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Woman urged to smarten up on short-term insurance needs

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When it comes to short-term insurance, every woman - single, married, mother or business owner - has valuable possessions that they simply cannot live without. Therefore, it is imperative that women become more familiar with their own insurance needs to not only ensure their belongings are properly protected, but to avoid the financial cost of having to replace them as a result of damage, theft or loss.
Often, a woman's most valued personal belongings are either carried around with her in her handbag - think iPad, mobile phone, camera, purse or even the actual Louis Vuitton handbag itself - or are located in her wardrobe - Jimmy Choo heels, Burberry coat and jewellery such as engagement rings. As a result, it is vital that all women ensure that cover for these essential items is included in their insurance policy, while also making sure that the items are covered for their total replacement value to avoid underinsurance.
Regular assessments at MUA have shown that about 90% of women – particularly in the high end market – significantly undervalue the cost of their wardrobes, estimating them to be just half of their actual value. The main reason behind underinsurance results from the fact that insurance values are calculated on the replacement cost of items, so a designer suit that would have cost a woman R2 000 a few years ago, will probably now cost in the region of R10 000 to replace.
Even though it is quite rare that an entire wardrobe would need to be replaced, should a break-in or fire occur, it is vital for women to have apportioned the correct replacement value to their wardrobe to ensure everything can be replaced if necessary. Many home insurance policies tend to have a limit on replacement value, therefore if the contents of the wardrobe are higher than normal it is advisable to take out extra cover.
Insurance for a woman's handbag and its contents is also a must - it is a relatively cheap addition but is always worth the additional cost. Women must also bear in mind that it is never advisable to carry valuable jewellery they are not wearing at the time in their handbag - a common practice among women when changing a watch or jewellery to suit their new outfit. Most insurance policies will stipulate that jewellery over a certain value must be stored in a safe when not worn.
Another tip to bear in mind when it comes to insuring expensive jewellery is to conduct regular valuations of the jewellery at a reputable jeweller to ensure the jewellery is insured for the most up-to-date replacement value as fluctuations in precious metal prices can result in jewellery becoming underinsured. For example, if someone purchased a diamond ring in 2007 valued at R65 000, their current replacement cost of the ring could be as much as R120 000 due to fluctuations in the price of gold and other precious metals, so it must therefore be insured for this higher amount in case of loss, theft or damage.
It is also important to always ensure an authentic valuation certificate - that properly identifies and describes all content of the jewellery, i.e. precious stone content, gold weights and certificates from independent diamond laboratories - is received with every purchase of expensive jewellery. This will assist with future valuations, especially if there are drastic changes based on the exchange rate.
When it comes to home and motor short-term insurance needs, safety and support are two of the most important considerations for any woman. Value added benefits such as roadside or home-side emergency assistance, should definitely be considered, even if it comes down to paying more.
Emergency roadside assistance will offer extra services, for example, should the driver's vehicle break down, become involved in an accident or have a flat tyre, someone will be sent out to the location to wait with the customer, while the tow truck driver or other emergency personnel arrive. Some roadside assist packages also provide a comprehensive concierge service whereby a female driver travelling alone can be accompanied to her destination to ensure her safe arrival.
On the other hand, home assistance will provide emergency services and support needed in the household. For example, calling out a plumber for an emergency job such as a water leak where, in most instances, the first hour of service will be covered by the policy and the owner will only have to pay additional costs for extra hours.
With these above tips in mind, every woman can take better control to ensure their personal belongings are fully protected against left, loss or damage. When in doubt, it is always best to consult the services of a trusted financial advisor who can advise on the best solution and assist when it comes to claims handling.

Christelle Fourie

Christelle Fourie

Managing Director of MUA Insurance Acceptances a leading insurance underwriter of personal lines insurance for the Executive motor, classic car and home market with policies catering for the specific insurance needs of high valued vehicles and high net worth individuals. MUA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hannover Re through the shareholding ownership of Lireas Holdings (Pty) Limited and the risk is carried by Compass Insurance Company Limited.

Website: www.mua.co.za

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