Home-owners along the slopes of Table Mountain
in Cape Town have felt the might of runaway wild fires.
While the Western
Cape fire department has the situation under control, residents are
once again aware of the need to remain vigilant against the increasing risks of
fire damage and injury caused by wildfires.
Similar to the devastation left behind by the
fires that swept through the Garden Route area in November
2018, insurance is one of the necessary steps to take to reduce the risks of
financial loss caused by fire damage, says Bradley Du Chenne, CEO of Hippo
If you have not done so already,
do a regular household insurance review to ensure that new appliances and other
valuable items you added to your assets over the last year are in fact covered
by your insurance cover.
Du Chenne says it is important that people
understand what cover they prevent any fire-related claims from being rejected.
Insurance cover for fire damage will depend on
which type of cover you have, be it car insurance, buildings insurance,
household insurance or business insurance. “You cannot, for example, claim for
fire damage to your furniture if you only have buildings insurance,” says Du
He says policyholders are generally covered
for fire damage if they have
- Vehicles insurance with comprehensive car
insurance or third party, fire and theft cover.
- Buildings insurance either through their
home loan or bond account provider or estate, or personal buildings insurance
cover if they own the property.
- Household insurance usually covers
items such as furniture, electrical appliances, linen and clothing. With this
you need to do a regular household insurance review. Should you be
under-insured, you could face having only a portion of your claim paid, says De
- For watercrafts such as yachts, motorboats,
dinghies, rubber ducks and jet skis, you should have a watercraft policy taken
out alongside their car, buildings or household insurance policy.
- A business property requires business
insurance for any motor or non-motor assets such as vehicles, buildings and
office equipment used for business purposes. Insurers could also cover you for
business interruption as a result of fire damage.
Policyholders are cautioned by highlighting
the below examples of when fire related damage would not necessarily be
covered by your insurer:
Deliberately setting property on fire is a
criminal offence and not covered under your insurance policy. Investigators are
appointed by insurers to determine whether the fire has been caused by arson.
2. Fire in a vacant home
Insurers normally define a vacant home as one that
has not been occupied for more than 30 consecutive days. You can, however,
obtain an unoccupied home insurance endorsement to your existing policy from
He also recommends that home owners especially
those that live in urban or peri-urban areas follow these tips on reducing the
fire risk of your properties.
It boils down to creating three distinct
‘zones’ of protection around your home:
- The immediate zone
around your home
It should consist of well-irrigated, fire
resistant, low-growing ground-covers and lawn, together with non-flammable
hard-landscaping, such as flagstone walks, brick patios, stone retaining walls,
gravel and inorganic mulches, namely an immediate zone that offers
- The garden or medium
Choose fire-resistant trees and shrubs, but
make sure they do not touch each other or create a fire-ladder effect.
- Perimeter or buffer
Plant low-growing, fleshy-leaved
ground-covers, hedging plants, large aloes and isolated forest trees that are fire-resistant
and re-sprout when damaged by fire.
“As policy benefits and exclusions vary
depending on the exact type of cover and the specific insurance provider, you
should always check your policy documents to ensure you are adequately covered.
If you feel that an insurer is not providing you with the right service or
cover suited to your needs, shop around for a better deal,” says Du Chenne.
Should you need any assistance please feel
free to visit our website www.esbrokers.co.za
Article courtesy of Property24
pictures by Pixabay