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PPS Webinar 4: Asset Protection in Times of Uncertainty

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This was the final webinar in the PPS series “Future Proofing the Graduate Professional”, a four-part webinar series aimed at empowering and educating graduate professionals and their businesses. Hosted by the Mail & Guardian and PPS, the webinar featured Wilma van der Walt, Executive: PPS Customer Experience and Operations; Werner Bosman, CEO of PPS Short-Term Insurance; Marlon Goss, Head of PPS Specialist Support Services; and Malcolm Vining, Executive: Distribution and Marketing at PPS.

Covid-19 has impacted every one of us, and we have picked up four themes:

  • People are driving less, as many of them are working from home. This trend will continue after the crisis, so people will expect to pay less on their premiums, as there is lower risk.
  • People spend more time at home, so businesses may give up their office space as the workspace becomes more virtual. Again, insurers will have to adapt their offerings to this.
  • There is a rise in conscious consumption: consumers are much more aware of what they spend their money on.
  • Using digital to connect has increased exponentially, so, for instance, online shopping is increasing.
Wilma van der Walt is the executive responsible for customer experience and operations for PPS Short–Term Insurance Company Ltd

Many people are finding themselves in financial distress, and PPS has therefore offered some relief; for instance, PPS offered a 20% discount on motor vehicle premiums for the month of April. Agents have been made available to advise people on how to lower their premiums. Clients can lower their premiums in several ways, including amending vehicle cover to third party, fire and theft; amending vehicles covered for business purposes to private use only; exploring options to responsibly reduce excesses in order to reduce premiums; limiting your home content cover; and removing all-risk items from your cover.

Statistics on vehicle theft have shown that there was a significant decline in the first few weeks of lockdown, followed by a six-fold increase as the lockdown was lifted — crime is now returning to “normal” levels. There were more hijackings during lockdown, so people must be vigilant and remember that criminals are not necessarily observing the lockdowns.

The operating mould for insurers will have to change for them to remain relevant in this new world.

  • Consumers will demand more “pay as you use” solutions
  • They will want more flexible and on-demand solutions, supported by dynamic pricing
  • Insurers must supply enhanced value
  • Consumers will expect seamless digital experiences 24/7.

What makes PPS unique? PPS is only open to professionals who qualify and operates under the ethos of mutuality. Not only does PPS honour valid claims, but the company exists solely to add value to its members. All PPS profits are distributed to its members.    

The Short-Term Insurance Contract and Schedule

Here is what makes up your insurance:

The schedule, terms and conditions, together with any correspondence sent to you — this includes any verbal agreements. It is important to ensure that you are familiar with the contents of all the documents, including the schedule.

  • Buildings: Make sure everything is listed correctly, e.g. Do you have a thatched roof? How many geysers do you have? Are they solar or gas? Power surges: Do you have standard cover, or can you buy up?
  • Contents: Everything you will take with you if you move. Ensure the  security you have at home is stated correctly on your schedule. What the types of security at your home are, for example, a linked alarm, burglar bars, security doors, etc.
  •  State how often you are away from home for extended periods.  Make sure the sum insured for your cover is adequate, so that you’re not underinsured.
  • All Risk: This has two categories: basic all risk cover, that is for personal belongings you usually take out of your home, and specified items that you list, usually with high values — this is called Specified All Risk.
  • Vehicle Insurance: PPS only insures for retail or the agreed value for special vehicles, such as collectibles. Ensure that the regular driver or principle driver, who drives the car most, is correctly noted on your schedule. The use of the vehicle is also very important: is your car used for business or private purposes?

Other factors to note in short-term insurance include:

  • Excesses: Some companies will offer very low monthly premiums but require a “substantial excess” for a claim.
  • At PPS you can choose to pay a higher excess for paying a lower premium, but you should make the choice, not us.
  • It is important to make sure you can afford the excess in the case of a claim. Conditions and endorsements: these change or vary with your cover, and can have a material impact on your ability to claim.
  • Risk rating: Insurance pricing is determined by the risk rating of its policyholders. Risk rating factors include age, gender, type and use of vehicles, security systems and claims history.
  • Average: This is what gets applied in a case of your having a claim and not having adequate insurance cover to put you back in the same position you were in before the loss occurred. This is what we call underinsurance. It is important to know that average only comes into play when a partial loss occurs. A total loss will simply be compensated according to the sum insured as specified on the policy schedule.  
Marlon Goss, head of PPS Specialist Support Services
Marlon Goss, head of PPS Specialist Support Services

Unique PPS benefits

It’s best to talk to an expert to determine what your insurance needs are. PPS exists exclusively for the graduate professional, and tailors its packages accordingly. There are several unique benefits for PPS members:

  • It offers free surveys to members for household contents above R1.5-million and buildings over R5-million to give our members the peace of mind that they are correctly covered;
  • PPS Short-Term Insurance provides R100 000 business equipment cover as standard in personal life policies;
  • Clients get 500km business use on their vehicles within their personal life policies, at no additional cost;
  • PPS has flexible excess structures, so you can tailor your short-term insurance to suit your needs and budget;
  • PPS guarantees its premiums for a 12-month period, with no increases during this time;
  • Members get R10 000 power surge cover free of charge, and our members have the option to increase this limit as well;
  • PPS provides guarding services if your home security or access has been compromised through an insurable event;
  • PPS provides storage if your home is damaged through an insurable event, to protect your remaining assets, so additional items are not destroyed;
  • If a member is permanently disabled, the policy covers the costs for alterations to the home, to make it more accessible;
  • There is a limit of R20 000 on locks and keys per incident.
  • SOS services included in our policy are: Home Assist, Roadside Assist and Medical Assist which is provided 24/7.
Malcolm Vining is Executive: Distribution & Marketing at PPS

Value Adds

Members are always looking for value adds. PPS has introduced a number of value adds for our members such as Identity Protect, which gives our members early warning if their ID number is being used for credit applications, to allow then to take early action and avoid fraud being committed on their profiles.  PPS has also introduced a licence renewal facility so members can opt to have their licence disks collected on their behalf and delivered to their homes or businesses, saving them time.

Another protect feature is Fine Protect which is an app that gives members the convenience of paying for traffic infringements directly from the PPS Short-Term Insurance app. Then there is Protect Me, which provides a panic button in the app to protect members and their families when they feel threatened. The facility is linked to the top five security companies in the country: the nearest one will respond immediately, and you can track the car on the app as it approaches. There are also take-me-home and chauffeur services to ensure members get to their destinations safely.

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