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We understand that insurance can get pretty complicated, which is why we’ve shared some of the questions we’re often asked – and their answers – with you. Of course no one size fits all, so if you have any other queries on your mind, just give us a call and one of our experts will happily help you out.

Personal Insurance Questions

  • How do I change my bank/debit order details?

    Get in touch with your designated underwriter (the company who signed you up to RBS) who will send you the necessary Debit Order Authority forms to complete. These forms are important as they give RBS permission to change your account details and the authority to collect the premium from your new account.

  • What is VAP or Value Added Product?

    The Value Added Product which provides Roadside/Home Assist is included as part of your Policy. Given that this cover is outsourced to Global Choices this small fee will itemised on your Schedule in the interests of transparency. What’s important to note though is that RBS has reduced our premium so that you can have this nice-to-have cover. This means that if for some reason you don’t want it, there will be no monetary relief on removal of this product from the Policy.

  • What does subsidence and landslip cover actually mean?

    Subsidence is the downward movement of the ground that supports a building. Particular problems arise when the movement varies from one part of the building to another.
    Subsidence can be caused by:

    • Certain soil types: Clay soils are particularly vulnerable to subsidence since they shrink and swell depending on their moisture content.
    • Vegetation: Trees and shrubs take moisture from the soil causing it to shrink. This often happens during periods of long dry weather conditions as the plant roots extend in search of water.
    • Leaking drains: Damaged drains can soften or wash away the ground beneath a buildings foundations.
    • Property location: While less common, problems sometimes occur where properties are built over, or close to, mine workings.

    Other types of ground movement, which can result in cracking and structural damage, are:

    • Heave: This is the upward movement of the ground supporting the building.
    • Landslip: This is the movement of ground down a slope.
  • Who exactly is covered in my policy?

    The policy only covers the interests of the entity named in the policy as the Insured. It’s critical that we are advised immediately of any property, the subject of insurance that is not registered in the name, or the legal property of the Insured. In practice this often happens with the Insurance of motor vehicles. The common law principle of Insurable Interest dictates that an insurance policy may only respond to losses where the legal owner of the property and the stated insured are synonymous i.e. the Insured must have a legally recognisable relationship with the subject matter & must be financially prejudiced by its destruction. Disclosure therefore needs to be made to the insurers of a situation which is wide of this principle, thus allowing them the opportunity to ascertain whether or not they will accept the risk.

Business Insurance Questions

Claims Questions

  • Am I insured if there is no forcible entry into my vehicle?

    No. It must be clear that your vehicle was broken into in order for cover to be in place. This is largely because there’s been an increase in these types of claims thanks to vehicle signal jammers – the latest tool that criminals have taken to using. Play it safe and always double-check that your car is properly locked before leaving it.

  • Is anyone who drives my car covered?

    In most cases, yes, as long as they have the permission or reasonable belief from the insured that they can use the vehicle. The insured is the person named on the insurance policy and their spouse if applicable. There are some exclusions, so you would need to look at your particular insurance policy to make sure. Remember, everyone in your household must be listed on your insurance policy if they have a license. For example, if a girlfriend you live with uses your car, she may not be covered if you did not list her on your insurance policy. On the other hand, if you live separately, she could use your car with your permission and be covered.

  • Will my premium increase after a claim?

    No, it will not since your premium is guaranteed for a year. Your cover is reviewed annually and the premium is adjusted on your portfolio as a whole taking into account your claims experience.

  • What is an excess?

    An excess is a specified amount that you are liable to pay in the event of any claim being settled. For example, if you are in an accident and the damage amounts to R20 000, you will pay the first R2 000 (or an amount you chose to pay when your cover started) to the panel beater when you collect your vehicle once it is repaired. The insurance company then pays the difference to the panel beater.

  • Must I report the accident to the police if no 3rd Party or minimal damage has occurred?

    Yes, it is very important that you report the accident to the police, besides the fact that is by law that one should report the incident, in the case where the 3rd party is involved the policy requires the accident to be reported.

  • What happens if I undervalue my contents?

    You then carry part of the risk should there be a loss. For example, if your contents are covered for R100 000 and they should be covered for R200 000, and you lose R20 000 worth of contents in a burglary, we will settle R10 000 and you will be responsible for the remaining portion of the loss. (This is the principle of average).

  • What is Insurable interest

    You can’t insure something in which you don’t have an interest. “If you own something, you have ‘an interest.” “For example, when adult children move back home and bring with them their own assets, which they don’t bother to insure, problems arise. They assume their assets will be covered by their parents’ insurer. The bad news is they are not covered by dad’s insurance, because dad doesn’t have an insurable interest in the property.”

  • What do Insurance Policies mean when they say only Accidental Loss is Covered?

    Only events which are sudden and unforeseeable are covered as they accidental in nature, Inevitable events, like wear and tear, are thus not insurable as it is inevitable that property will depreciate over time.

  • What is indemnity?

    The act of placing you as the insured, in the same financial position you enjoyed before the loss. Factors like Underinsurance , inadequate Sum insured and excesses can deprive you of receiving a full Indemnity.

  • What are Insured Peril?

    These are the Perils which are clearly defined in each Policy or section of cover e.g. fire and storm in a fire policy.

  • What is an Ex-Gratia Payment

    Compensation paid by the insurers out of Sympathy (not out of Obligation) in terms of a loss suffered by the Insured which is not covered in terms of the Insurance Contract.

  • What is Sasria Cover?

    This is an acronym for the South African Special Risks Insurance “ SASRIA” which is government run organisation, provides cover against from Riot, Strike and Public Disorder- These Perils are Excepted Perils on all Insurance Policies SASRIA is a non-Profit Organisation.

  • Must I activate my alarm even if I leave the house for only a few minutes?

    Yes. Always set your alarm. It’s incredible just how quickly criminals can gain access, take what they need and disappear. If no alarm signal is activated then it is highly unlikely that an insurer will honour your claim.

  • What happens if my driver license expires?

    If your license expires, you effectively don’t have a valid driver’s licence and therefor no cover will be in place. Set a reminder to renew your license before it expires. If your license has already expired, go to your nearest traffic department, renew your licence and ask for a temporary one while you wait for your new card to arrive.

General Questions

  • What is the benefit of using a broker versus going direct?

    There are a number of advantages to working with a broker. Firstly, because a broker has no direct gain from selling you a particular product, you can trust that he or she really is recommending the right product for your needs. Brokers are also trained, licenced and able to advise you about any fine print, loopholes and pricing. Another important advantage is that because they do not carry the risk of having to pay out your claim, their primary concern is the fair and prompt settlement of your claim. In short, brokers really do have your interests at heart.

  • How do I go about making a claim?

    You can either contact your personal broker directly, or you can kick-start the process and download the relevant form here.