Hints, tips and insurance advice for Personal Insurance

All you need to know about Personal Insurance from Hollard.

 

Q: Why do policies contain exclusions?

A: Exclusions are there to protect both your interests and the interests of the insurer. As a policyholder you have the right to know exactly what you are – and aren't – insured for. To this end, insurers are obliged by law to ensure that any exclusion is clearly stated.

Q: Why do policies contain endorsements?

 A: Endorsements, like exclusions, ensure that an insurance policy is geared to your specific needs. They have to be clearly stated because you have the right to know of any situations or circumstances that amend the original terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

Q: Why do policies contain warranties?

A: Warranties are undertakings or promises with regard to specific terms and conditions that could affect the validity of the contract and which should be strictly complied with. If you accept a discount for installing a burglar alarm/tracking device, you must ensure that the burglar alarm and tracking device are installed and maintained in good working order. If this is not the case the insurer may reject the claim.

Q: What is an excess/first amount payable?

A: An excess – also called the first amount payable – is the amount of money that you, as the insured person, are responsible for in the event of a claim. The excess is the uninsured portion of your policy. The excess or excesses must be clearly stated by the insurer, either in the policy document, schedule or in an endorsement. Some policies have excesses applicable to several sections of the policy

Q: Why is an excess payable?

 A: An excess is payable to control the cost of cover and to manage the risk. An excess may be used as an instrument to help keep your premium lower if you elect to take a higher excess.  If you wish to reduce your excess then some insurers will give you the option to take out a policy to insure your excess for an additional premium. In return the excess will be removed/reduced on your main policy.  When another person negligently causes damage to your property the insurer can elect to recover the cost of the damages from that person. As a service to you, the insurer will often attempt to recover your excess in addition to the loss even though the excess is for your account.

Q: What are bonuses and how do they affect you?

A: Other common names are no claim bonuses/discounts or cash back bonuses. Bonuses are essentially rewards that an insurer gives to its good clients. Good clients are those who do not claim against a policy for a given number of years. Bonuses can take the form of reduced premiums/discounts or cash-back payments. Some insurers may refund a portion of the premium after a period of claim-free years, or offer what they call loyalty bonuses. Loyalty bonuses may also provide the insured with additional protection or benefits in the event of a claim. It is your responsibility to find out which of these schemes is offered by your insurer.

Q: How can you get a reduced premium for your household insurance?

A: Discuss with your insurance adviser or insurer any security features that you believe may entitle you to a premium reduction. These would normally be in addition to the minimum protection requirements required by an insurer. They may differ from region to region.  

 

Some of the things that might affect your premium are:  

- Your age  

- Whether or not your home is protected by security gates and/or a monitored linked alarm  

- Whether or not you store certain items of value in a safety deposit box  

- Whether or not you are living in a secured living environment  

- Whether or not you are the only driver of your vehicle, and if not, how many drivers there are  

- What you use the vehicle for, i.e. private or business purposes  

- Whether or not your vehicle has an insurance approved tracking device  

- Whether or not you have proof of no claims from your previous insurer

- Your claims history  

- Voluntary excesses

Tip: Purchasing a new car

When purchasing a new car you need to confirm that your car is insured before driving it off the dealer’s floor. If you are financing the car then it will be required for you to have car insurance before you will be allowed to take delivery of the new car. Speak to your consultant before your delivery date.

Tip: Performance vs. age

When considering buying a car you will need to take into account that car insurance companies attribute a high risk factor to regular drivers that are under 25 and drive a high performance car. This means that some car insurance companies might not insure you or your car insurance premium might be very high if you fall in this category.

Tip: Possible discount

 Discuss all your car insurance options with your consultant to find out how you can save on your insurance premium. After market alarm systems, tracking systems and anti-high jack systems could save you quite a lot on your monthly car insurance premium by lowering your risk profile.

Tip: Take out the right insurance cover

 Make sure that your car is insured for the correct use. If you simply use your car to and from work then you can take out car insurance for private use but if you use your car to see clients or transport goods you will need to take out business use car insurance. This is due to the fact that your car insurance risk profile increases if you drive and use your car more often.

Tip: Regular driver

 Always confirm that the driver that drives that car the most is the person that the car is insured for. This could have an influence on the excess of your car insurance if the car is in an accident with a driver other than the regular driver.

Tip: Accessories

Always make sure that you specifically add any additional accessories to be covered by your car insurance policy. This includes any accessories that aren't factory fitted. Your car insurance company will not cover you for these items if you don't specify this. This includes mag rims, special interior trims, tow bars, window tints and even metallic paint.