Buying Insurance

By Drum Digital
12 November 2010

WHEN Ivan and Mpho Mashigo*, from Soweto, bought their twobedroomed house two years ago, they didn't take out household insurance because they couldn't afford it.

It was the start of the economic recession and Mpho (31) and Ivan (39) were lucky to get a bond. "Most of our money went on the monthly bond repayments and paying other bills such as electricity," says Mpho, who is a personal assistant.

"The house itself was insured by the bank and the premiums were included in our bond repayments but we didn't insure the contents of our home at the time," she explains.

Last year they decided it was time to insure their household goods, including Mpho's jewellery, even though they were only just managing financially dRUM advice every month. "We wanted to be insured in case we had a burglary, as there's a lot of crime in our area," she says.

Then in February this year Ivan was promoted to manager at the Sandton IT company where he works and they decided it was time to take out life and disability cover in case one of them was retrenched, was disabled or became ill.

"I was worried about having to pay the bond and other bills on my own if something terrible happened to Ivan," Mpho explains.

"We had one quote from a big, well-known insurance company which seemed expensive when we saw an advert on TV for lowcost insurance. We'd never heard of the company but we thought we'd save money so we took out life and income protection cover with them. We assumed we'd get good service and the same benefits offered by better-known insurance companies," she says.

An insurance broker from the company explained the basic benefits of the policies and asked the Mashigos some questions about their insurance needs. He then left the documents for them to read through. Before long they'd signed the papers and were paying their premiums.

Four months later disaster struck – Mpho was seriously injured in a car accident. Her left arm was badly broken in two places, she had a cracked pelvis and severe whiplash.

"It took me six months to recover from the accident and I was in and out of hospital. The company I work for gave me the maximum sick leave and was very accommodating but they couldn't afford to keep me on full pay for more than three months," she explains.

Read the full article in DRUM of 18 November 2010

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