It is of critical importance that insurance claim forms are completed fully and that all details of the loss and/or damages are provided. The cause of the loss/damage must be clearly explained and in some cases, it is best that your repair contractor assist you by providing a full report as to the circumstances of the damage. The insurers will ask questions if the details are vague or unclear. Only valid claims can be considered by insurers for settlement.
The reality is that many property owners mistakenly believe anything that goes wrong (maintenance or wear and tear matters) should be covered by their insurance policy. Perils based insurance policies only provide cover for defined events or perils as listed and that are not otherwise excluded. In the case of ‘all risk’ policies, only specific exclusions apply.
The insured property owner has responsibilities in terms of the insurance policy contract, i.e. to prove his/her claim.
Some tips and advice in submitting your claim:
- The claim form content disclosures should be clear and detailed.
- It is better to provide too much information rather than too little.
- Submit two quotes for repairs and encourage contractors to break down the costs, i.e. itemise repairs with measurements like the square metres of tiles being replaced. This assists the insurer to assess a claim quickly, hopefully without further questions.
- Ask the contractor to include a report or to comment on the quotation as to what caused the damage. Expert input will support your claim and may avoid the need for further enquiry.
- Submit the claim form and supporting documents (invoices/quotes) to the insurer within 30 days to ensure that the insurer’s position or rights are not prejudiced.
- If you are unsure whether the claim has any merit, phone your insurance broker/advisor first for an opinion. Often, it can be clearly determined that the circumstances do not qualify for claim consideration.
- Act and respond quickly to enquiries, questions or requests that the insurers may raise in connection with the loss event. Any questions are normally asked in order to properly determine the cause and to qualify the claim.
In the event where a loss or damage cause is not easy to determine, we would normally rather submit the claim
Author : Brian Addison
Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – to get fit and proper advice from advisors who understand sectional title. Contact us in Johannesburg on (011) 704-3858; in Durban on (031) 459-1795 and in Cape Town on (021) 551-5069