Items in the open

Insuring items in the open is often ignored or misunderstood. While these items are insured against all the normal perils of a Sectional Title policy, which is also used to the benefit of Home Owners Associations, items in the open are not insured against theft without forcible entry to, or exit from, the insured buildings.

Let’s look at some of these items:

(i)            Gate Motors: These items can vary from R5 000 plus, depending on the type of motor. Most complexes have two or more gate motors. When a gate motor is stolen the safety of the complex is at risk and the motor has to be replaced as a matter of urgency. There are insurers that grant free cover for gate motors but the cover is limited to (usually) R5 000 which is not enough to replace a stolen gate motor.

(ii)           Intercom systems and cameras:  These items can vary in replacement cost and with modern technology, intercom systems are becoming an expensive item to replace. Cameras, specifically, are becoming very sophisticated and expensive.  Again, without these items the security of the complex is at risk.

(iii)          Air conditioning units or compressors:  Some insurers do accept these items as fixtures and fittings but there are insurers who don’t; many claims have been repudiated due to theft without forcible entry to a building.

(iv)         Fire extinguishers:  These items are mostly installed inside the buildings but can still be stolen without any visible means of force and without it the complex is at risk when a dire should occur.

These are some of the main items but there are also a number of other items that can be stolen without entry to, or exit from, the insured buildings. To cover items in the open, all such items need to be specified under the ‘All Risks Section’ of the policy. The additional premium involved is not expensive and should be considered by the body corporate as a necessary cover.

Recently some insurers have added an extension that adds limited cover to the insurance policy for fixtures and fittings. As the wording differ to an extent between insurers, the insurance broker of the body corporate should be approached to discuss this cover so as to ensure that the body corporate is sufficiently insured for any items in the open.

It must be noted that losses due to malicious damage and impact by road vehicles are two perils included in the basic perils of the policy. Should an intercom system or a gate motor be maliciously damaged by outsiders, or damaged by impact from a road vehicle, and the items are not specified under the ‘All Risks’ section of the policy, the claim will be dealt with under the basic perils of the policy.

Author : Rian Pienaar

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.