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House Contents Insurance

By Andrew Stent | Durban | November 15, 2016

Q; Does my House Contents insurance cover me while I am away from my house?

A; Yes, you have some cover outside of your home depending on the circumstances and the insurance company that your policy is with. For example if your car is broken into, there are certain items that you can claim under House Contents. In addition, if you are staying at a friend’s house or a holiday house your House Contents will extend to cover you to some extent if you suffer a loss. Kayser Baird recommends that you specify valuable items or electronic equipment on your All Risks section if you want it to be covered away from home, and also that you take Clothing and Personal Effects cover on your All Risks section of your policy.

Q; Does my policy cover me for “Loffelstein” or wall block retaining walls?

A; The majority of South African insurance companies are extremely selective when it comes to insuring wall block retaining walls and most will not insure them at all. Any retaining wall must be specifically added to your policy and the insurance company will require certain information and documentation, such as an engineer’s certificate. Wall block retaining walls are often erected using incorrect techniques, resulting in weak walls that will not remain standing if the soil behind them is removed suddenly or gradually over a long period. This often results in the wall collapsing and being washed away during heavy rain and other adverse weather. It is also difficult for an insurance company assessor to inspect the build quality of a wall block retaining wall after it has been built. If you have wall block retaining walls at your home, body corporate or commercial property we recommend talking to your broker about risk planning.

Q; Will I be covered for burglary at my home if my alarm is not armed or working?

A; If your personal policy requires you to have an alarm, you have to arm the alarm when you leave the house otherwise your policy may not cover you. If your alarm is armed but does not activate during a break-in, most leading insurers will still cover you provided you can prove that you did arm the alarm when you left the house. If you are aware that your alarm is faulty, you must have it repaired as soon as possible. If you do not want to make use of your alarm system every time you leave the house you need to arrange cover with your broker that does not require you to have an alarm system.