It is easy to get carried away with our spending habits during the festive season, and it is often only at the end of the holidays that we realise the extent of all the extra expenses we incurred as well as the damage that our shopping impulses have done to our bank accounts, adding to the financial baggage.
5 May 2015If you are among a number of consumers who have a variety of insurance policies, you should aim to review them at least once a year. This will ensure that your policies are in line with the changes in your life and that you are not missing out on any additional benefits.
Long-Term InsuranceLife Insurance is generally taken out by consumers to cater for financial responsibilities a person may have after they pass on. It ensures that your spouse or family is not burdened with your debt and are financially protected.
When should you review it?Many people take out life cover in their late 20’s or early 30’s. As the years go on their circumstances change because they start families, they buy new homes or accumulate debt. If you have experience any of the changes mentioned then the level of life cover is no longer in sync with your lifestyle. This is when it would be important to review your level of life cover and bring it in line with your needs.
How do I do it?
- To have your policy reviewed, approach your insurer and inform them that you want your policy reviewed.
- They will generate a new quote for the policy and factor in the changes to your lifestyle to re-assess your level of risk.
- Once you have switched, you have a 30-day cooling off period to decide whether you want to keep the new policy or to terminate it.
Short-Term InsuranceThere are two common types of short-term insurance that one may have: vehicle insurance and household insurance.
Vehicle InsuranceMany consumers renew their motor insurance annually. However, they seldom change their vehicle insurance unless they buy or sell their vehicle. Each policy holder has a “NO CLAIM BONUS” (NCB) assigned to them; this is a discount on your vehicle insurance policy that gets rewarded if you do not make any claims. The more years you have been insured with no claims, the higher the NCB and discount you may qualify for. This can result in a decrease of your premium by 60% - 75%. The NCB is not attached to a particular insurer, it is only attached to you as a policy holder. If you change insurers your NCB will not be affected. However, if you make a claim after being a safe driver for a few years, your NCB is dropped by a few years or to zero, depending on the insurer. How do you switch?
- After identifying a new policy that you are interested in, notify your insurer in writing that you want to terminate your policy.
- Cancel the monthly debit order for your old insurance policy.
- Then obtain a copy of your NCB from your previous insurer and send it to your new insurer along with a copy of your driver’s license.
- Complete your new policy and return it your new insurer.
- Enjoy a reduced premium with the same benefits.
Household InsuranceIt has become common cause that a lot of consumers insure their homes and its contents when they first move in. As the years pass by, they renovate their homes but they do not change their policies. Your home is an important investment and a lucrative asset in the long run and having a gap in coverage can result in a serious loss if it is not covered. How to Review it? The best way to ensure that you are covered, is to start by conducting a household inventory of your possessions. You can make use of various apps available on smartphones. You should:
- Have your property valued to ascertain its current value.
- Make contact with your insurer and enquire above your existing policy and its coverage.
- Request a new quote that covers the new value of your property and any contents that you want to be insured.