There are many of us who have insurance in place, but there are probably some shortfalls. “Not covering these may reduce your premium, but at what cost when claim stage comes?” says Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution at PSG Insure. “There are add-on solutions to consider – known as Value Added Products (VAPs) – that can really make all the difference.”

  1. Car hire

We take for granted the convenience of having a car. If you have car hire on your policy, it can make the process much simpler. Uber may be a solution for some, but this can become very costly if your car is in repairs for a good few weeks. If you have an imported car, parts can take a while to be imported. “It is worth noting that it is usually only one month’s worth of car hire as a standard, so if this could be too short a period, you may want to extend your cover for longer – perhaps doubled to two months – to allow for time-consuming repairs,” he says.

Even if you have two cars in your family, having car hire can be beneficial. Perhaps the second car won’t be available when you need it – this is particularly true if both you and your partner work in different areas, for example.

“It can be particularly frustrating to have no car – you don’t realise it until it’s gone as we really take this for granted,” says Visser.

  1. 24-hour assistance

This can be applicable to both car insurance and household insurance – known as Roadside Assist or Household Assist. In the case of Roadside Assist, this VAP provides peace of mind as assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “If your car breaks down, assistance will come to you in the form of a reliable tow truck company where you will be towed to the nearest repairer. You will also get assistance for a flat tyre, or if you require a locksmith if you lose your keys,” he says.

Household Assistance offers locksmiths too as well as help should your geyser burst, or if you have other emergencies at home.

  1. Excess buyback

Also known as an excess waiver or excess buster, this product demolishes the basic excess component of a policy, meaning you won’t have to pay anything in at claim stage. You do of course pay extra per month for this service, but a little can go a long way if paying the excess would make your financial situation difficult. For example, some insurers have a percentage excess of the claim amount (if the claim value is R300 000; excess of 5% of claim required = R15 000 to be paid upfront).

“You may think that having any VAPs on your policy are just nice to have, or that they are impractical or expensive, but they will prove really valuable should you ever need to claim,” Visser concludes.

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