Guiding consumers since 2009

How updating insurance information can save you money

By Staff Writer
Once a year you may get your teeth checked, send the dog for a check up and have your car serviced. But, just like keeping your body, car and pets in top shape is important; so too is checking the status of your insurance policy.
Going through the amounts that you pay on your home contents, building and car insurance for instance could help you save a lot of money.
While cover may go up every year what you may forget is that assets, such as cars, depreciate in value and your insurer should be reminded to take that into account when they evaluate how much to charge you.
Checking your policy
An Absa spokesperson said that if nothing changes with your information, you should still go over your insurance policy every six months.
"However if anything changes that may affect the underwriting criteria, terms and conditions, price or the continued acceptance of your policy, you have to contact your insurer," said Absa.
Andrew Le Roux, iWYZE chief executive concurs and adds customers are obligated under the terms and conditions of their policy to advise insurers immediately if any material information has changed.
"Material information is information that a reasonable person would consider essential in order to properly assess their risk.
"If the client does not provide us with the correct information, it could be interpreted as misrepresentation, omission or non-disclosure and we may reject their claim, declare their policy invalid, cancel their policy and recover any compensation previously given to the client," says Le Roux.
Moving homes
Maybe this year you have moved to a new house, in a better neighbourhood, and with better security. Don't forget to let your insurer know, as this could potentially bring down the price in your premiums.
Le Roux pointed out that when you move, the new area you live in can affect your premiums. "If you move to an area which is less of a risk, your premium can reduce. However, if you move to an area of a higher risk, your premium can increase," says Le Roux.
Car services
Servicing your car is important to keep it in working condition, and to also give you peace of mind on the road.
However, when it comes to your car insurance if you ever need to claim, letting your insurer know that your car was fully functioning is important.
"In the event of a claim, the client has a responsibility to prove that his vehicle was in a good working order and details of services done may be useful," says Le Roux.
Therefore, it is important that you as an insured person, keep your car, house, and valuables well maintained at all times as it may affect whether the insurance company will cover you in the event of a claim.
"For example driving around with a vehicle that is unroadworthy may affect the outcome of a claim if you cause an accident," said Absa.
Age is not just a number
When it comes to insurance premiums, the age of the car, the driver's age and the number of years that a driver has had a driver's license are all taken into consideration.
Le Roux explained that as a car gets older, the value of the car reduces and this can reduce premiums.
However, there are other factors that come into play.
"Insurance premiums on vehicles are made up of multiple risk rating factors that are all carefully taken into consideration when a premium for a vehicle is determined. The value of a vehicle is therefore just one of the factors. So in principle, as the value of a vehicle decreases over the years, it may affect that particular rating factor and therefore you should generally see a downward trend," said Absa.
Absa went on to say that age is a "very important factor" when it comes to vehicle premiums. So, as soon as you get older, remind your insurer that you are more experienced and therefore less of a risk on the road.
Insurance is a must, as you don't want to be left with a hefty bill when something unexpected happens. However, there are ways to make sure you don't spend all your money on premiums.
Make sure that your insurer knows any changes, or updates to your personal information so that they can make any recalculations. Also, go over your policy every six months, just in case you no longer need something.

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