Key tips to keep your home and office adequately insured

| Article by Bertus Visser, Chief Executive of Distribution, PSG Insure
Last month’s storms around the Western Cape, as well as the devastating fires in and around Knysna, were a painful reminder of the importance of having adequate insurance cover. Heartbreaking stories emerged of entire properties being washed away or burnt down, not to mention countless reports of damage.
While the Cape typically has wet winters, in Gauteng and other northern areas, winter is fire season. Being prepared is important no matter where you live. Whether you might be facing heavy rains that could damage your roof and gutters, or fires – from wildfires to those caused at the office or at home by faulty heaters and kitchen appliances – these are real risks to prepare against. It is also important to maintain your property – be it your business premises or home – to make sure you are fully covered. 
Make home maintenance a priority

Faulty electrical appliances or wiring can easily spark a fire – as can forgetting to turn off an appliance. Many standard office supplies (such as paper and documents) or everyday items at home (such as curtains and linen) can fuel a fire, so it is best to be responsible. Fix any faulty appliances to avoid this risk and make sure that heating appliances are far enough away from flammable items.
Flooding can also cause a lot of damage, so regular maintenance – from servicing your roof and gutters, to making sure you can handle the volume of rain runoff – is very important. Your neighbours may also be able to claim against you if they suffer damage from an issue on your property, so sufficient liability cover is essential too.
There may be more to recover from than you think

When you prepare against a fire or flood, you have to consider more than the obvious risks. In the case of fire, smoke and heat – or even the pressure of the water used to put out the fire, and the chemicals it contains – can have dire consequences to both your property’s structure and contents. In the case of a flood, you must consider potential flood damage to structures that remain in place in addition to anything that may be washed away.
If your business or home should need to be rebuilt – even if just in part – you would need sufficient cover. Not every policy automatically pays this cost, which may include the demolition of your property and rubble removal in addition to new building costs. Rebuilding may also take a very long time to complete. If the damage is so extensive that you are forced to move out for a period, you will need to be covered for the cost of alternative accommodation as well. Without sufficient cover, the combined costs can be quite a financial setback.
Preventative measures to take

• If there are big trees on your property, ask a professional to assess if any felling is needed. An unstable tree can cause extensive damage in a storm, and is easy kindling for a fire.

• Everything in your office or home may need to be replaced. It is your responsibility to make sure you have factored in the true replacement value of your goods. It may even be worthwhile to have proof of ownership for valuable items stored in the cloud, in case receipts or photos get destroyed.

•You must have a fire extinguisher on a commercial property for it to be insured against fire. (This is to comply with health and safety regulations.) Of course, it also helps to reduce your risk if a fire breaks out.

• Make sure that you regularly check and maintain your gutters, drains and roof.

• The same considerations apply to holiday homes and rental properties.
There are many aspects to consider, so take the time to check your policies carefully – even if it means that your premium goes up. Rather be safe than sorry. Chat to your adviser to help you make sure that you are fully covered, protecting your business, home and belongings as best you can.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 May 2018
      Extreme weather appears to be the new normal, evident by the volume of insurance-related disputes reaching the industry watchdog’s desk. To avoid a situation in which your insurer refuses to pay up, you should proactively ensure that your home is well-maintained and ready for whatever winter has in store.
    • 22 May 2018
      As the impact of technology on the real estate industry becomes more significant, it is clear that there is a need for an objective look at not only traditional real estate models but also online and other alternative low-commission real estate agencies, to examine what they offer and what their impact might be.
    • 22 May 2018
      According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, dealing with some sort of neighbour dispute is an unavoidable part of life unless, perhaps, you choose to live on a remote small holding for the rest of your life.
    • 22 May 2018
      Buyers feel that they are getting value for money in the Northcliff area without having to compromise on aesthetics and amenities
    • 21 May 2018
      Secure living is one of the growing property trends in South Africa and Nooitgedacht Estate in Stellenbosch certainly ticks the right boxes for buyers who want a secure, exclusive lifestyle in one of the Boland’s most sought-after estates, says Pam Golding Properties.
    • 21 May 2018
      With sectional titles growing in popularity, an increasing amount of homeowners simply do not have the garden space to install a tool shed in their backyard.
    • 18 May 2018
      Home improvements are a great way to add value to your property, but not all of us have bottomless pockets for a full-on renovation. Lucky for us, there are plenty of affordable DIYs that can spruce things up over a free weekend.
    • 18 May 2018
      The need for large office spaces is slowly eroding as more and more employers choose to allow their staff to work remotely. As a result, the home business model has grown in popularity, with many new entrepreneurs choosing to start their business from home rather than in a business district. But, what are the legal implications of operating a business in a residential area?
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us