We are noticing an alarming increase in claims and losses resulting from burglaries. Sadly, this is a problem that is unlikely to reduce until socio-economic conditions improve in our country. Insurance policies and companies are tested in these events where claims prevail.
In most cases, burglars gain access into a building by forcing through one entry point. Then they take what they can and exit again via the same point. In vast majority of these events, it is clear that one excess applies to the claim for damage to the building.
We have noted a few instances where burglars have, over the course of a day or night, managed to break into and gain access to a number of units within a sectional title scheme. This means that there is more than one break-in point at different times. When it comes to reporting the crimes, there may even be more than one SAPS case number.
How does the insurer apply excess to the claims in this circumstance?
Strictly in terms of the policy, the insurer could apply the related excess to each separate incident. Therefore, where there may be break-ins to more than one unit, the insurer is entitled to apply more than one excess, i.e. one excess per event.
Multiple entry point break-ins are not that common. Some insurers may take a more lenient view and elect to apply only one excess where the circumstances may merit it.
Author: Brian Addison
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