Effective insurance coverage means carefree holidays

11 June 2015

December is a time when thousands of South Africans take to the nation’s roads or fly to local and international destinations to enjoy family holidays.  It is also, unfortunately, a time when there is a spike in accidents and crime. Being aware and taking reasonable precautions to ensure that you and yours are protected is a necessity, says Standard Bank.

Part of making sure that holidays don’t get blindsided by events that may occur at home, on the road or at your destination is checking that your insurance coverage is adequate, says Johan van Greuning, Head of Standard Insurance Limited.

He suggests that policy holders be aware of what negative impacts there could be on the outcome of insurance claims. “At this time of year, there is a rise in accident statistics due to driver negligence, vehicles that are not roadworthy as well as drinking and driving.

“Driver negligence could lead to claims being repudiated. This means that the driver will be responsible for the damage and legal costs arising from an accident.  Make sure that your vehicle is checked, serviced and roadworthy before you depart.”

There are several reasons why claims may not be paid, so it is important to understand what may have an impact on your claim. The most common reasons are:

  • If the vehicle is not roadworthy. For example if tyres were badly worn, vehicle lights were not working and windscreen wipers were inoperable when conditions demanded their use, the insurance company could repudiate the claim.
  • If the vehicle is overloaded to the point where steering, road-holding or braking is compromised.
  • If the driver of the vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident.
  • If the policyholder acted negligently or in a criminal manner.

 

Turning to other issues regarding holiday insurance, Mr Van Greuning says four categories of insurance should be checked before holiday journeys begin. These are:

Household and home insurance

Ensure these policies are in place. Take note of which fittings (such as geysers, walls, pool pumps and other equipment) are covered. It is advisable to list key items (with serial numbers) in the house and photograph them on site. This should be supplied to the insurance company and will prove invaluable when claiming in the event of a break-in.

If you are using house-sitters, make sure they understand who to contact if an emergency occurs, such as an ‘insurance-approved’ plumber or electrician.

 

Travel insurance

Nothing could be worse than having a holiday cut short because there is a cancellation that prevents you from travelling. Make sure you are adequately covered. Also, speak to your medical aid about cover if you are planning to travel abroad. If necessary, purchase additional health insurance so that if misfortune befalls a member of the family, treatment and even medical evacuation is guaranteed.

Consider how you will be paying for services. If you are travelling locally or abroad, remember to:

  • Keep the numbers of credit cards, debit cards and travellers cheques in a safe place to ensure they can be replaced if they are lost or stolen.
  •  Arrange insurance for services that you will need if these items are lost. This will ensure that you are provided with accommodation, car hire and additional support.

 


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