of lapsed policies indicate that consumers faced with financial constraints are choosing to forego their insurance policies, along with medical scheme membership and funeral policies.
Instead of compromising your car insurance cover, take a few minutes to compare quotes from 10 different insurers. Our statistics show that more than 300 000 South Africans have reduced their car insurance premiums by using our comparison website, saving an average of R500 a month. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples by looking at variables such as the excess payable when you have to make a claim. You can increase the excess to make your car insurance premiums more affordable, but make sure you have enough saved up to cover the excess in an emergency.
While it is a notorious grudge purchase, the last thing you want is your beneficiaries to be left high and dry because you didn't keep up your life insurance premiums. Insurers are designing new policies all the time, which means it is worth your while to do a quick quote comparison as you may well get better cover at a cheaper premium. Other options that can reduce financial pressure without compromising your cover would be to reduce the amount you are insured for.
Medical scheme coverage has moved dramatically over the last 30 years, with medical insurance and gap cover moving to cover, well, the gap. For the average South African, this means that rather than forking out for a comprehensive medical aid option, it may make sense to opt for a basic hospital plan with your medical scheme, backed up by medical insurance for your day-to-day costs and gap cover for out-of-pocket hospital costs. The myriad of options can be quite daunting, which is why using the Hippo website to make quick comparisons is a no-brainer.
With interest rates having increased about 10 times over the last 18 months, the cost of borrowing has gone up dramatically. Most loans, whether it is a personal loan, home loan or vehicle finance loan, are tied to the prime lending rate, which is now 11.75%. Although the maximum interest rates for different loans are governed by the National Credit Act, the interest rate you are given varies depending on your personal credit profile. Hippo stats show that shopping around between three to four banks when you apply for a home loan can mean a difference of 0.61% in the rate you are offered. While this might not sound like much, it equates to a significant cost saving over the 20-to-30-year term of your home loan.
Owning a car is one of the most freeing steps when you become an adult. No more relying on public transport, begging a lift from your parents or having to miss out on something because you have no wheels. However, when you budget to own a car, remember that the costs go beyond the car repayment to the bank. You also need to factor in car insurance, warranties, tracking devices and running costs such as petrol and maintenance. Making the right choices can be overwhelming but the Hippo website can help you navigate those choices easily.
Connectivity. In a world that is fast changing, connectivity has become the name of the game, particularly in an environment where work-from-home options have opened up so much post-Covid. But there is nothing worse than losing your connection in the middle of a Zoom call, or running out of data when you need it most. Whether you are a social media warrior, an entrepreneur or simply looking for a new cellphone deal, you are sure to find the right deal to fit your pocket and keep you connected.
It has been 15 long years since loadshedding started and power utility Eskom estimates it will continue for the next two years, at the least. Fortunately, living in South Africa means you can harness the sun to power your home via a solar system. While initial set-up costs can be prohibitive, these costs are recovered over the long-term as you avoid load-shedding and reduce your electricity bill. You could also consider different solar power options such as rent-to-own or a solar subscription where you merely pay for the energy and not the panels. Whatever option you choose, the benefits are similar – cost savings, uninterrupted power supply, reduced risk of damage to your appliances due to power surges and an increase in the value of your property.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.