Understanding body corporate insurance ahead of possible winter weather damage

With another cold-front holding South Africans in its grip, it is important to understand body corporate insurance before all the winter weather damage hits your home. 

Carl Smit, managing director of Sandak-Lewin Property Trust, says that as extreme winter weather conditions usually result in an increase in property damages, homeowners need to ensure that their insurance policies are up-to-date in case they need to claim for weather-related damages.

According to Smit, for those living in sectional title schemes, it can be assumed that the body corporate will have adequate insurance cover against weather-related damage to the building. However, he says that individual unit owners need to properly understand what exactly is covered in the body corporate’s policy, and need to know how to claim for related damages should the need arise.

“Body corporate insurance covers all buildings in the scheme – individual housing units and common property areas such a passages and lifts – and applies to internal and external damage to units. For example, if a building’s roof or windows are damaged due to extreme wind conditions, the body corporate insurance will pay out to fix the damage.”

Owners who are unsure of the value to which their unit is covered are entitled to request the insured value of their property by viewing the insurance policy kept on file by the body corporate. If owners believe that the amount that their units are insured for is not sufficient, they can request that the cover be increased.

“This request needs to be coupled with a recommendation to the trustees to ensure that the value of the entire building is correct, as body corporate rules require that the scheme never be under-insured,” says Smit.

“For many owners, the confusing part is not the terms and conditions of the insurance policy but rather the process of claiming for damages for repairs to commence. It’s the owners’ responsibility to initiate insurance claims through the body corporate. Tenants’ claims still need to go through the owner of the unit, who must sign off the claim before it can be taken to the body corporate for processing. Thereafter, the claim must be signed off by the trustee or managing agent to ensure its legitimacy.”

Smit says claims by owners should not be taken directly to the insurance broker as the body corporate may be unaware of the claim and the broker may not know whether the person initiating the claim is an owner in the scheme.

“Once the claim has been made, there is a chance that an excess amount will be due, depending on the policy and level of damage. In this case, the question arises – who is responsible for the excess payment? According to the Sectional Titles Act, the owner of the section who is initiating the claim is responsible for the insurance excess payment.

“If owners of sectional title units wish to initiate additional insurance through an independent broker to cover any future excess payments claims or extend cover for renovations done to a unit, they are free to do so,” says Smit.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 23 Feb 2018
      RE/MAX Property Associates’ Table View Office, which services property buyers and sellers along the Table Bay coastline and surrounds, has recently sold a home in Woodbridge Island for R11 million – the highest price paid for any home in the sought-after security complex.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      Choosing to invest in an overseas property can be daunting. But as more and more investors recognise the value of a diversified portfolio that includes property outside of their own country of residence, international property investment is growing in popularity.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      The positive change in South Africa’s political landscape is paving the way for an upswing in the local property market.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us