Cape Town – Just like taking your car to your dealer for a service or visiting your dentist once a year to check that everything is still in order, you might also want to consider revising your investment, banking and insurance portfolios.

“While having all the right financial solutions in your portfolio is a big step towards achieving a healthy financial plan, you need to be proactive about managing it,” said Johan van Greuning, head of Standard Insurance Limited.

“The new year is the ideal time to do this, as each year your needs and circumstances change and your portfolio should reflect those changes.”

Communication between you and your financial adviser or broker should always be frequent so you are aware of the progress your policies are making, the benefits you are getting or if your policies are working properly for you.”

If there have been any changes in your life that may affect your policies, it is important to make your broker or advisor aware.

“Many people don’t realise that even a simple change of address or occupation can affect their car insurance premiums or home cover, or how the purchase of a big-ticket item will affect a household contents insurance premium,” said Van Greuning.

He has the following advice regarding different types of insurance that can help you manage your finances better:

Vehicle insurance

Remember, as your vehicle gets older its value changes, and that means you could be saving on your car insurance. When choosing the right insurance to suit your needs, it’s always wise to compare quotes before making a final decision.

Your location affects your car premium, so inform your broker of a move. Not only could this affect your premium, but neglecting to inform the insurance company could result in a claim being refused.

Home insurance

If you have installed a security system in your home, call your broker as you might get a reduction in premiums. An improvement will increase the value of your home, so you should increase your insurance coverage.

Make a record of all your insured assets for an easier claim process. Better still, keep the receipts of big-ticket purchases. Don’t leave out assets when applying for household insurance; it will negatively affect a claim.

When doing renovations on your house, call your insurance company to check that you are covered for any building damage that might occur.

Car and home insurance is a crucial part of our lives, and without it we can never be sure if we would be able to pay for all those unexpected expenses that crop up every now and then.

Life insurance

The thought of dying or losing someone close to you is very disheartening, but having a life insurance policy guarantees that your loved ones will be well taken care of after you have left them. If you have a new addition to the family, you will need to increase your cover.

If you get remarried and want to include other family members, you have to make sure you put everyone down in your will.

Business insurance

If you run a small business from home, you need to remember that damage to the business contents or the office premises is separate from your home or household contents cover. It is therefore important to speak to your broker to find out how you can protect your business from theft and fire to everything else you don’t want to happen.

“Fine-tuning your finances will not only keep you on track with your investments, it will also save you money and ensure that your insurance policies remain valid and current,” said Van Greuning.

“Likewise, it’s worthwhile looking at your bank accounts and habits in general. Banking needs change as you earn more money, so it would be beneficial to chat to your bank or a financial consultant to ensure you have the right mix of financial solutions. Though this may take up a little more of your time, the peace of mind it brings is well worth the investment,” said Van Greuning.

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