Are you sure your car is fully insured? According to Sean Pheiffer, Head of Motor Claims at Old Mutual Insure, it is crucially important to take the extras and accessories into consideration when declaring the value of your vehicle to your insurer.

What is considered as “extras and accessories”?

Anything that is fitted to a “standard” vehicle model listed on the insurance schedule, whether permanent or removable, is referred to as extras or accessories. Some of these extras are fitted at the manufacturers’ factories; many are fitted by approved installers after the vehicle leaves the factory.

Examples of these extras include tow-bars, bull-bars, sunroofs, navigation systems, tracking devices, wheels, music systems, leather seats, winches, off-road features, anti-theft devices, window treatments, canopies, and an almost endless list of added features that enhance the vehicle’s functional ability or aesthetic appeal. These extras can easily add 50% to the value of your vehicle.

Why you should include extras and accessories in your insurance policy

“The danger of not insuring your vehicle for the correct amount is that you only realise that you are inadequately insured when you put in a claim and are paid out less than you were expecting to receive,” says Pheiffer. In addition, most consumers are not aware that In the event of the sum insured not including the value of the extras and accessories, you will be liable to pay the settlement difference.
However, determining exactly what your short-term insurer will pay out can be a minefield. “Most of our products provide cover for the factory fitted extras without the requirement to specify such items, provided the sum insured is sufficient,” he says.

How to ensure you are not under-insured
The best way to avoid under-valuing your vehicle is to provide your broker will all the necessary information about your vehicle. Advise your broker of all features, extras and accessories that are not part of the base model – and remember this is whether or not you asked for these extras to be added or they were added by the previous owner or the dealership, prior to your purchase. Also remember to communicate any additional investments in enhancements to the vehicle after you have purchased your policy.

If your vehicle has extras, go to a reputable dealer in your area for a valuation. Lastly, review the value of your vehicle, including all its extras on a regular basis. Vehicles depreciate in value every year and so do the value of any extras – by an average of 15% a year.

In brief: “Ensure that the sum insured includes the value of your vehicle including all extras, whether factory fitted or not,” concludes Pheiffer.


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