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Are you covered for tiles that crack or lift?

We often receive claim forms and invoices/quotes for repairs to tiles that have lifted or cracked suddenly and for no apparent reason.

For an insurance policy to respond to a claim in these circumstances, the cause needs to be clearly established so that an insured peril or event can be proven. (Examples would be fire, explosion, earthquake and impact by vehicle or object of sorts.) A claim would be settled in event of these causes.

It is quite common that tiles, whether floor or wall, suddenly ‘pop’ or ‘tent’ (cracking and lifting) for reasons of increased moisture levels and or temperature variations that give rise to expansion and contraction where either the space allowance between the tiles is insufficient. It can also happen because the adhesive is not flexible enough (or even or mixed) or just applied incorrectly. Another cause is the natural movement of the building and/or the ground heave wherein movement of the substrata (concrete slab) causes stress to floor tiles. These are not ‘sudden and unforeseen’ causes but rather an on-going or gradual process.

The following causes of damages are NOT covered by insurance:

– Defects in design, material, formula, specification, construction or workmanship.
– Wear and tear, corrosion, rust or oxidation, fading, chipping, scratching and/or marring.
– Gradual deterioration and/or developing flaws.
– Changes in texture or finish, temperature variation, dryness, moisture / humidity / dampness, creeping, heaving or vibration.
– Changes of atmospheric or climatic conditions.
– The action of insects and vermin (pests).

It can be concluded from above then, that where tiles suddenly crack and/or lift (in the absence of an insured peril or event), there is no cover.

Contact Addsure – the leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – to get advice on the most comprehensive insurance cover for your peace of mind. Contact brian@addsure.co.za or phone 021 551-5069.

Article written by Brian Addison.