Life happens: How to manage key risks

2-3 MIN
Back to all posts

Life is hectic and we’re faced with risks every day. Many of those risks are small, but some can be more serious. Here are five things that could happen to anybody, and how you can prepare so that they don’t impact your livelihood.

1. Losing your keys

If you’ve ever lost your house keys or car key, you’ll know what a mission it is to sort out. And it can be expensive, although household and motor insurance will usually come to the rescue. Mitigate the risk of losing your keys by putting a Bluetooth unit on your keychain (like an Apple AirTag or a Tile) so you can track your keys on your phone. As they say, prevention is better than cure. 

2. Stolen wallet

If you lose your wallet, you should immediately cancel all your bank cards. This means you need to actually know which cards are in your wallet! Make a note of them or take a photo of the inside of your wallet, and also note the cancellation numbers for all the various banks and other financial institutions. This will make it easy to cancel your cards quickly in an emergency. Don’t carry your ID card and your driver's license in the same wallet. It becomes very difficult to apply for a new driver’s licence without an ID.

3. Goodbye, phone 

Your phone holds your bank account and credit card details, e-mails, smart home apps and map apps with your favourite locations and more. Yet it only takes a second for someone to steal it. Take precautions! Use a passcode to lock your phone, or even better, fingerprint or face ID. For your transactional money apps, enable two-factor authentication. Put daily transaction limits on your bank accounts – this will limit the damage that can be done with unauthorised access. Enable ‘Find my device’ – this will allow you to locate your phone using a web browser and wipe the contents remotely. (Make sure to regularly backup your phone to a computer or the cloud.) If you run or cycle, consider taking a second phone for emergency calls and messages only, without any sensitive apps.

4. Injuring yourself

Whether you fall off your bike, slip on wet stairs or get hurt in a physical confrontation, a serious injury requires medical attention. Calling out a doctor or getting an ambulance to the hospital, along with any necessary treatment or surgery, comes at a huge cost. This is why medical aid (or medical insurance) is crucial: even the most basic plan will help to cover the costs if you’re admitted to hospital. Make sure you read your medical aid plan to see if the maximum amount of hospital cover is sufficient for you.   

5. Severe illness

It’s horrible to think about, but nobody is immune to dread diseases like cancer. Rather take steps now so that if the worst happens, you and your family are prepared. Check your medical aid policy to see which serious illnesses are covered, and to what limits. Upgrade your plan if necessary. Gap cover is another form of insurance that provides extra coverage in hospital when your medical aid cover runs out – again, check all the details. If you have a family that depends on you, it’s worth taking out a critical illness policy, which pays out a cash benefit if you get diagnosed. The money can be used to cover medical expenses, make enhancements to your home to accommodate your condition, or pay for assistance while you recover.