There are many reasons why you should check your insurance policy but one of them is that you’ll have the certainty of knowing exactly what you’re covered for. Says Attie Blaauw, head of Santam Personal Lines: “It’s so important to know what you’re covered for or what you may not be covered for in the event of loss, damage or theft to your home, your vehicle or your valuables. That is why we’ve decided to share some insights around insurance cover that may come as a surprise to some.”

  • Your vehicle’s tyre tread: It’s true that vehicle accidents and minor collisions happen every now and then. Should you be involved in an accident and follow-up investigations indicate that the tread on your vehicle tyres is less than the legal limit your insurer will have grounds to reject your claim. Worn tyre treads present a significant safety risk for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other motorists so make sure you have yours checked, whether you’re staying home or going on a road trip.
  • Check your driver’s licence: When the card-type driver’s licenses were introduced, all people in possession of the old ‘code 8’ license were automatically converted to code ‘EB’ which would allow the driver to tow a caravan or trailer weighing more than 750 kg. Vehicle drivers who obtained a ‘B’ license after the conversion may now incorrectly assume that they are licensed to tow a caravan, when in fact, they are not. Drivers need to be aware that an ordinary driver’s licence (code B) only allows them to tow a trailer with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) less than 750kg. For anything larger, such as a caravan, a code EB license is required. Licence codes EC1 and EC also allows for towing GVM in excess of 750kg. If you are found to be in contravention of these regulations, your claim could be rejected.
  • Lost keys? Check your insurance cover: At some time or another, almost everyone misplaces their house or car keys and the reality is, some sets of car keys can cost anything upwards of R700. That’s why it’s important to ensure you have a spare set of keys in a safe place and to check if your insurer would cover the costs of replacing your keys (something they may well do).
  • Broken windows and mirrors? What does the policy contract say?: On the home front, breaking a mirror or a window can cost you if you have to get someone to come out to you on a public holiday to replace it. Santam will cover you in the event that a mirror or window in your home breaks accidentally.
  • Is your smart watch an accessory or a communication device? Most insurers classify smart watches which work in conjunction with a cell phone or another device as an accessory to a communication device. While some may even function as a communication device, you need to check with your insurer whether your smart watch is covered under ‘personal clothing and effects’ or whether it needs to be specified in your personal insurance policy.

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