South African homeowners and the risk of underinsurance

3 min read 30 November 2017

As the holiday season fast approaches, insurers are readying themselves for a spike in claims that come in the New Year. Before then, South Africans will accumulate gifts and other assets that are often not accounted for on household contents policies. It is also the time of year when some parts of the country face higher risks of break-ins and increases in household contents maintenance. Whether enjoying a ‘staycation’, renting out one’s home or heading away, South Africans should be aware of the added risks that come with the holidays.

Recognising that insurance is probably the last thing on consumers’ minds amid the busyness of the holidays, South Africa’s leading insurer Santam is giving its clients 10% extra cover (at no additional cost) on household contents between 15 December 2017 and 31 January 2018. On average, the extra 10% translates into an additional R50 000 of cover for all home contents at a time of year when it may be most needed.

 In the period between December and the end of February alone, Santam usually experiences a slight increase in normal claims volumes. Says Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Santam’s Executive Head of Brand and Marketing: “When it comes to the holiday season, we see claims come through for a range of items including broken microwaves or television sets, lost jewellery or the contents of refrigerators that deteriorate because of power surges.”

Together with its large intermediary base, Santam regularly advises clients to conduct a thorough home contents inventory to include additional items accumulated over the holidays. “Underinsurance is a perennial problem that we want to help tackle with this offering. This year alone, we’ve seen a number of cases in which consumers were underinsured. Our extra 10% home contents cover at this time of the year is a trenchant reminder that we understand that things can go wrong, and that when they do, we’ve found a way to make it right.”

Dilotsotlhe emphasised that the company aims to reinforce its message of Insurance, Good and Proper through this offering. “As one of South Africa’s first insurance companies, we’ve always maintained that there is a right way to do insurance. By anticipating the extra risk that our clients may face at this time of the year, we want to provide them some peace of mind that their assets are properly covered so that they can focus on enjoying their holidays,” added Dilotsotlhe.

The marketing campaign for Santam’s 10% extra home contents offer takes a tongue-in-cheek approach about some of the things that can go wrong during the holidays, contrasting light-hearted ‘statistics’ with its industry-leading offer to ensure that clients have sufficient cover over the buying and giving season. Radio advertisements and online executions will also support the campaign.