Home LifeStyleFinance Keeping your insurance relevant through your key life stages

Keeping your insurance relevant through your key life stages

by Tania Griffin

As you move through your life, hit milestones and amass assets, the one thing you always need to have a handle on is your insurance. As your life changes, so do your risks – and your policies should keep up.

Wynand van Vuuren, client experience partner at King Price Insurance, says the first big insurance milestone is your 25th birthday. “When you turn 25, the best gift you can give yourself is a call to your insurer to ask them to review the premium you pay for your car. Most insurers consider under-25 drivers a risk and may review their premiums when they ‘come of age’, provided their claims history is healthy.”

Between the ages of 30 and 35, you’ll probably start to acquire more expensive furniture and appliances, and these should be insured in case of loss or damage. “Pro tip: Insurers love clients who put everything on one policy and will often offer lower premiums for these clients. When you’re getting quotes, remember to get cover for your cellphone, laptop, tablet and other gadgets and items that you take with you when you go out. These are considered portable possessions and may not be covered under your home contents policy,” advises Van Vuuren.

It’s also important to remember to update your insurance whenever you invest in home contents. The total value for which your home contents are covered should always be enough to replace every item, from your trainers to your teaspoons, at its retail price as at the time of the claim – not when you bought them.

Your next milestone may be getting married or buying a home. While you don’t have to invite your insurer to your wedding or housewarming bash, you do need to keep them in the loop with regard to these achievements.

Strange but true fact: Your marital status affects your insurance premium. There are also opportunities for married couples to save on their insurance by combining their home contents policies and taking advantage of discounts offered by some insurers for having more than one car on a policy.

When you buy a home, the institution (normally a bank) that provides the finance (bond) will insist that you have comprehensive insurance for the building. This is because the property basically belongs to them until you’ve paid the very last bond instalment, and it’s your responsibility to protect their asset. The bank will probably give you an insurance quote as part of the bond paperwork, but you’re not obliged to accept their quote, and have the right to shop around for the best premium.

The same is true when you finance a new car. The institution that provides the finance makes it a contractual obligation for you to have comprehensive insurance for the car because it remains their property until you’ve paid back every cent you borrowed, plus all the interest and any other charges. If you cancel this insurance, and the car is written off or stolen, you’ll still be liable for any outstanding finance amounts.

“Your insurer has your back through all your life stages. Whether you’re hitting major milestones, like completely renovating your home, or minor events like adding an alarm system, your insurer should be the first to know,” says Van Vuuren.

Image credit: Freepik

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