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Damage caused by ants, termites, vermin, etc.

Does the body corporate’s insurance policy cover damage to an owner’s section or common property resulting from infestation of ants, termites, rats, birds etc.?

The short answer is “No”.

Firstly, there is no requirement in terms of prescribed management rules to cover such events.

Secondly, most policies usually exclude this event or peril. One of the most prominent sectional title insurer’s policy wording specifically excludes damages caused by or resulting from “domestic pets, primates, birds, vermin or insects.” Owners’ pets, dogs, cats, escaped snakes, hamsters and so on also causing damage are usually also specifically excluded.

A few typical exclusions or situations tried and tested, but not normally covered:

– Ants, termites damaging fittings, usually kitchen cupboards
– Nests in or below flooring, particularly wooden floors or paving
– Rats or rodents that chew wiring (electronic systems, cables, switches)
– Nests in electrical switch or plug areas
– Cats scratching
– Dogs chewing doors or door frames (Guy Fawkes is often the cause of this)
– Birds or lice in ceilings
– Baboons or monkeys “breaking” windows, damaging property, etc.

Vermin exclusions can be troublesome for property owners when the business that operates on the property is a restaurant, pet store, grocer or another operation that is known to attract pests. Vermin will generally not limit their occupancy to the area that initially attracted them but tend to spread throughout the entire property. Vermin can be difficult and costly to get rid of and could pose liability issues for the property owner.

Watch our video: Is damage caused by pets covered by a sectional title policy?

Author : Mike Addison

Addsure is South Africa’s leading sectional title insurance brokerage. Obtain fit and proper advice from advisors who understand sectional title. Contact our head office, Cape Town (021) 551 5069 who will put you directly in touch with one of our nationwide advisors.