So i decided to put in a claim for my damaged driveway, mmm, thats where it gets interesting again. The insurance assessor arrives to take look, my big china, friendliest people you will ever meet. He takes a look at the damaged driveway, asks the usual questions, so when did you notice the little hole in the tar, and when did you decide to put in the claim etc, etc. He was told there was no hole in the tar, while reversing the tar collapsed and the vehicle wheel landed in the hole.
I am fine with all the idle chat, but this is where i start wondering, he takes out a camera and start clicking pics of my whole yard, tape out, measuring the "all" the buildings, the "entire" property etc, etc. Writes a couple of pages of notes and off he goes.
I contact my broker and enquire about the "full investigation"...well, i am told that due to huge amount of claims in recent months due to the weather and the increase in crime (here i was under the impression there was a decrease according to stats) the insurance companies are clamping down on claims. So what he was doing, was checking if i was paying the correct premium for the size of property etc. My question is why was this "investigation" not done when i took out the policy, and why was it not updated as and when required by the insurance company. Now i put in a claim suddenly they start measuring,photos, etc.
So you need to ask yourself, when last did you put in a claim and actually get paid out, or better still when was the last time the insurance company did an assessment on your property, to see what percentage you will be paid (if you get paid) for the claim. I was told that if i am under insured and they do by some miracle, actually pay out the claim it will only be for the percentage i am covered, not 100 %.
During this "investigation" i find out that unless i can find the plans for the retainer wall which was installed by the previous owner, i will not be covered for any damage the retainer wall creates if it collapses. I purchased the property 4 years ago, surely the bond shouldnt have been approved if there are no plans for the alterations or retainer walls. I am also being harraresd by the building inspector for soil poison certificates. I have done no modifications to the building or property in anyway, yet i seem to be liable for all the plans and certificates. How could an engineer now approve plans for the retainer wall if it already built?
Some thing else i learnt, if the roof for example on house leaks, i will not be paid out for the damaged roof (because over the years the top section had come loose) only for the contents damaged and only the percentage i am insured, ie...if the assessor finds that my assets are worth R100 000 and i am only insured for R20 000 because over the year si have invested in a new tv, lounfge suite etc, i will only be paid out 20 % of the entire claim.
Maybe some of the brokers on this forum can give us some insight into claims.