Within the short-term insurance market clients are often disappointed when their Buildings claims are rejected due to a lack of maintenance. This is a frequent occurrence and something that you need to be made aware of.
Buildings insurance refers to the immovable structures; this includes the home and the outbuildings whether they are separate from the home or not, at the address noted on your policy schedule. It also includes all permanent fixtures, fittings and improvements, such as driveways, walls, fences, patios, swimming pools, borehole and spa pumps, gate motors, tennis courts, underground pipes and cables. Dams and dam walls, loose gravel paths and coverings as well as pool cleaning equipment are excluded.
In principle, insurers will not cover damages resulting from a lack of maintenance and gradual wear-and-tear, e.g. if the waterproofing on your roof was not done correctly and over time gaps started to appear in the roof, with the next storm the water seeps through the roof and causes substantial damage to the building. Such a claim will be rejected due to a lack of maintenance which also progressed to gradual wear-and-tear.
It is very important to note that you are expected to maintain the buildings especially those parts that are not visible on a daily basis, such as the roof of the building. We therefore encourage you to the importance of proper buildings maintenance.
Painting, waterproofing, maintaining the roof and clearing the gutter on a regular basis is your responsibility in order to ensure that you have constant cover for claimable events.
Another factor that you need to be aware of is extended geyser and pipes wear-and-tear cover. This was brought about to cover the bursting and leaking of geysers and pipes where it was out of your control to do maintenance or where friction, age, rust or any gradual process caused the damages. This is however an optional cover and it should be advised to take it out with your buildings cover, especially if the building is an old one.
Please feel free to contact your short-term insurance broker to check your cover.