Insurance: Use It or Lose It?

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Are you wasting precious rands on insurance for items you no longer use or services you don't need? You probably are. Here's how to spring clean your insurance – no matter the season.


It may be the first you're hearing about it, but 13 January is International Quitter's Day. Yes, it's a thing – and the idea is to give up on the New Year resolutions you were never going to follow through with in the first place. No matter what time of the year it is, though, there's wisdom in letting go of the things you never use... And in that spirit, any time is a good time to clear the clutter out of your insurance portfolio.


We're not saying ditch all your insurance. That's just crazy talk. What we are saying is that you may be paying unnecessary fees for insurance cover on stuff you just don't need to insure any more – like the digital camera you haven't used since the 2010 World Cup, or the smartphone you stashed in a bottom drawer three upgrades ago.


Car Insurance


Have you been in an accident, had your car written off and forgotten to cancel your insurance policy? You'll likely have to pay what's still owed on the policy, but after that make sure you instruct your insurer to cancel your cover. There are far more valuable things to spend money on than insuring a car you no longer have, like financing a new vehicle, for example.


Perhaps you're recovering from an operation, travelling for an extended period of time or you've just given birth and won't be driving for a month or two. If your car is simply gathering dust in your driveway, investigate pausing your policy. Some Car Insurance companies offer an option to save a percentage on your monthly premium by pausing your accident cover, while keeping you covered for stationary risks like theft or weather damage.


Home Insurance


Is your household insurance an accurate reflection of what's actually in your home? It's very possible that you're over-insured, with items listed among household contents that you no longer own. You could be paying insurance on goods that you're no longer housing.


By the same token, if you've been under-insured by failing to let your insurer know about renovations that add value to your home, you won't be paid out for what it's actually worth if disaster strikes. This means you'll need to shell out more cash. Contact your insurer annually to ensure your household insurance is accurate and up to date.


Cellphone Insurance


Using an old phone as an alternative line or as a gaming device for your kids? Fine, but if you – like so many of us – have an old phone (or phones) which exists solely to gather dust in our bedside drawer, why would you keep it insured? When you last did your cellphone upgrade, you may have forgotten to cancel the insurance on the old phone. Contact your service provider and let them know that you only want insurance on your new phone. And yes, you will need to specify that!


Travel Insurance


Travel insurance is very, very important, yet there's a chance you could have it unknowingly. For example, if you booked your local or international plane tickets on your MasterCard or Visa Card, basic travel insurance is automatically activated, free of charge. Medical aids also often offer free limited emergency medical cover for international travellers.


Investigate exactly what is and isn't covered by those policies. In both instances, a significant excess will typically be charged on claims, and coverage is usually for a maximum of 90 days. If you ultimately have the cover you're seeking without an additional policy, then great – that means more cash to spend on postcards and souvenirs.


While you're taking a long, hard look at your insurance policies, you may start wondering whether you're still getting the best cover at the right price. Use our hassle-free tools to find out, by comparing Car Insurance quotes, comparing Home Insurance quotes, comparing Cellphone Insurance quotes, and (we'll say it again) comparing Travel Insurance quotes.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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