By: Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure
The COVID-19 outbreak is unlike any global event we’ve seen, with far-reaching impacts on the economy as well as the health and wellbeing of many. These are uncertain times.
Large parts of the world have looked into lockdown measures, closed travel borders, urged people to socially distance themselves, and have focused on how to limit the negative outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic. South Africa is no exception. Our first-ever lockdown has brought much of the economy to a standstill, yet life goes on, and we must find a way to keep going too.
In times of doubt, fear or uncertainty about what comes next, a great way to settle some of your anxiety is to ensure you put protection in place, wherever you can. Short-term insurance is part of this process and is a safety net you can be certain of during this difficult time, provided you keep the terms and conditions of your policy in mind.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R Swindoll
Focusing on what you can control (like your insurance cover) will help to keep your mind from wandering or spiralling to a place of negativity. While there are many things that are out of our control (a constant state we don’t tend to acknowledge), we currently have a heightened awareness of uncertainty. It is dominating the media headlines and conversations on social media. For our own peace of mind, we should prioritise taking control over those aspects that we can in our own lives.
Chat to your adviser to ease your uncertainty
A benefit of having an adviser is that they are less emotionally involved in your personal finances, so they can guide you and help you see past the market noise. They know what you should be considering about your home, car or business at this time. Cutting your cover won’t help you if you need to claim. While finances may be a worry, consider the financial repercussions of not having adequate cover in place. This becomes especially clear when you think about everyday events like a geyser bursting (and the associated damage) or being in a car accident. Such an event could easily tip already strained finances over the edge if you don’t have adequate insurance cover.
Pay your premium
Maintaining your short-term cover means you will need to continue paying your premiums too. Some insurers have indicated that they are making specific provision for some clients or products (such as offering a premium holiday), but this doesn’t mean the payments fall away. You will just need to pay them later, along with the premiums that will be due at the time. Please check in with your adviser about this, since each insurer applies their own criteria and rules. Any general queries you have about the extent of your cover should be addressed as soon as possible, with professional input.
Get your house in order
If the Covid-19 outbreak has taught us anything, it’s how quickly something can develop. Ignoring any needed repairs at home, or putting off reviewing your policy, could cost you so much more in the end. You need to consider the replacement ratio for everything inside your house (contents), as well as your property itself (building insurance). Why not make it a priority to do a detailed inventory of your household contents? Take pictures of all your expensive electronic equipment for record purposes, should you need to claim. While we are still in lockdown, use some of your time at home productively to catch up on your insurance admin.
Be safe (follow the rules)
Insist on SASRIA cover if you don’t yet have it and honour the security measures as stated in your policy. Lock all sliding doors, security gates and windows. Rather be extra safe than sorry.
The regulations President Cyril Ramaphosa put in place for the lockdown, as well as measures before (and likely after), must be honoured so that we can stay healthy and things can normalise economically. Some of the new habits we have adopted over the past month can stand us in good stead in the future, just as water-saving habits have become integral for many of us in light of Day Zero.
Seek some joy
Knowing your insurance policy is sorted should bring peace of mind and, consequently, some joy. To get through this time will take patience, perseverance and a positive attitude. You are in control of staying covered, so take some joy in that freedom too.