Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

The purpose of building insurance is to help you recover from a loss or damage that was caused to your insured property during an unexpected event. Building insurance normally cover a wide range of potential risks, including damage from fire, storms, theft, and even accidental damage like a burst geyser.

You will be compensated for loss or damage to your insured property, on condition that you pay the monthly premium, comply with the policy terms and conditions and provide your insurer with true, accurate and correct information. Failure to adhere to these conditions means that your insurer may not accept your claim, cancel your policy or recover any compensation they have given you for previous claims.

If you’ve taken a loan to buy your home, building insurance is a bank requirement in South Africa. You should have it in place from the day the property is registered in your name. This reassures the bank that damages to the structure of your home can be repaired, or the loan can be paid off if your home is totally destroyed. Even without a bond on your home, building insurance is valuable. It guards against unexpected incidents and covers repair costs to the structure of your home, providing you with peace of mind knowing your home is protected when needed.

Normally as an industry standard your premium is based on several factors, including the replacement value of your home, its location, the security measures in place, and the cover options you choose. In essence, an insurer determines the risk attached to your property and will determine the premium accordingly.

Building insurance generally covers the structure and permanent fixtures of your home. For your personal belongings, you’d need contents insurance.

Building insurance provides coverage for the physical and immovable structure of your private home, as long as it is made of brick, stone, or concrete and has a roof made of slate, tiles, metal, concrete, or asbestos. This coverage typically includes various aspects of the property such as:


Domestic outbuildings, private garages, carports, walls, gates, and fences – with the exception of those made of wood, wire, or hedges.


• Permanent fixtures and fittings within the property, like built-in cupboards, light fittings, geysers, and security system, fixed antennas, satellite dishes, masts, and lightning conductors, solar heating panels etc.


• Utility connections for water, sewerage, gas, electricity, and telephone.


• Swimming pools and associated machinery, with the exclusion of above-ground pools, vinyl plastic pools, or automatic pool cleaners, tennis and squash courts.


• Pathways, driveways, and surfaced areas made of brick, concrete, asphalt, or stone, but not gravel.


It’s important to carefully review the specific policy terms and conditions to understand the exact scope of coverage provided by your building insurance.

Building insurance normally includes provision for alternative accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable due to insured damage. Remember to always ask your insurer for the details of what is covered and read the details in your policy schedule and policy document.

You could potentially reduce your premium by implementing additional security measures at your home or increasing your excess.

If you are insured for less that the replacement value of your property, it means you are under insured. That’s why it’s crucial to insure your home for its accurate replacement value, not its market value. This helps avoid under insurance.

Generally, building insurance covers sudden and unforeseen incidents. Gradual damage like wear and tear or leaks over time might not be covered. It is very important to maintain your property to make sure you reduce your risk of wear and tear costs.

An insurance excess is the amount you pay when you make a claim. Most insures allow you to choose the excess you want to pay at claim stage.