Floods, Hail, Lightning and more – are you adequately insured?

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Floods, Hail, Lightning and more – are you adequately insured?

8th December 2017

South African weather patterns have changed drastically recently, so much in fact, that one could not be blamed for thinking that Summer will never come! The incessant rain and rather chilly weather belies the fact that we are indeed in December, the first official month of Summer.

Along with the change of weather, we have experienced potentially disastrous weather events. Among these we can include hail storms of epic proportions, flooding, and incredibly strong winds. In addition, there is also the increased potential of veld fires as anyone in Knysna would be able to tell you.

Needless to say, this all means one thing: the likelihood of your possessions being damaged has been increased exponentially. Floods, strong winds, hail, and heavy rain all have the ability to destroy so many things – leaking roofs, broken windows, damaged furniture and other household items – the list is endless!

Having to replace one’s possessions is stressful enough, but finding out that one is not adequately insured makes the situation that much worse. This is not only unnecessary, it is completely avoidable. Here’s how:

Firstly, it is important that you have a home contents insurance policy as this will protect the items within your home. The best way to ensure that everything in your home is covered by policy is to draw up a detailed inventory list of all your contents and cross check this with current replacement values. It is important to use replacement values and not market values to mitigate any shortfall.

Items that you need to include in your list are things like kitchen appliances, furniture, electronics, and so forth. This might seem like a lot of admin, but it will be worth it if you have to replace any of your possessions. Make sure the contents of your outbuildings and external rooms are also included in this list!

Secondly, it is important that you take out building insurance as this protects your home from the risk of structural damage that can be caused by fires and storms. The best way to ensure you are adequately covered would be obtain the guidance of a property valuator who will be equipped to consider all relevant variables so that you will have the right value for which you need to be insured.

This covers the main aspects but there are other important things you can also consider:

You need to take into account your thatch lapa, swimming pool, and entertainment areas when taking out insurance as these could also be damaged by changing weather patterns and would be costly to fix or replace without insurance.

Many people neglect to ensure that costs for total loss are saved – this includes aspects such as excesses, accommodation while your home is being fixed, if required, travelling costs incurred, waste removal in the event of destruction, and so forth.

Finally, it is advisable that, when receiving quotations, you check the list of events that Insurers are covering – Strikes and Riots, Floods, Fire, Hail Storm, Explosions, and so forth – this way, you will know exactly what perils you are covered for and there are no unpleasant surprises in the event of a claim.

On that note, take out your Christmas decorations and draw up a list of new year’s resolutions… Yes, the festive season is upon us once more! Just make sure that one of your resolutions is making sure you are adequately insured!

Yael Diner