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Reality Check on Household Items

A broker is not expected to assist a client in determining the value of household items. Providing guidelines, however, will count in your favour should a dispute arise.

In May 2015, the Short-term Ombud published a media release titled Proving ownership of household items is not as easy as it seems. We provide a link below to a PDF version for those who wish to share it with their clients.

Often the insured has not drawn up a proper inventory of all of his or her household possessions prior to submitting a claim or even prior to the inception of cover with their insurer. “Many consumers are also not aware of the average clause in their insurance policy,” says Dennis Jooste.

The Ombud issued some guidelines for consumers to avoid possible problems in the event of a claim arising:

  • Create and maintain an inventory that records all your valuable items, when and where you purchased the item and how much it cost.
  • Keep copies of receipts and invoices for household items purchased. It is advisable that you also maintain a list with the serial numbers of all your higher valued items, such as electronic equipment or items, which carry guarantees and/or warranties.
  • Take photographs of the different rooms in your home to help establish what was in the rooms and that you were in possession of the items that you are claiming for. It will also provide you with a visual memory of the items that were in the different rooms.
  • Jewellery: Many insurers will require jewellery items that exceed a certain amount to be specified on the insurance policy. It is therefore important that you keep all valuation certificates safe and update them regularly with a reputable and recognised jeweller.

Click here for the detailed document to share with clients.

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