Addsure recently attended to a claim on behalf of a client where very large boulders rolled down a steep hill and onto the property. This caused impact damage to the perimeter fence, paved areas and the exterior wall of a unit.
The insurers were happy to pay repair expenses to re-instate the damaged walls, fences and paving, as these form part of the buildings (it’s specified in the policy).
In terms of the policy, only building debris removal costs are covered, and not removal of the boulders themselves. The boulders that are blocking the re-instatement contract work would be moved at insurer’s expense, but what about all the others? The land, made up of soil, rock and plants are not covered by the policy in question.
Fortunately, we were able to motivate to the insurer that they consider payment of these expenses (or portion thereof), by exception, from the ‘garden/landscaping damage’ benefit.
It was made clear, however, in circumstance that a rock fall occurs and there is no resultant damage to the buildings or any building improvements, there is no cover for these mountain rock debris removal expenses. It is simply a giant new rockery feature on your land!
Likewise, what about removal of trees? – are you covered?
Most insurance policies provide a limited amount (usually up to R5,000) for costs incurred in the removal of trees, but only if the building or building improvements are damaged by the falling tree.
Where a tree simply blew over in a storm but did not cause impact damage to the buildings, the insurers do not pay for expenses incurred for removal of the tree.
Written by 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.