select
|

Garden insurance critical to avoid financial loss

Research conducted by the Michigan State University’s Department of Horticulture shows that a good landscape design can increase a home’s value by 5 to 11 percent.

However, many homeowners fail to check whether their homeowners insurance cover extends to protect their garden, placing themselves at an increased risk of financial loss caused by damage to their gardens.

This is according to Christelle Fourie-Colman, chief executive of MUA Insurance Acceptances, who says that although some niche personal lines policies do include insurance for the garden, the cover involved is often quite limited.

“The challenge with many expensive landscaped gardens is that they are not considered a permanent structure and any damage to them can result in hefty restoration costs. If a property, permanent fixture or home improvement is damaged by a fallen tree, homeowner insurance should cover the costs of repairs to the property. However, if a tree falls in the homeowners’ garden and it doesn’t damage the house but the garden instead, depending on the type of insurance cover that is in place, the restoration of the garden might not be covered.”

To avoid the risk of underinsurance specialised garden cover should be taken out, she says. This form of insurance understands the intrinsic value of the landscaped property, as well as the value it adds to the home.

An example is a house fire that can cause extensive damage to the garden even if the flames did not reach the plants. The trees and flowers could suffer severe damage from the toxic gases that are released by flames. In addition, when the emergency service vehicles need to enter the property during a blaze, the vehicles might need to drive on the lawn or through the garden to get the water to the house, resulting in massive damage to the grass and plants.”

“In general, reinstatement of gardens is usually found as an automatic extension under policies specifically designed for wealthy homeowners. Insurers will often specify what events are included, such as damage caused by emergency vehicles, earthquakes and explosions. They will also state the exclusions of cover, such as wind and storm damage.

“Homeowners fortunate enough to have large trees on their properties need to consider the liability risk. If a tree that is dying as a result of natural causes becomes a risk to insured physical property, the policyholder will be legally obliged to remove the tree on their account. Tree removal can cost anything between R10 000 and R20 000, and should removal be required as an effort to maintain the property in an insurable state, the costs will generally be for the insured’s own account.”

Fourie-Colman says homeowners need to keep in mind that garden insurance is limited, and it’s important to read the fine print in the policy.

“Owners of landscaped gardens should never assume they’re covered by their current insurance policy. It’s very important to go through the policy and establish exactly what they’re covered for in case of a disaster,” says Fourie-Colman.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK