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Back to basics

08 November 2005 Angelo Coppola

Howard Cohen, General Manager: Claims, Mutual & Federal, provides some tips for brokers, who can remind their clients about some of the basics…

The following tips may be quite obvious, but many policyholders keep stepping in the same trap. As the broker, explain the following to your client:

* Never leave your handbag lying exposed on the passenger seat next to you – or even below the seat.

* Also remember to properly insure the contents of your handbag. It does not only contain a pair of sunglasses, purse and cell phone. What about your ID document, driver’s licence, home and office keys and your make-up? These items can cost thousands of rands to replace – often much more than you expect and for which you are covered!

* Make sure your General All Risks Insurance, or insurance for clothing and personal effects designed to be carried around, is sufficient and always specify high-risk items.

* Many insurance companies provide premium discounts to clients who have not intimated claims during a twelve-month period. This is done in the form of a Claim Free Group (CFG). This becomes an increasing discount, subject to a maximum amount. Therefore it is certainly an advantage to those clients who take better care of their possessions than others.

* In terms of household content cover, make sure you put your alarm on every time you leave the house. Also make sure your alarm is kept in working condition at all times.

* When it comes to vehicles, be very careful to allow a stranger to take your car for a test drive, especially when you’re trying to sell the vehicle. You may never see your car again.

* And when you do manage to sell your car, never accept a cheque and hand over the keys. First make sure the cheque is cleared and the money is safely in your bank account before you let the vehicle go.

When submitting a claim, brokers must ‘push’ their clients to do so as speedily as possible. And when a cell phone goes missing, blacklist it immediately!

Another important responsibility for any broker is to ensure that the client reads and understands the policy once it’s been ‘signed and sealed,’ says Cohen.

Not all claims will cause the client to forfeit his or her no-claim bonus or suffer an increase in premium but it is important to understand when and where this may become applicable, he says.

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