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Advice for younger adults about insurance 

Receiving your very first pay cheque as a young working professional can be a liberating yet daunting experience. Imagine the pride of buying your first car, a pair of name brand sneakers, a designer watch or the newest smart phone with the money you have earned. Adequate and comprehensive insurance policies are key to protect these possessions.

This is the view of Antonia Oakes, retail executive, customer experience & responsible business at Old Mutual Insure, who says that anything valuable and considered an asset, can be insured.

“The feeling of buying the thing that you worked so hard for is priceless, but there is a very real risk of loss in today’s world, so it is important to remember that as you step up and step out of the home, that you look after that which you have worked hard to get,” explains Oakes.

Below she shares the top five lessons she learnt about insurance when she started her career – both good and bad.

1. Understanding the terms & conditions of your policy

Insurance is there to protect you when things go bad; so, it is very important to firstly, make sure you get insurance, also ensure you understand your policy schedule and the policy wording when you buy a policy.

“If you don’t, or if you don’t take the steps to make sure you are properly protected, you must accept that if you experience a loss, such as with a car accident or your smartphone is stolen, you will still be liable to pay monthly instalments, but won’t necessarily have the item anymore,” says Oakes.

She adds that if you have insurance, understanding the terms & condition of your policy is important. You must be aware of what you are NOT covered for and having the cheapest cover is not necessarily always the correct approach. Value for money and peace of mind when you need it most is critical. The cheapest cover available may come with consequences.

“For example, the insurance with the lowest monthly premium may mean a very high excess at claim stage. Or worse, if you experience a loss, only then do you find out that you are underinsured. If you want to save money in the short-term, understand that it may cost you at claims stage if you have an inferior product.”

2. Do your homework and due diligence

She says this is why it is important to take the time to make sure you understand your insurance policy. A vital question to ask, is whether the sum insured will adequately cover you to replace or repair your belongings in an event of a claim and put you back in a similar position prior to the loss.