Homebuying 'blindspot' costing South Africans Millions

Homebuying 'blindspot' costing South Africans Millions

A 'blindspot' in the homebuying process is leaving South Africans millions of rands out of pocket because they wrongly assume they're covered against the risks of moving.

Mark Hershaw, National Manager: Short Term Insurance at MortgageSA, says that many people don't bother to take out transit insurance when moving their household goods - even when they're offered cover by their movers.

But Hershaw warns that the carrier of household goods is not entirely responsible for losses, although many people just assume they are.

"Lots of people see it as pretty low risk so tend to take the chance with their belongings. Others aren't even aware that transit cover exists.

"But moving without it could be a costly mistake when you consider it only costs a comparatively small amount to get peace of mind cover for hundreds of thousands of rands worth of carefully chosen and sometimes sentimental home furnishings.

"Transit insurance is as important for those moving across town as it is for those doing a major move across the country.

"We always encourage people to see it in the same light as getting behind the wheel of a car without insurance: a risk just not worth taking."

Hershaw says that vehicles carrying homeowners' goods are typically at risk from fire, highjacking, road accidents and theft. Transport companies also often face unexpected delays.

"And when you add up these loss factors, South Africans are needlessly forking out millions of rands each year for losses that can be insured against."

" Transit insurance also covers people's belongings for a period up to two months if they have to place them in storage.

Hershaw says that transit insurance is easy to acquire and should be seen as a 'necessity' for people moving home.

'We have growing numbers of clients buying transit insurance from us because it's so quick and easy and can be done at the same time as searching for home financing.

Hershaw also points out that being able to offer a transit insurance product makes for a sound strategic fit for MortgageSA because their business model is based on removing the hassle and paperwork for consumers and streamlining all aspects of the home financing and insuring process.

Hello ooba news

The implementation of the National Credit Act in June this year caused a slowdown in mortgage approvals as banks and applicants adjusted to the new regulations - but now SA's leading originator reports that approvals are returning to pre-NCA levels.

South Africa's largest property listings website has reported a surge in viewings of traditional holiday hot spots as more buyers shortlist homes through online searches ahead of arriving on vacation to see them.

The property market's rapid price escalation has cooled in the last year on the back of higher interest rates and the short term effects of the National Credit Act (NCA), but these factors are conspiring to provide a 'sweet spot' for buyers says SA's leading bond originator.

Property is a worthwhile investment but for younger people hoping to buy it is difficult to take the first step, but not impossible says Rhys Dyer, Chief Executive of ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator that places one in five South Africans in their homes.

"Rather invest in simple, streamlined furniture," she says. "Try to have pieces that have legs and are not boxy. Not only will you have created space but also the functionality of the room improves as well."