Insurance Checklist Before You Travel

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Insurance companies are there to ensure that you and your most valuable possessions are protected should unfortunate events occur. However, as sympathetic as they are, they don’t always dish out payments when the need arises. A little slip-up from your side could make your claim invalid. 

In order to help you avoid complications that can lead to the rejection of your claim, JustMoney compiled a list of items you need to address, prior to departing for your holiday.

Home insurance cover

Before you leave your home make sure that the water taps are closed and your geyser is switched off. Check for leakages and fix them before you embark on your journey. 

As cautioned by Sumarie Greybe, co-founder at Naked, you must check that your windows and doors are securely closed and locked. In addition to this, you must make sure they’re in good condition. If not, replace them immediately.

If you have an alarm, ensure that it’s activated and check that the subscription is valid with your service provider. Greybe says you must let your service provider know about your planned trip and ask them to respond immediately without calling you first, while you’re away.

You must limit the number of people who have access to your house and not give contractors the key to your house while you’re away. If you’re taking your valuables such as phones and laptops with you, Greybe says you must make sure they’re protected under home contents insurance portable cover.

Car insurance

Ensure the driving licences of all the drivers of your car are valid. If any of you finds themselves in an accident it will be difficult to claim if their licence has expired.

According to Greybe, your licence disc must be up to date and your car must be roadworthy. Check your tyres, fittings, engine and steering wheel. If the insurer finds that there was a fault with these before you drove off, your claim will be rejected.

Greybe says you should not overload your car as this could increase the risk of damaging your car and other cars on the road. She says this also causes the car to be off-balance and could result in you being in an accident.

“If you have added expensive accessories and extras to your car, such as a roof-rack, bull bar, xenon lights, or extra sound equipment, update your policy to ensure they are covered,” says Greybe.

Also be sure to keep your insurance provider’s roadside assistance number on hand in case emergency strikes.

Travel insurance

Have you taken out cover for your pre-existing illnesses? If not, make sure that you do as you may find that your travel insurance doesn’t cover these conditions. Familiarise yourself with all the exclusions in your policy before taking off. These can include reckless behaviour, sport, and dangerous activities, and not informing your doctor about your planned trip.

If you’re travelling to a country where a certain disease is prevalent (e.g. malaria), you need to make sure that your policy will cover it, and that, where applicable, you’re vaccinated.

While you’re travelling make sure that you don’t leave your belongings unattended. Yes, your cover will pay for stolen belongings, but if the insurer finds that you were careless, they will not pay out.

Lastly you need read the cancellation policy to eliminate any confusion. Some insurers don’t pay you for the loss you’ve incurred because of a cancelled trip. Alternatively, the pay-out may not be enough to cover your loss.

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