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“The most important thing for insurance holders to be aware of is what their policy covers,” says Farah. “Clients need to have a look at the environment they live in and assess the threats to their property. Is there a high crime rate or is the area prone to hailstorms or veld fires? What does the policy cover, and to what extent?”Farah also mentions that there are a number of things most clients just aren’t aware of. For instance, should they be behind on premium payments, they might not be covered for that month at all. Not only that but many people don’t put anything aside for excess payments. Another thing to check is whether or not you’re covered for the loss of Unspecified Possessions. Most people disclose the fact that they have a sound system in their vehicle, and see to it that it is covered in the event of theft. You may, however, be carrying unspecified possessions at any given time which could also end up stolen. These could include your handbag, clothing, laptop, etc. Are you covered for them? So, clients need to ask the following questions:
“Things have advanced now,” says Farah. “Nowadays, all of the client’s info is captured right away. All of the details can be given to us over the phone and all of the phone calls are recorded. If we need more info later on, as brokers we might get the client into a conference call with the insurer. Should a pay-out be made, the client will be required to sign off on it, but unless a client requests everything on black and white, which is rarely the case, there’s very little paperwork involved.”
“If your vehicle needs repairs, we will recommend approved repair companies you may use in your area,” says Farah. “The insurer will then make all the arrangements and contact the client with the details. If the client would like to use their own repair company, they may submit quotes to the insurer.”Farah says that it is important to wait for approval from the insurance company before taking the vehicle for any repairs. They may reject the price and refuse to pay it. Some insurance companies only use their own approved mechanics and panel beaters. Should the vehicle be stolen or badly damaged, an assessor will be sent to interview you and have a look at the damages. Should the damage be too excessive, the car will be ‘written off’ and the insurance company will make a pay-out to the value of the vehicle you insured it for. It’s important to ask your broker whether your vehicle is insured for market / retail value or another amount. This can have a huge impact in the event of the vehicle being written off – which means that it’s so damaged it’s not worth repairing. Most companies will only write a vehicle off if it has sustained over 70% damage. If the damage is lower than that, and the insurance company still wants to write it off, you can ask for a cash settlement. You can then take that cash, and the vehicle, wherever you want for repairs, which won’t be guaranteed.