This article is about buildings insurance for your home i.e. the structure of your home and outbuildings. We discuss replacement costs, and other hidden costs of buildings destruction or damage. Also covered are insured events such as settlement, subsidence and landslip.
You can get insurance for your private residential house or houses, the outbuildings, fences, swimming pools and tennis courts against events like fire, flood damage, subsidence, landslip and more.
Buildings Insurance is also known as Home owners cover.
Your Home Owner's Comprehensive insurance policy should cover the full replacement cost of your property. The replacement cost which is also known as the Sum Insured Value, is the cost to restore your property to its former condition, should an insured event happen. Of great importance, is to understand that this replacement cost represents all the costs to rebuild your home, not the market value of your property. Thus the insured value is often much higher than the market value of your property.
As was seen with home contents insurance if you are not adequately insured, you could be subjected to under-insurance penalties if you have a claim.
With regards to renovating your property - if you have done any renovations or alterations to your property since it was last valued, you must inform your insurer so that they can update your sum insured value. Remember if your insured value is lower than reality, you will be under-insured.
This will prevent massive once-off costly headaches. These will help you preserve the value and quality of your home.
If your home is ever damaged or destroyed the costs can be exorbitant. For example just calling a fire brigade can be costly, and for your account! This is where a buildings insurance policy will be a lifesaver.
What an insurer will pay for in the case of buildings damage or destruction:
If you have buildings cover, and your property is destroyed by an insured event (see below list), the insurer will reinstate it. If your property is damaged by an insured event, the insurer will repair the damaged part as near as possible to its pre-Loss state.
Some of the main drivers of your buildings premiums are: - Your updated Sum Insured Value - Changing weather patterns that cause an increase in weather related claims experiences of insurers - The weakening of the Rand makes imported goods more expensive (try replacing goods at today's prices!) - Replacement costs means including other costs associated with rebuilding i.e. professional fees, debris removal, demolition costs etc.
These benefits should be available to assist you in household emergencies: locksmiths, electricians, plumbers, builders, tree fellers, glaziers, pest control services, poll care specialists, white appliance repairs, assistance with burst geysers, leaks, overflowing, broken valves and geyser parts.
If your property has a thatch roof - inform your insurer, as there is a thatch premium applicable, as this type of roof holds higher risk.
Your insurer will allow you to make capital additions such as alterations, additions or improvements to your property within certain limits of total sum insured e.g. not exceeding 15% of total sum insured, and provided that you advise insurer of such alterations and improvement. Additional premium may apply.
Note: Buildings insurance does NOT cover the maintenance of your home!