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Late notification of insurance claims

All insurers have a conditional clause in their policy whereby the client (the insured) is expected to make any claim, within a specified time period from the date of loss or damage incident.

This is most commonly a period of thirty days.

The reason why insurers apply this condition is to prevent delays that could give rise to additional expenses or costs and to minimise any further damage or loss. Failure to submit a claim within this reasonable period could prejudice the insurer and they are then entitled to reject such claim.

In some cases, it can be found that owners or trustees battle to find contractors to provide repair quotes timeously, problems could arise with regard to gaining access to units or the holiday season simply means contractors are not available. These are just some of the reasons why claim supporting documentation could be delayed. Insurers may not be unfair in applying the condition as reason to reject any claim, however they are entitled to request an explanation from a claimant where relevant.

In the sectional title environment, it is important that trustees or managing agents have a detailed claims procedure for owners to follow. This certainly helps to speed up the process. Remember that (other than geyser claims) an owner should not be permitted to make claim against the body corporate policy without the consent of trustees and the managing agent (as mandated).

It should not take longer than thirty days to complete a claim form, gather contractor reports and a minimum of at least one repair quote. In most cases, an invoice is available relatively soon after any emergency repairs have been attended.


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