So, you bought your awesome new property in possession (PIP) at below market value price and you just moved in. All is good with your new starting life in the spacious property in possession (PIP) found on the MyRoof website, and since you moved in all is in place. Nothing could go wrong… until you get a call from a neighbour or the police, claiming that someone has just broken into your property in possession (PIP) and has gotten away with, well, everything you ever owned. This is bad, real bad as we all are well aware of the risks living here in South Africa. Suddenly a minute’s instance of calmness overcomes you and you recall that little thing you have been paying for every month called insurance. Instantly all is beter and a sigh of relief can be given. This only lasts until your claim gets rejected.

Since insurers keep numbers on claims, they are best placed to advise the most common reasons for claims not being paid, says Gari Dombo, the managing director of Alexander Forbes Insurance. For example, when it comes to vehicle insurance, it is amazing how many people drive without licences, while drunk or with worn tyres, or fail to renew their vehicle tracker contract, claim security they don’t have or use vehicles for uses that they did not insure. Similarly, the biggest cause of claim denial when it comes to property home contents is a malfunctioning alarm. “If an alarm does not work because it is poorly maintained, the monitoring contract has been allowed to expire, or it is not switched on when the home is left unattended, your insurer is unlikely to pay,” says Dombo.

Another common cause for a home contents claim being repudiated is that very often insured parties do not have all the protections they claim on their proposal form, like burglar bars or electric fences.

The most common cause of claim failure for buildings is a lack of maintenance. Maintenance can prevent the following incidents: Roofs collapse because timbers have rotten, tiles blow off because their nails have rusted through, gutters silt up, causing walls to become damp and plaster to bulge or crack, waterproofing is allowed to deteriorate, causing water damage.

A simple rule that Dombo advises home owners to apply when trying to work out whether they can claim for water damage is if they have a rainwater leak, even though there has not been a storm, the problem must be maintenance since a home should be able to withstand ordinary rain. “If people allow their vehicles or their homes to fall into a state of disrepair, so that they become more likely to be involved in accidents or suffer or cause loss, any insurance claims arising might be rejected as loss arising from poor maintenance,” says Dombo.

Don’t fall further down the awful pit of disappointment after you lost everything that was once contained in your Property in possession (pip).

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