Important facts to note about Home Insurance

Important facts to note about Home Insurance.

 What is home insurance?

Homeowners insurance provides you with financial protection in the event of a disaster or accident involving your home, insures your home’s structure (house,) and your belongings in the event of a destructive event, such as a fire.

What is a good policy?

Homeowner’s insurance covers everything that is permanent and immovable within the boundary of your property, including the perimeter wall, the garage, and gate and the motors that power them, outbuildings, swimming pool and/or borehole and associated pumps, and all the fixtures and fittings in the house or flat itself. The cover should also make provision for an increase in building costs over the forthcoming year, professional and municipal fees, and, in the worst-case scenario, demolition and plot clearance


Why do most claims fail?

The most common reason for claims being rejected, Absa says, is poor maintenance, resulting in damage that could have been avoided. When, for example, a wall collapses after years of being undermined by tree roots, rather than as a result of some catastrophic event, such as a flood, the claim is invalid.

Keep in mind that Insurance is there to protect you against sudden and unforeseen events, not against damage that occurs gradually over time. For example, a leaking or rusted roof should not be left unattended, and a cracking wall should be addressed before it leads to further damage. Clients should also inform us if the risk exposure at their premises changes materially.  In addition, if you move out of your house and intend to leave it vacant, we will not insure you against theft of fixtures and fittings. Rather call us when circumstances change and we will be able to advise you on the steps that are necessary.

Therefore it is important to read and understand the policy schedule and the terms and conditions of the cover. Ask questions when in doubt and inform your insurer when circumstances change and when the condition of the property changes for better or worse

What is not covered?

  • Cracking or collapse
  • Damage caused by roots and weeds.
  • Costs of maintenance or reasonable measures that the policyholder should take to prevent loss or damage.
  • Water damage caused by taps left open, malfunctioning appliances or overflowing baths.
  • Soiling, scratching, tearing, denting or defacing of the buildings by the policyholder or pets.
  • Damage caused by a rising water table.
  • Damage by vermin, insects, mildew or rot.
  • Theft from buildings that have been left unoccupied for longer than 30 days, unless the insurer has been informed that they would be unoccupied.
  • Theft of fixtures and fittings not accompanied by violent and forcible entry or exit.
  • Confiscation or repossession of the property by any process of law.
  • Damage caused by the felling of trees and the cost of removal of such trees.
  • Wear and tear, gradual deterioration of buildings, or any pre-existing damage that is not sudden and unforeseen.
  • Chipping of sanitary ware, wall or floor tiles or paving.
  • Pollution, contamination or radioactive or nuclear material.
  • Defects caused by sub-standard building material or design and/or workmanship.