The festive season is here, and many South Africans are set to head out for their annual holidays, barring a reintroduction of bans on beach visits or interprovincial travel in the coming weeks.
Whether the Omicron wave has prompted you to downgrade your plans to a weekend away at a nearby destination or whether you’re planning a long road trip, there are a few things you can do to protect your home and your vehicle.
Sumarie Greybe, co-founder of digital insurance platform Naked, provides some tips about how you can get the most from your home and car insurance cover over the December holidays:
Car insurance tips
- Ensure all drivers for your car have up-to-date driving licences and that your vehicle licence disc is valid. Motorists can also avoid queues and renew their vehicle licence discs online through services such as Renewonline.
- Make sure that your car is roadworthy for the safety of everyone in your car and on the road, as well as to ensure a smooth claims experience if something bad happens on the road. Ensure your tyre tread isn’t worn out, check that your indicators and brake lights are working, and get your brake pads checked.
- Keep your insurer’s roadside emergency number on hand or install its app so that you can call for help if you have an accident or engine trouble.
- While a few African countries (like Angola, Egypt, Mauritius and Rwanda), have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa, others are still welcoming tourists. If you’re driving to neighbouring countries, check whether your policy covers you outside South Africa’s borders and get a letter from your insurer that you can present at the border. Most South African policies will only cover you for damage to your own car while you are outside of our borders. You’ll generally need separate third-party liability insurance cover when you travel outside South Africa. This cover provides compensation if your vehicle is involved in a road accident and causes damage to another vehicle, or injury to or death of another person in another country. It can be bought from the AA. Also, remember to check on the Covid laws and protocols of each nation you plan to visit.
- Obey the rules of the road. Never drink and drive. Not only is it a criminal offence, it could also have fatal consequences. For now, a driver’s blood may not have an alcohol content of more than 0.05%, which means you could be over the limit after just one small drink. It’s safer not to drink at all, even though the zero-alcohol law government is planning has yet to take effect. Plan ahead and arrange alternative transport if you plan to have a few drinks. With Uber and similar services available in most urban centres, there should no longer be any reason to drink and drive.
- With Naked’s mobile app, you can pause your accident cover on the days that you’re not driving your car. You can instantly save 50% of your premium on the days you use CoverPause. It’s a great way to save some money if you’re going away and your car is staying at home or being parked at the airport, or you’re mostly shielding at home until the fourth wave subsides.
Home and personal items insurance tips
- If you haven’t updated your cover for a while, take the time to check whether you have insured your home building and contents for what they are worth today. After inflation, your smartphone or sofa will be more expensive to replace now than three years ago.
- Ensure that external locks and safety doors in your home are in good condition and securely locked before you depart. Remember that it may be difficult to get a claim paid if your home is robbed and there are no signs of forced entry.
- Remember to activate your alarm and check that you have a valid subscription with an armed response company, especially if you told your insurance provider that you have an alarm.
- If you’re travelling with precious items like your golf clubs, notebook, jewellery or camera, make sure they’re all insured for their full value by specifying them in your home contents policy.
- If you don’t have home contents insurance, you can get a quote and buy insurance for valuable single items from a digital insurance provider.
- A good policy will include 24/7 emergency assistance—your insurance provider can help the person watching your home while you’re away if your geyser bursts or they need a locksmith.