Where there is smoke, there’s a fire

“It always happen to somebody else”: It is frightening how fast a fire can spread, and causes a huge amount of damage. The costs of such a tragedy, escalate within a flash.

Fire damage to property isn’t always caused from lightning or natural disasters, and can range from appliances overheating, unsafe electrics and faulty plumbing to exposed wiring and lack of an earth leakage unit. Therefore the importance of maintenance cannot be emphasized enough.

 Impact of fire damage for a building owner:

*Cost to repair or rebuild a property. Current replacement value of similar new property (building cost per square meter) always applies, limited to the insured amount.  If you insure your home for less than its actual value – you are under insured – then you will have to bear a proportion of any loss in the event of a claim.

*Loss of Rent as a result of property being damaged by fire.

* Alternative accommodation should the property become uninhabitable due to the damage. Most building/home owner policies will compensate you for similar alternative accommodation for a reasonable period – maximum 12 months. 25% of the insured amount applies as compensation.

* Fire & Emergency services: Owners of buildings are responsible for the cost of emergency and fire services used to assist in the event of a fire. A home owner’s insurance policy extends to cover reasonable cost of emergency services, limited to the insured amount. Without insurance, the owner of the building will be responsible for the cost for these services, in addition to the loss of the building structure.

*Professional fees and Demolition Costs: As a result of a fire, your building has to be demolished, a building policy is extended to pay for the demolition costs of the building, removing the debris and erecting hoardings required for building operations to commence. Fees and costs of architects, quantity surveyors, consulting engineers and municipal inspection are also included.                    These costs are limited to 25% of the insured amount.

*Public Supply or main Connections: Repairing or replacing water, sewerage, gas, electricity, telephone, optic fiber    etc. connections between public and your private structures. Limited to 10% of insured amount.

*Damage to Garden: Damage to plants, trees, irrigation systems. Limited amount in policy wording.

*Guards: Limited amount is available to protect your structure after an insured event.

Smoke from fire, and water from fire extinguishing may cause enormous damage to contents, company stock, machinery and electronic items.

*House Contents/ Office Contents/ Documents/ Stock/ Electronic Items/ Machinery and Electronic items: All the loose items or fixtures inside your building structure should be insured under the appropriate contents policy for current replacement value – new similar items.

*Liability: Damages for which the insured become legally liable upon accidental death or bodily injury to or illness of any third party/person (excluding insured, family members, workers or employees), or accidental loss of or physical damage to property, on or about the property insured and arising from the insured’s ownership thereof. Neglect in maintenance, or making use of a non-qualified contractors for example, the building owner will be responsible for damages, injuries or death of the third party.

*Business Interruption: Damage due to fire on or about the property may cause the interference or interruption of business for the period that follows. The company will still be liable for ongoing monthly expenditures and costs. Section Business Interruption – on your commercial policy will cover these losses.

In an event of fire, damage to a property is a traumatic experience. Without adequate cover in place individuals and businesses run the risk of financial ruin. Insurance will not only cover the costs associated to repair the actual damage, but also provide peace of mind.

Building insurance is not expensive, in fact, it is one of the cheapest forms of short term insurance. Rather safe than sorry, be prepared and make sure these costs are covered on your policy.