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Thread: Insurance

  1. #1
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    Insurance

    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.

  2. #2
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    I don't know what company you are dealing with but it sound like a very decent one, what do they mean by clamping down on claims? A claim is a claim. In general you should be insured for the correct values. Let's say you are insured for 100 000 but your contents are worth R200 000, that means you are underinsured by 50%. In that case let's say you have a TV worth R10 000 and it gets stolen the insurance will pay you R5 000. Remember that if underinsure yourself you would be paying premiums or a lesser values hense it works like that. Now about your ceiling, it should be covered by your building insurance and not your contents.
    How to get tye correct inurance values: some comapnies will send you an assessor before they out you on cover, he'll come to your house and get the correct values, that means you will be insured correctly. If they don't send you an assessor automatically you can ask them who do they work with and you can get an assessor who you will pay say R500 to give you a certificate for the value you should be insured, in this way there can't be any dispute from the isurance side when a claim occurs,of course making sure that you update your values when things change.
    In general your broker deals with that company and he/she is the person that needs to fight with them and not you. Brokers know which companies pay and which give you nonsense so they shouldn't give you cover with the ones they won't take themselves.
    If you get to a point where you believe you were misled and you can prove that then you cam take the case to the FAIS Ombud, let me know if you need details.
    In the last 5 years I've had 3 claims where the last one a few months ago was writting off my car and every single claim paid wothout any questions whatsoever, in every instance I had my rent a car sorted straight away and maybe as a coincidence let me mention that those were 3 different companies that paid my claims. One of the claims happened 7th of Feb 2011 and I had just moved to that company that same month, but the debit order hadn't gone through, a taxi drove at the back of me and they still paid.
    ---There is no traffic at the extra mile---

  3. #3
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    I think my problem is i leave it to the broker to handle insurance, like my books for the company, the accountant handles the books, dont ask me how much money i make or loose, i get a figue every month to pay tax, vat etc. Maybe it is time to start being more proactive with this type of stuff. Stop complaining all the time and sit down and go throught the policy with the broker and sign off each page as and when i understand the contents, insured values etc. Same with the books, maybe it time to sit with the accountant and see what is actually happening with my bussiness.

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