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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Protect your Black Friday bargains: Insurance for your big-ticket items

Black Friday promotions are expected to generate additional retail sales of R26.6 billion in 2023, with smartphones, panel TVs and cameras among the traditional hot sellers over this period. Many South Africans have been saving up for Black Friday in the hopes of snagging a great deal on a new laptop, big-screen television or even mountain bike.

If you’re among the South Africans bargain-hunting for big-ticket items this Black Friday, it might be wise to consider insurance for these items. Accidents can happen, theft is more prevalent than we’d like, recent flooding events show how big that risk is, and power surges after load shedding have created a new risk for your electrical appliances and consumer devices. With insurance in place, you’ll be able to replace your precious new item if something unforeseen happens.

Ernest North, co-founder of Naked, the fully digital insurance platform, says that the purpose of insurance is to protect you against unexpected incidents such as theft and accidents. “For example, if a criminal steals your brand-new bike just a week after you bought it, you’ll be able to claim from insurance. Likewise, if you drop your TV and crack the screen while you’re unloading it at home, or it gets fried by a power surge.

Insurance versus warranty

Insurance differs from a warranty that covers manufacturing defects and repair or replacement if your new device or appliance breaks due to a manufacturer’s defect. “Your warranty will generally only cover issues that arise when you use your product as intended and not accidental damage,” says North. “This is why it’s a good idea to have insurance even if your newly bought item is still within its warranty period.”

When should cover start?

Insurance should start the moment you walk out of the shop with your new item or take possession of the item from a courier. When it comes to insuring your new possession, you can either add it to your home contents policy (if you already have one) or purchase standalone single items cover.

→ If you order something online or have it delivered:

Your new item should be insured the moment it arrives and is inside your home. If the item gets stolen or damaged while in transport or is left outside and somebody steals it or it gets water damage, it would be considered a delivery failure and it will be the responsibility of the retailer or courier.

If you have a home contents policy, you’ll need to immediately increase the total amount you are insured for. For example, if you buy a R20,000 refrigerator, you won’t have to specify it, but you will only have enough home contents cover if you increase your total insured amount after you bought it. Some insurers require that you specify portable items (such as a mountain bike, expensive jewellery, or a watch) on your home contents policy in order for it to be covered against accidental damage or loss if you leave your home with them. Cover will start immediately.

If you don’t have a home contents policy, you can buy single item cover, and your cover will start once the first payment has been made. If you’re using an online insurance platform and have submitted the required proof of ownership (usually photos and invoices), this can be done immediately with a credit card.

→ If you buy something in-store and transport it yourself:

Similar to above, if you have a home contents policy, you’ll need to immediately increase your total amount of cover.

If it is a bulky item that is not easy to move, like a refrigerator, it’s important to note that you will only be covered for up to R5,000 (and a maximum of 20% of your overall level of cover) during transport. As such, it’s usually better to have the retailer handle delivery. Once the item is inside your home, you will be covered as per usual.

If it is a portable item that is easy to move, you will have full cover as soon as you have specified it.

Once again, if you don’t have a home contents policy, you can buy single item cover instead. “This type of cover is ideal if you have only one or two items of significant value you want to insure,” says North.

Insure for replacement value

It’s wise to insure your newly bought items for what it will cost to replace them today. If you got a spectacular 40% discount on the fridge of your dreams, insure it for the usual retail price. That will ensure you won’t be out of pocket if you need to replace it when the sales are over.

“These days, you can get a quote and buy insurance on the spot via a digital insurance platform like Naked. It should be equally simple to add your new buy to your home contents policy on the app,” says North. “You can get a quote and be covered within seconds of seeing your dream TV in the store or as soon as you get a notification that the courier is on the way with your new smartphone.”

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