Why Household Contents Cover is Crucial
The rise in extreme weather events is a stark reminder that having the correct household contents cover in place is becoming increasingly important.
So, why is it that household contents insurance is still one of the least understood aspects of a short-term insurance policy?
Our latest blog takes a look at how you can ensure your household contents are protected, no matter the weather.
WEATHERING THE STORM
Following the devastating flooding which occurred recently in KwaZulu Natal, the South African Insurance Association (SAIA) has predicted that flood-related claims in 2022 will exceed R1 billion, with insurers seeing a sharp rise in the number of household contents cover claims.
Old Mutual Insure received over R245 million in flood-related claims by 14 April. A spokesperson reported that there had been a “significant increase in weather-related losses”, with changing weather patterns expected to continue to “cause havoc”.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Despite the dangers posed by changing weather, there is still an alarming number of South Africans who remain underinsured or worse, completely uninsured, according to the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance.
“In my experience, the majority of South Africans are – unfortunately – uninsured, particularly with household contents.
In some instances, it is an issue of not knowing the importance of
having this type of insurance or the issue of affordability.”
Ayanda Mazwi, Senior Assistant Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance,
interviewed by Relebogile Mobatja on 702
PROTECTING YOUR HOME AND CONTENTS
Whether you live on the coast or inland, there’s no telling when the next weather-related disaster might strike. Even if you’re not at risk of floods, there are a host of other dangers which pose a threat to your belongings.
Damage to – or loss of – your household contents could be caused by electrical fires or lightning strikes, burst pipes, or even theft and malicious damage.
Santam Insurance paid out over R1.5billion in property claims in 2020. According to their figures, some of the top home insurance claims up until April 2021 included:
- Water tank, apparatus and pipes (mostly geyser claims)
- Special perils (defined as storm or hail claims)
- Lightning or thunderbolt damage
- Power surges (30% increase on claims)
- Theft and Burglary
- Fire damage
The good news is there are a range of insurance products which are designed to assist with the loss and damage caused by natural disasters and unexpected events, by replacing or repairing your damaged goods and property. These include:
✅ Homeowner or building insurance – covers your home and immovable items within your property boundaries, as well as fixtures and fittings within the property.
✅ Household contents cover – includes items such as furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, crockery, linen and other household items in your property. Jewellery and very expensive items would need to be insured separately.
✅ All-risk cover – protection which is not limited to certain causes. Insurance for the insured property is extended to include any possible cause of damage, loss or destruction to the insured property.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR HOUSEHOLD CONTENTS COVER
Regardless of the type of policy, insurance is never a “one size fits all” situation, and it’s vital to understand the fine print in your household contents cover policy.
Your insurance broker will be able to assist with advising on the best form of household contents cover for your individual circumstances, as well as helping you to calculate the correct level of cover for your belongings.
PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES
In the event of flooding, SAIA recommends the following safety precautions:
- Move immediately to higher ground
- Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Roads may have weakened and could collapse
- If advised to evacuate your home, do so immediately
- After a flood, return home only when authorities say it is safe to do so
- Be aware of areas where flood water has receded and take note of debris
- Document any damage to your property by taking photographs for insurance purposes
Genesis Insurance Brokers have over 50 years worth of combined industry experience, which means we can help you to assess your requirements, identify the right policy for your needs, and guide you through each step of the process.