Owning your very own home is dream come true for most. Unfortunately, the risks involved in such a purchase can turn your dream into a nightmare. Since a home is a costly investment, if something happens and you aren’t sufficiently insured, you will be in for a bumpy ride.
Thankfully, home insurance in South Africa has evolved to guarantee homeowners get peace of mind when it comes to their properties. Of course, there are different types of insurance for houses and homes, so it is important to make sure that you have the right type for your needs.
The two main insurances that you will need for your home are:
- Building insurance
- Household contents insurance
As the name suggests, building insurance covers the actual building of your home. This insurance is usually mandatory if you have a home loan, but should be taken out nevertheless. It covers any damage to the structure of your house, provided the damage is not caused by neglect.
Building insurance should cover anything on the property that is immovable, such as the perimeter walls, gates, verandahs etc. However, each company will have its own list of what is and what is not insured, as well as the circumstances in which damage is covered.
Examples of damage covered under building insurance include:
- Fire, lightning and explosion
- Malicious damage
- TV aerials, satellite dishes and masts
- Bursting, leaking or overflowing pipes, water apparatus or oil-fired heating apparatus
- Storm, flood, wind, water, hail or snow
- Loss or damage to the private residence caused by impact
- Theft or attempted theft
- Gradual sinking of land (subsidence) and landslip of the land supporting the private residence
- Damage by wild baboons or monkeys
Any damage caused as a result of any neglect of the house will not be covered. If the house is not well-kept with regular maintenance, then the insurance company will not pay out.
Homeowners are encouraged to keep their insurance up to date with the market value of their property. As time changes, so will the value of your home, and so if the cover is not updated, payouts are not likely to match the costs of repairs and other maintenance.
It is wise to make sure when you take out building insurance, that you have the correct value of the building, as most insurance companies seem not to handle the valuation of the property. This is left up to the owners or bank.
This insurance will cover you for anything valuable inside your house. Things such as furniture, appliances and electronics. Items are insured while inside the house, should anything go wrong.
To work out the value, you should add in all contents that you’d like to be covered. This includes carpets, curtains and other household furnishing and decor. There will be a list of items that are not able to be covered, depending on the company you go with.
Of course, the more you insure, the higher the value and that means your premiums will be higher. However, it also means that your payouts will be enough for you to replace all important items.
Home Insurance providers
A firm leader in all things insurance,Santamis ready to cover you, your home and its belongings. There is a fantastic feature, called thebuilding calculator on their website, so that you can estimate the value of your property while you are online.
According to their website, their cover promises the following:
- Tracing of all leaks as well as the necessary repair costs up to the value of R5 000
- Damage caused by wild baboons and wild monkeys, for this there’s a minimum of R10 000
- Fire-fighting costs, including fire extinguishing
Additionally, they offer cover for the following:
- Damage to your residential garden as a result of a fire, this includes any damage to your irrigation systems
- Accommodation should your house be uninhabitable due to damage, up to the value of R5 000
- Security staff to protect your property while you are not there
- Removal of fallen trees
You can take out this cover before the property is officially in your name and be assured that you are covered should anything happen. You can also add to your monthly premium to cover fixed machinery, such as pool pumps and garage motors, against accidental damage.
For home insurance that is flexible, affordable and comprehensive, Discovery is your answer. They are a well-known brand and strive to keep up with their competitors in the insurance world.
Their home insurance cover comes in four plans, namely:
- Dynamic Plan
- Essential Plan
- Classic Plan
- Executive Plan
These plans all have different levels of cover for respective levels of premium costs.
Additionally, Discovery offers optional features, including:
- Comprehensive accidental damage cover
- More than 60 days’ unoccupied cover
- Comprehensive subsidence and landslip cover
- Cover for goods in the open
Renowned for great service and excellent value when it comes to insurance, OutSurance< has a great home insurance offer. Their household contents package covers everything of value inside your home, and their building calculator helps to get an accurate quote for your cover.
Aside from their fantastic OUTbonus, they also offer:
- Help@OUT emergency home assistance service comes to your rescue when you need.
- This service is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
- Quick claims turnaround
- Their expert team of claims investigators promise to give you a fast and efficient claims turnaround.
- Hand-picked service
- the best providers are chosen to work with, giving you brilliant service.
There are three types of insurance you can choose from at MiWay. They have building insurance, household contents insurance and All Risk insurance. The Home Contents insurance covers items inside your home that don’t leave, such as Televisions, fridges etc.
The All Risk insurance covers items that are portable and would generally leave the house with you, such as:
- laptop computers
- electronic notebooks
King Price offer great home contents insurance. For any valuable items in your home, you can rest assured knowing you are covered should they be damaged or stolen. These items are of course, only covered while they are in your home and not if you take them out of the house.
Unfortunately, they don’t cover these things under home contents:
- Contact lenses
- Prescription glasses
- Hearing aids
Giving you more than the average, Momentum gives clients everything they need in home insurance and more.
Naming just a few of the exceptional offers, they will pay for:
- The cost of the fire brigade – if you call it out.
- Temporary accommodation – if you need a place to stay.
- Accidental death or bodily injury to people other than members of your household or your domestic employees.
- Accidental loss or damage to property belonging to people other than members of your household or your domestic employees.
With Hollard, you are able to find the ultimate cover for your home, both the building and its contents. They are also very honest about what is covered and what is not, and allow you to choose cover that fits you best.
Building Insurance from Hollard will cover the following:
- The cost of employing a security guard to protect the building
- Replacing lost keys and remote control units, or damage to your locks
- The loss of metered water
- Leak detection and repairs
- Accidental damage to underground public services
- Cover for any damage or destruction caused by subsidence, landslip or ground heave of the land supporting the building (not related to the moisture content of the soil)
- Cover for costs charged by an authorised body for extinguishing a fire, to prevent or reduce loss or damage to the building
- Cover for any rental income you lose because of an insured event, or the cost of having to find alternative accommodation.
What Hollard’s Home Contents Insurance covers.
- Cover for loss or damage to your home contents caused by theft, fire, lightning, storms, earthquakes and other insured events
- Cover for damage to your electrical equipment caused by power surges
- The cost of a security guard to protect your home after an insured event
- Cover for loss or damage of personal items belonging to guests or full-time employees
While home insurance may seem like an unnecessary cost to some when the worst happens those with insurance find their financial situations to be a lot easier than those without. So don’t doubt the wisdom in picking one of the above-mentioned companies to join you in your home-owning adventure. You can sleep soundly in your new (or old) home, knowing that you, your valuables as well as your house are all covered by the best insurance.
With this information, you are now equipped to make an informed decision as to who you will trust with your home insurance. Be sure to research the correct cover for you, your family and your loved home. Fingers crossed, you won’t need to call in your insurance, but if you should need it, at least you know someone has you covered.