Home Insurance Grows in Importance as Natural Catastrophes Escalate

Category Advice

Changing climate conditions across the globe has led to severe Geological, Hydrological and Meteorological catastrophes, and of course, South Africa has also felt the effects of this in the form of wildfires, hailstorms and severe rainfall to just name a few.

Tragically, natural disasters have led to many homes and the items within being completely destroyed. Natural disasters can have devastating consequences and leave lasting damage, which can require years to repair.

Yes, when tragedy strikes it is simply heartbreaking, and it often takes catastrophic situations to remind people about the importance of insurance - where a monthly premium (prior to an incident) can help those affected start anew and rebuild their lives.

There are many different types of insurance available for individuals - these include:

  • Homeowner's insurance (Building insurance)
  • Household contents insurance (Contents insurance)
  • All-Risk insurance (Portable possessions insurance)
  • Vehicle insurance (Covering items such as cars, motorcycles and leisure items including trailers, caravans and boats)
  • Liability insurance

1. Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance or building insurance as some call it is the best way to ensure that your property is protected in emergency situations, especially those resulting from nature and that is completely out of our control. Building insurance, in a nutshell, will mostly cover the financial cost of repairing damage to the physical structure of a property in the event of damage or theft. Fixtures and fittings will also be covered by your building insurance policy. These will be things that you wouldn't take along when moving, such as fixed carpets, taps, toilets, baths and fitted kitchens. A structure will include things like roofs, floors, walls and doors. Geysers form part of the structure, and thus, will enjoy cover under this section in the event of a geyser burst/repair.

The cause of damage is important. A typical building policy will cover the policyholder from damage which is out of their control, and may include (without being limited to) the following:

- Flooding;
- Fires and arson;
- Explosions;
- Malicious damage and vandalism;
- Storm damage and
- Impact damage due to falling trees

Most policies will also protect outbuildings within the properties' grounds such as a garage or a shed. Structures such as swimming pools and that's areas are not always covered but will be included in the building insurance policy and usually specified on your policy.

2. Household Contents Insurance

It should not be assumed that by having building insurance, it is not needed to have household contents insurance.

Contents insurance can be described as the things you'll take along when moving. Contents insurance will cover an individual for the repair or replacement of personal possessions within that individual's home in the event of loss or damage. Personal items, freestanding appliances, clothes and decorative items such as loose carpets and curtains will all form part of your contents insurance policy. As a tenant, it is important to insure your own personal possessions as you cannot hold your landlord responsible for insuring these items.

A typical contents policy will cover the policyholder from damage which is out of their control, and may include (without being limited to) the following:

- Theft and burglary;
- Flooding;
- Fires and arson;
- Explosions;
- Malicious damage and vandalism;
- Storm damage

Under a household contents policy, the insurer might offer additional cover extensions to provide a policy product to best suit your personal needs. Some of these extensions that can be added (generally at an additional cost) include:

- Accidental damage
- Power surge
- Mechanical and electrical breakdown

3. All-Risk Insurance

All-Risk insurance is also known as portable possession insurance. This policy provides you with an additional cover on items that are taken out of the specified risk address on a regular basis such as cellphones, laptops and other electronic and photographic equipment as well as expensive jewellery items such as wedding rings and engagement rings. Generally, an insurer will provide an unspecified all risk section to provide cover for smaller, less valuable items such as a handbag or wallet. Any other item that is taken out of the house, need to be specified.

If an item is specified, the insurer will generally provide the following cover on an item:

- Accidental damage including water damage
- Theft
- Loss

Having these items individually specified extends your cover to enjoy cover where the household contents section doesn't provide cover.

4. Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is generally included in an insurance policy as soon as building insurance or household contents insurance is taken up. This is an important cover section to provide you with the necessary back up for in the event of accidental death, illness or injury that occurs at the specified risk address. This cover, unfortunately, does not cover family members residing in the residence but cover is provided to the 3rd party in any of these events. A third party can keep you, as a policyholder, liable for medical bills, etc. if they are injured on your property for example.

5. Vehicle Insurance

Vehicle insurance is by far the most common insurance policy that everyone is familiar with. Vehicle insurance will cover an individual for the repair or replacement of the vehicle including its standard and non-standard accessories. The vehicle insurance will only provide cover for the vehicle itself and not the items within the vehicle. Items such as towbars, nudge bars, smash & grab, aftermarket sound systems, etc. have to be specified individually as these items increase the vehicle value. If these aftermarket items are damaged due to an accident or theft and it was not specified under the vehicle section, cover will not be provided.

A vehicle insurance policy will cover the policyholder from damage which is out of their control, and may include (without being limited to) the following:

- Theft and hijacking
- Accidents
- Fires and arson;
- Explosions;
- Malicious damage and vandalism;
- Storm damage such as hail damage
- Windscreen replacements and repairs

Insurance companies generally provide an option for additional value-added products to be added to provide an extension in cover and to best suit your individual needs. Some of these additional options that can be added at an additional cost include:

- Car hire
- Excess waiver
- Credit shortfall
- Tyre, dent and scratch cover

Insurers provide other cover options in the event of a vehicle not being subject to a finance agreement. These cover options are:

- 3rd party, fire and theft
- 3rd party only

De Lucia Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisors

Of course, the process of finding the right insurance provider that suits all your needs is one that requires research and professional guidance. We at De Lucia Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisors understand this, therefore, we are here to answer any questions you might have to help you in this process. Our unique and structured cover is tailor-made according to your unique needs as a future client and policyholder. Not only do we specialise in personal insurance, but we also have a variety of commercial products available to cover your business and business risks that you might be exposed to.

In addition to this, we have a team of Financial Advisors whose duty it is to represent you when or if you need to handle and settle claims quickly. We ensure that you are advised correctly with the best expertise by your side.

As a brokerage, we work with a variety of insurers to provide you with a variety of insurance products. This will provide you with an opportunity to make an informative decision.

Speak to us today to find out more about De Lucia Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisors.

Author: De Lucia Group

Submitted 17 Apr 19 / Views 362