What is cover with my Insurance
In principle, insurers will not cover damages resulting from a lack of maintenance and gradual wear-and-tear, e.g. if the waterproofing on your client’s roof was not done correctly and over time gaps started to appear in the roof, with the next storm the water seeps through the roof and causes substantial damage to the building. Such a claim will be rejected due to a lack of maintenance which also progressed to gradual wear-and-tear.
It is very important to note that clients are expected to maintain their buildings especially those parts that are not visible on a daily basis, such as the roof of the building.
Painting, waterproofing, maintaining the roof and clearing the gutter on a regular basis is the responsibility of every client in order to ensure that they have constant cover for claimable events.
Another factor that clients need to be aware of is extended geyser and pipes wear-and-tear cover. This was brought about to cover clients for the bursting and leaking of geysers and pipes where it was out of the client’s control to do maintenance or where friction, age, rust or any gradual process caused the damages. This is however an optional cover and clients should be advised to take it out with their buildings cover, especially if the building is an old one.
Direct insurance versus using brokers
The current belief held by many is that going direct is cheaper than dealing with a broker. The advertising Companies, in our opinion, lead the client to believe they are cheaper but this is often not the case.
Normal Insurers pay commission; the Direct Insurers spend that money on Advertising.The following should be considered in your personal decision making process. Using a broker are more successful when it comes to complex products, not because of prices but because of convenience and advice. Once products become more complex, the direct player becomes less competitive and the value of the broker more pronounced. The broker offers the client the luxury of not having to become too involved with their insurance administration. Brokers can be relied on to choose the best products on behalf of the client and also to take care of the administration work that is involved. (This may change slightly in the future due to the new broker regulations) It is a more professional and personal service offering.
Dealing with claims
Our claims team often receives frantic phone calls and urgent e-mails requesting that a loss adjuster be appointed post haste. No claim forms are available, the extent of the damages is described to be severe and the estimate reported runs into several thousands of rand’s.
Based on the sketchy information at hand and in line with our service excellence approach, a loss adjuster is appointed only to find that the damages are in fact minimal or that the cause of the loss is not covered in terms of the policy. At this stage the cost of the claim has already escalated out of proportion due to unnecessary fees incurred.
The contrary is also true; losses are reported with relatively low reserves which create the perception that the loss could be handled on a “fast track” basis. By the time the full extent of the loss becomes apparent the extent of damages has escalated.