Plan for the unexpected this this year


Over December 2019 and January 2020, 1,617 fatalities occurred from 1,390 car crashes[i]. With this year’s festive season fast approaching, South Africans are no doubt busy planning how they will celebrate. But what about planning for unexpected events like accidents, thefts and death?

According to Johan Josling, Chief Executive Officer at Episodic Health, the only personalised health insurance on the market today,“While we might not want to think about it, this time of year is notorious for increased accidents on the country’s roads. There also tends to be a spike in crime during the holidays and this year, Police Minister Bheki Cele believes it will be even worse with criminals trying to make up for time lost during the level 5 lockdown. Adding to these woes is an anticipated COVID-19 second wave which will be compounded by gatherings during the holidays.”

To help South Africans plan for events like these, he shares the following tips:

Make sure you have health cover. At the very least, ensure that you have accident and emergency medical cover as this will enable you to access private hospitals and healthcare in the event of an accident or an emergency. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that, should something happen, you’re covered.

Get your short-term insurance sorted. Now is the time to ensure that your car, household contents and home are insured. If they’re not, the costs of replacing stolen goods, repairing a car that’s been in an accident, or having to renovate parts of a home damaged by fire or flooding will be exorbitant. If you already have short-term insurance, it’s wise to update it regularly to ensure it still covers what (and, in the case of vehicles, who) it needs to.

Confirm that your life insurance policy is up to date. It’s advisable to review your life insurance policy annually to see if it is still up to date, especially your beneficiary list. Doing so will ensure that the right people will receive the pay-out when you pass away. You should also check to see if you are still happy with the cover amounts and adjust it if necessary.

Ensure that you have funeral cover. In the event of your death, or that of a loved one, this will help to cover the costs of the funeral without having to pay out-of-pocket for expenses. Additionally, if you have life insurance, but don’t have funeral cover, those you leave behind may sometimes have to wait months for the pay-out, whereas with funeral cover the pay-out typically occurs within 48 hours.

Check that your will is updated. In line with the above, it’s important to ensure that your will is updated regularly to reflect if there are any changes in your relationships or your assets. If you don’t have a will, draw one up as soon as possible, otherwise the courts — not you — will decide what happens to your assets and even to your children.

Budget smartly. The festive season is typically a time for spending, but it is vital that you have enough money to cover the premiums for all your insurance needs. Oftentimes people end up cancelling their cover simply because they have blown all their money. However, these premiums are crucial for keeping you and your loved ones covered.

“After a long and trying 2020, it’s easy to slip into celebration mode, but if this year has taught us anything it is that life as we know it can change in an instant. I would like to encourage all South Africans to try and plan as much as we can for the unexpected,” concludes Josling.

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