Insurance law: Insurance policies to look out for during the festive season

insurance policies
09 Dec 2022

The festive season is upon us and everyone is eagerly looking forward to a much-needed break. It is the “crazy season”, with lots of buying, traveling, partaking in various adventurous activities, etc. An unfortunate reality is that during the festive season, there are a lot of insurance related perils that tend to occur – which do not only spoil the festive celebrations but have long term financial effects. While there is no way to guarantee that when any insured risk eventuates the insurer will pay out, there are steps that insureds can take in order to enhance their chances of claiming successfully, if and when the need arises. This piece intends to highlight some of the critical insurance policies to look out for, possible threats to those policies and proposed solutions to the threats.

Different kinds of insurance policies become more relevant than others at different times, depending on various factors that influence the risks. At this time of the year, the following insurance policies are worthy of consideration:

  • Car insurance policies: With a lot of long distance traveling, there is an increase in the risk of car accidents, theft, hijackings, worn out car parts etc. It is crucial to note the terms and conditions of car insurance policies. Specific attention must be given to the type of cover (whether it is comprehensive cover or named perils cover); exclusions must also be considered and whether there is a need for extra cover for excluded risks.
  • Health and life insurance policies: There is a significant rise in serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents over this time. There is also a rise in criminal activities which may, in the South African context, include extreme eventualities such as death. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that one’s health and life policies are adhered to, including all the necessary disclosures.
  • Travel insurance: This insurance policy is critical for both national and international travel. When traveling, there are many unforeseen risks that may materialise, such as hospitalisation. These risks may have a negative impact on the overall experience of a trip and on one’s budget. As such, it is an important insurance policy.
  • House contents: This year South Africa has experienced the most extreme and pertinacious loadshedding. This has resulted in a worrying rise in house contents insurance claims. And, if the latest news reports are anything to go by, this will persist throughout the festive season. With many people traveling and visiting their loved ones, homes will be busier than usual. This may lead to a situation where, for example, some precautionary measures are neglected. Linked to the issue of loadshedding are possibilities of theft (break-ins), especially in those houses that are unoccupied. Thus, theft policies must be carefully considered.

The aforementioned insurance policies are not an exhaustive list of policies that are important during this period. It is also important for insureds to take note of their insurance debit order dates during December. Many insurers tend to bring debit order dates forward during the festive season. It is important to look out for such notifications, so that if the insured is not able to pay on the proposed date, they can communicate this to the insurer and make the necessary arrangements. This is of great legal importance as failure to do so may result in the lapse of an insurance contract, as a result of which the insured can find themselves without cover. In some cases, the policy terminates without any notification if a premium payment is missed. Given the administrative burden of attending to all the aforementioned obligations, it may be prudent to make use of an insurance broker. Alternatively, insureds must make time to peruse their insurance policies and ensure adherence to all the relevant terms and conditions. In an event where their claims are rejected, they should immediately contact insurance legal experts to look into possible avenues to challenge the rejection.

See also:

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
Mtho Maphumulo

Mtho Maphumulo graduated at UKZN with several distinctions, academic awards and Dean’s Commendation. During this period, he served active leadership roles in many students’ organisations including the Black Lawyers Association... Read more about Mtho Maphumulo


Insurance Law articles by

Insurance Law articles on GoLegal