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Properly insure your teenager's assets before they leave the nest

Technology has added a whole new dimension to the responsibility of being a parent, and a bigger price tag.

Shehnaz Somers

A UK based company says that 49% of young adults don't have contents insurance, with this especially true for students who typically own valuable items like notebooks, smartphones, MP3 players, televisions and cameras. So what can you, as a parent, do to protect your teenager's valuables and ensure that they understand the value of appropriate insurance cover before they spread their wings and leave the nest?

As an intermediated business, Santam offers a range of insurance policies that protect technology-based items from theft, damage and loss. "The insurance industry is complex. Parents don't necessarily have the time or expertise to navigate the wide spectrum of insurance products available, and this is where a broker's value is most felt," says Shehnaz Somers, Santam's head of Personal Lines Underwriting. "Brokers are able to quickly identify the risks involved and the products best suited to the individual's circumstance and needs. This kind of advice can save parents time and money and ensure peace of mind when it comes to equipping a teenager with the information and financial protection that they need when leaving home," continued Somers. Santam recently partnered with Incredible Connection to offer customers insurance on the purchase of any notebook, netbook or tablet computer purchased at any of its stores. The aim of the partnership is to allow customers easy access to insurance against theft, electronic or accidental damage at purchase level.

Santam offers parents the following tips to properly insure their teenager's assets:

  • Talk to your teen before he or she leaves home and try and help them understand the risks that they may face, what insurance is about and how to adequately protect themselves.
  • Don't under insure. If you pay R6000 for a laptop and only insure it for R5000, only 80% of the loss will be paid out when you claim.
  • It is critical to ensure that the value of your teenager's possessions is updated on the policy at regular intervals.
  • All of Santam's insurance policies are written in Plain English and are therefore easy to understand. If you are the policy holder, make sure that they have a copy of the policy so that they know who to call in case anything happens and you are out of reach.
  • Read and understand the insurance policies you have taken out for your teenager so that you know what procedure to follow in the event of having to make a claim.

This article first appeared in TechSmart Issue 95, August 2011.

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