Property improvements not covered by buildings insurance policies

All policies define what an insured building is and may not clarify what building or property improvements are excluded from the cover. These definitions and exclusions may differ slightly from insurer to insurer but generally very similar. In this blog, we draw attention to the generally excluded improvement items.

Common exclusions from cover include dam walls, hedges, portable swimming pools and covers, marinas, wharves, docks, jetties, pontoons, portable air-conditioning units, tenant’s fixtures and fittings, any movable floor coverings and curtains.

Unless properly disclosed to the insurer, higher risk non-standard constructions are excluded from cover. Any thatch roof coverings, wooden structures (e.g. sheds and decking) must be disclosed to the insurer for cover to be acknowledged. We also recommend that – other than normal window glass – larger non-standard glass structures must be disclosed to insurers.

While most insurers provide some cover (usually R5 000) for damage to landscaped gardens, the causes of the damage may be limited to specified events, for example damage caused by emergency vehicles. It is otherwise accepted that damage to gardens (plants, lawns, trees, gravel, pebbles, rocks, stones, soil, bark, etc.) are not covered.

It is important to note that any building under construction is not covered by standard buildings policies. Any damages to buildings in the construction phase are for the account of the building contractor or developer and can only be insured by way of a suitable Contractors All Risk insurance policy.

The above cover exclusions and limitations are not exhaustive and may differ slightly from insurer to insurer.

 

Author: Brian Addison, Addsure

Contact Addsure – The Leaders in Sectional Title Insurance – for fit and proper advice from advisors who understand Sectional Title. Contact us in Johannesburg (011) 704-3858; Durban (031) 459-1795; Cape Town (021) 551-5069